Some time ago, I wrote about the concept of being a t-shaped professional: having one core skill and lots of other things you’re doing, all to further strengthen the one thing you’re focussing on.

A couple of days back I came across an iteration on this topic, called Paint Drip People. An interesting twist, where your skills are represented by a brush drawing a horizontal stroke. Sometimes, drips of paint are accumulating and rolling down. You won’t know in advance where it stops. The stroke represents your energy to explore and try out new things. Drips of paint represents further investment and deepening of the individual skills.

Some notes:

  • I really like the exploring part. “The brush never stops”. Beck describes t-shaped as pre-planned. I don’t completely agree with that, as your main skill doesn’t have to be something you’ve planned for in advance.
  • I also like the “randomness” of new skills that can grow and take a more central place. It is definitely worth it to make picking up new things part of your quarterly and yearly plans – whether it is a new sport, new instrument, new job or new genre of books, to name a few.
  • I really value grit and pushing through and I believe you can get so much further by setting yourself a goal. The Paint Drip People model seems a bit too random in this case.