Jack of All Trades or Master of All?
Recently, I had a very engaging conversation with one of my classmates from my software engineering program about what we wanted to do with our new skills. I explained that it was very hard for me to narrow it down to one skill because I have a varied skillset and want to utilize all of them as an asset to a company.
Shortly after, she sent me a youtube video of a self-made milennial who suggested that a “Jack of all Trades” was a resume killer. It made sense. She likened it to using a spork instead of a spoon or fork. It can do the job partially well for two purposes but not one perfectly.
BUT, what if you were a gigantic spork able to pick up way more than an individual small fork or a small spoon? Perhaps this is a silly illustration but I’ve seen many people be able to offer several skills in their job roles which they excel at. They are creative yet analytical. They are good at crunching numbers and can also create an amazing design for marketing materials. What if someone has spent significant portions of their lives on one skill, just to keep building on it with another skill? So, while it may be difficult to master two skills at the SAME time, maybe there’s value in those who have mastered several skills over the course of their lives.
To give you an example, my background as a commercial photographer is actually an asset when I design out a website. My eyes are so sensitive to colors and placement that I carry that over to coding. In photography, my eye has been trained over the years to sense great composition. I need to consider spacing, angles, patterns, colors, and dimensions when I shoot. Likewise, if I’m planning out the design of a website, I need to consider similar things.
To give you an example, the above image is a screen shot of my second project. Do you see the yellow logo on the far left? That yellow is not simply any yellow, it has orange and magenta tones making it less bright and more muted. Because of the skill I have in design and photography, I can bring that finely tuned eye to front end design.
What about in this state of the economy? Can someone who has a wide skillset actually save a company money in this unprecedented time? While companies are finding creative ways to cut costs, the answer may be to hire on those who have several skills to bring to the table. This is why “Jack of all Trades” kind of people do well in startups. They have the ability to do a wide range of jobs in a more affordable fashion.