The time is now to ignore what people mean when they refer to you as a "Jack of all trades, master of none."

When utilized, this figure of speech can certainly be disparaging -- yes, you may be competent and skilled at a wide variety of things, but surely you do not have the time, energy, or capability to master one particular skill. You must be sacrificing specialization in favor of being able to dip your feet into many areas. Sure, you may be good at many things, but that also means you can't possibly be an expert in one specific area alone, right?

The good news is that you can still choose to become a master at something, should you feel pressured by everyone else.

The better news is you'll likely become a master of more than a few things in the process of learning multiple things -- you are at a significant advantage if you are a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

Being a Jack of all trades does not come at the high cost many people initially believed. In fact, being a Jack can be a necessity, and can even make the process for mastering certain skills easier. Even James Liu, founder of Boxcat Games, asserts "You can not be a Jack of all trades without being a master of at least one." After years of learning and teaching, he came to conclude that "The process of learning, as humans, can be abused, tuned, and scaled easily," and obtaining near mastery of one specific subject involves building a "base of knowledge" that you have to build upon. In building upon all this knowledge, you "take one industry and mirror it into another industry."

As you become a Jack of all trades, you become more adaptable, are more prone to learning things at a better pace than others, and may accelerate into leadership roles.

The Jack, according to author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, is the one who "ends up running the show." Ferriss even brings our favorite Apple pioneer into the mix: "Was Steve Jobs a better programmer than top coders at Apple? No, but he had a broad range of skills and saw the unseen interconnectedness...it's the big-picture generalists who will predict, innovate, and rise to power the fastest," according to Ferriss.

In the end, we should consider how long this saying has been around -- decades! Perhaps even a century or two. Regardless of the phrase's actual age, you may have heard this figure of speech used in your childhood, a time that had fewer digital resources and opportunities to learn new things.

Becoming a Jack of all trades is now more easy and more accessible than ever before -- and after knowing this role's advantages, being identified as a Jack of all trades should be more desired now, too.

Published on: Oct 30, 2017