What is your first thought when you hear the phrase “jack of all trades”? It almost certainly conjures up unfavourable ideas. A shady character who will sell anything to anyone. Someone who knows a little bit about a lot and exploits it to their advantage. A lack of specialised skills and understanding in favour of trying anything.
Jack of all trades has become a bit of an insult, but it didn’t start out that way. The expression was coined to describe a dramatist who was always seen in theatres. He would assist with the stage, scenery, and costumes. He’d recall lines and try his hand at directing. William Shakespeare was, in reality, a jack of all crafts. “A jack of all crafts is a master of none, but frequently better than a master of one,” the entire saying says. It was meant as a compliment.
Rather than allowing that dissuade them, some businesses believe that being a jack of all crafts has advantages.
Choosing an area and mastering it from the ground up is one approach to start a specialty profession, but attempting a variety of topics can lead to self-discovery. To figure out who you are and where your strengths lie. Sunayana Clark, a therapist and company entrepreneur, admits that she was a jack of all crafts when she first began out. The advantages were that “you soon identify your strengths and shortcomings.” You learn about time management and setting limits.”
Throughout his business path, Paul Clarke of Connect Performance has worked in sales, human performance, and sports performance. Despite the fact that they appear to be unrelated, he claims the combined competence has “enabled me to design a scientific approach for increasing the wellness and effectiveness of salespeople.” Knowledge from a variety of fields can be combined to produce well-rounded specialists.
Kitty Yeung Downer, an international speaker, and coach studied business in university “because I didn’t know what I wanted.” She discovered that traveling and experiencing new things gave her the courage to leave “[her] six-figure income to take a leap of faith and go to a new city with no visa, job, or house awaiting.”
Keeping your eyes and ears open for chances, as well as learning and improving in a variety of areas, implies self-awareness and confidence in your path.
Allowing for adaptability
Flexibility in life and profession may be gained by having a thorough understanding of several topics or excellent competency in multiple abilities. When Holly Winter, a self-employed seamstress, was forced to leave her almost two-decade-long PR position due to a breakdown, her “sewing pastime unexpectedly morphed into a bridal dressmaking company.” Winter had been sewing since she was five years old, but it had never occurred to her to sew for a job. Friends requested me to make a few items, then friends of friends, and so on. Having prior knowledge in public relations aided [my company].”
Ben Allen, a marketing and events professional, believes that “monotony is pain!” He considers his employment to be a “portfolio profession,” and he appreciates “being able to tango between marketing/public relations and event production work, especially in the summer.” “With ADHD, it helps to focus on several projects and remain stimulated with diverse jobs,” Allen explains.
Your consumers will profit from your adaptability just as much as you would. “Being free to pick and choose various projects or clients works extremely well for me,” says marketing consultant Andie Coupland, who “had a ten-year in-house career ascending the ranks before establishing out on my own last year.” Coupland describes it as providing her with “experience to many different sectors of marketing.” My innate interest prompted me to investigate how other departments worked, how marketing might assist them, and how they could assist me.” This means she can “now alter my approach to a wide range of customer demands.” Less pigeonholing and more adaptability to any requirements can be a winning strategy.
Excellent in business.
Companies want to recruit valuable people who can identify similarities and draw patterns, as well as people who are curious about solutions outside of a specific sector.
Cliff Gibson, the creator of New Key Homes, claims to have “no schooling,” but has “worked in garages, finance, purchasing, warehouse management, IT development, data architecture, GDPR, built [his] own house, and now runs a booming property development firm.” “My self-taught jack of all crafts attitude to life has put me in an excellent position to comprehend every function necessary in my company,” Gibson says. Catherine Bolado, a public relations specialist, concurs. “In order to deliver the greatest counsel to customers, you must keep an eye on what is going on in other sectors.” As a former journalist, charity communications specialist, and now public relations professional, I can help on anything from fundraising to digital marketing.”
Alex Yates, a web development consultant, has observed a shift in technology “away from highly specialised technical roles and teams toward more generic individuals and teams that are better at cooperation.” Too much specialisation produces systematic issues and results in departments that don’t understand one other, and it’s now regarded old-fashioned by the greatest IT organisations.” “The market is trending toward a bigger number of wider generalists, who can flourish in smaller’startup’ style teams,” Yates added.
Broader knowledge leads to increased comprehension and the ability to properly assist customers in numerous areas. It is insufficient to specialise while turning a blind eye to other influences. Range, advancement, and breakthroughs occur at the interfaces of specialisms, as discussed in David Epstein’s book.
Required for certain roles
Being overly narrow might be expensive in some industries. This is especially true in digital marketing, which is always changing. Heather Topf, a digital marketer, believes that if you aren’t a jack of all crafts, you won’t be able to succeed in this field. “Continuous professional growth is critical for staying current!” The next thing you know, you’re deep in data and learning how to utilise After Effects.” Topf likes the combination.
Working in communications, Katherine of Kattack PR “tend[s] to do social media, marketing, video, audio, picture editing, copywriting, site design, analytics, events” and more, but she specialises in PR. “No two days are alike! “Because there are much more generalists than specialists battling for jobs, I’m progressively specialising on related companies as I’m [only] three years into my profession.” Her guiding principle is simple: study everything first, then specialise.
Blogger Taty claims that being a jack of all trades helped her gain transferable abilities such as writing, web design, SEO, and languages and that it helped her “stand out in full-time and part-time roles and made it simpler to get jobs since I already had the precise talents they sought.” It made it easy for them to hire me since they didn’t have to spend as much time training me.”
Curiosity as a virtue
Bringing interest to every task improves your performance. “I put up my own business because I enjoy variety,” says Francesca Baker, a proud non-niche and all-around useful person. I’m one of those people that is always on the lookout for new things to learn and new methods to uncover how the world works. “I use that inherent curiosity in my work.” Writing, copywriting, journalism, and public relations are all part of her profession.
Hortense Julienne, a culinary writer, photographer, snack business owner, champion for rare illnesses, speaker on visible and invisible impairments, NGO trustee, community volunteer manager, and former event organiser, says, “I make myself dizzy, but all this information comes in useful.” You’re never bored since there’s always something going on. You can help a wide range of individuals and industries. You are a lifelong learner. I enjoy meeting folks who know more than I do and soaking up their information. She refers to it as a “unboxable chameleon.” It’s too intriguing to categorise, and it’s too cool to care.
Being a master of one thing might imply that you are an artist or an intellectual. Being a master of more implies that your work has a greater possibility of reaching others. You don’t have to wait to be noticed; you have the power. Having an excellent working understanding of a variety of disciplines is valuable, and people who hire you may feel as if they have struck gold.