It’s a dilemma and not a new one. Job postings have been littered with unrealistic expectations for as long as I can remember. They’re often poorly written, and poorly understood by those who are writing them. So I take them with a grain of salt, first of all.
Now on the one hand I don't think I want to be typecast as frontend, or backend. But you need some sort of focus to what you're doing so the term fullstack still bothers me. The day is only so long. Put too many items on that tech requirements list and you are never keeping up with them.
I myself hate having to be labelled as either front-end, back-end or full-stack, but I feel that we don't really have a choice. Being a "unicorn" is both a blessing and a curse in that we are forced to pick a side when moving into new positions.
To your point around having only so many hours in the day - I find myself having this problem too. I WANT to learn about GraphQL right now but I can't seem to find an hour to sit down and get stuck in. Another problem with this is that I tend to learn in fragments and I never get really good at a single thing and this poses a problem for me when I look at some of the job postings for front-end developers.
How do we make the time to stay relevant?
"How do we make the time to stay relevant?"
Ha! You're asking the father of The World's Most Precocious Two-year Old Girl. I spend most of my "time" trying to figure out how to pack a week's worth of work into her two hour nap on Sunday. Mostly I just stare wistfully at blogposts that are discussing the things I'd like to be doing. Or taking a nap myself.
I say just do what you love and don't worry about what other people want you to be. When someone hires you it's just that. They did not re-hire the last person who had the job, they didn't hire some mythical know-it-all who doesn't exist. They hired YOU. So give them the best you can be because that's an experience they can't get from anyone else. There's your relevance.
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