How many times have you heard the phrase ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None’?
But what does it really mean and how do we really feel about being one?
For many of us ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None’, is a turn of phrase our parents used to use to make us feel better about not doing too well at something. But to be honest I’m not sure how much it really helped at the time, or even how much it helps now. Living as a Jack of all Trades can be as difficult as an adult as it was when we were younger; feeling like you’re not a winner, or a specialist in any field can grind even the most resilient of people down.
So, for all you ‘Jacks of all Trades’ humans out there here’s a few things to remember on those down days:
Give yourself more credit. Being a ‘Jack of all Trades’ is actually more difficult than it sounds. It’s not that easy to put yourself out there and take on something outside your comfort zone. Ok, so you don’t finish first every time and you don’t have the winning idea everyday but here’s a secret: Nobody does. The fact that you are willing to give anything a go is a credit to you.
Don’t put yourself down! The way you talk about yourself will affect how others perceive you. So unless you tell them, others won’t necessarily see the flaws you think you have. Trust me, you are far more able than you think!
People see you as a solid member of the team. Why? Because you turn your hand to anything and make it work. Down a teammate, you’ll play. Got a tight deadline and no designer? No worries, you’re there to pick up the pieces. In a team people turn to those they can rely on so being the person that can take on a variety of roles/responsibilities will make you a valued commodity!
It makes you stronger! Learning you can’t always be the best at everything makes for one hell of a resilient human being.
It is possible to be a Jack of all Trades and still be a winner. Some of the most successful business men (and women) have succeeded by combining things that they can do ‘well’. Maybe you’re good at making people feel better? Maybe you’re funny? Why not have a go at combining things you are good at to come up with your own niche project or special corner of the world?
Being a Master takes a lot of time and effort. Elite athletes spend years and years mastering their craft. And even they have days where they feel inadequate. We all have insecurities and there’s really no reason to be upset when you turn your hand to something on the odd occasion and do ‘ok’.
Maybe you haven’t found your calling. Being a Jack of all Trades doesn’t mean you can’t be the Master of one. It can take a lifetime to find your talent so keep dipping your fingers into all those pies and enjoy the journey. You never know what might surprise you next!
Other people think you’re impressive! Remember the coffee room chat about that colleague that’s good at everything? NEWSFLASH…they’re probably talking about you. You might not see it, but others think you’re doing great!
So, to all you ‘Jacks of all Trades’ out there, on behalf of us all – thanks for turning your hand to anything, thanks for always doing your best and thanks for saving our arse of numerous occasions. You’re amazing.