An Alternative Classification of Knowledge Workers

On the 7th of September 2020, I hit up my friend, @waleberry on WhatsApp (it always goes down in these kind of conversations).

I had just come up with a clearer way of classifying knowledge workers with respect to control of career and the opportunities that surround it.

The conversation (for me) had always been as granular as the reality of being priced too low during job salary negotiations due to a myriad of factors.

A number of things were put into consideration, while I came up with this alternative classification.

  • The acquisition of knowledge and skills
  • The application and deployment of knowledge and skills
  • The vertical and horizontal possibilities of growth in knowledge and skills
  • The Generalist vs Specialist debate

To the best of my knowledge this is an alternative path to being in control and determine one’s destiny, which is not limited to being a founder/cofounder, company owner, holder of business equity or a big time investor.

Below is the classification, with 6 being the bottom, and 1 being the top

1️⃣ Interdisciplinary workers with generalist knowledge
2️⃣ Interdisciplinary workers with specialist knowledge
3️⃣ Multidisciplinary workers with generalist knowledge
4️⃣ Multidisciplinary workers with specialist knowledge
5️⃣ Single discipline workers with generalist knowledge
6️⃣ Single discipline workers with specialist knowledge

This classification is not flat but a ladder from the bottom to the top where control of time, income and network lies with the knowledge worker.

While it doesn’t pride itself as progressive steps towards financial independence or world domination, it points towards a better way of thinking about a ‘knowledge job’ with respect to the job holders skills, and the increasing leverage that comes with ascending the ladder.

I will further break down what each step in the ladder means, in a future post. I’m practically pushing this out without waiting for a perfect time.

Remember this blog is a writing lab for me, where I dump unfinished ideas and thoughts.

Image Credits: Andrii TokarchukΒ |Β Credit:Β Getty Images/iStockphoto

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