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The T-Shaped Career 

Careers are no longer narrowly defined by a specific tile and set of skills tied to that title.  In the current ever-changing environment, having a T-shaped career can make it easier to adapt. The term was first used in-house at McKinsey & Company; it was popularized by David Guest and IDEO CEO Tim Brown.

What is T-Shaped Career?

T-shaped professionals are:

  1. Experts in one or two disciplines (the vertical bar) 

  2. Mastered other complementary skills (horizontal crossbar)

Benefits of having a T-Shaped Career

  • Avoid pitfalls of being a generalist or a specialist 

  • Better communication and collaboration 

  • Variety helps you stay interested 

  • Flexibility to change careers/jobs

  • Experience the satisfaction of depth 

  • Heightened creativity and critical thinking 

  • More attractive to employers

  • Big picture thinking 

  • Being a valuable resource and connector 

Example of T-Shaped Career

How to have a T-Shaped Career

  • Build out the T-Shape for your career profile

  • Identify where you have deep knowledge vs. limited knowledge

  • Start learning about other things on the horizontal axis to broaden your knowledge and skillset

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