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jack of all trades

Jack of All Trades, Master of All?

“Jack of all trades, master of none but oftentimes better than a master of one”. This is how the Shakespearean saying goes. The old saying simply means that some people can do a lot of things, but not do them very well. Whereas a master of one will only be able to do one job really good. Times have changed and both employees and employers have been forced to evolve and wear many hats at once, making many of us a Jack of all trades.  But does that mean we don’t do our jobs well? Definitely not.  

This may have been a negative saying in the past, but nothing could be further from the truth. In retrospect, a Jack of all trades may know something about everything, but at the same time, they are gaining experience and learning more about a subject over a longer period.  

South Africa has a lot of SMME’s and when it comes to startups, you can bet on it that a Jack of all trades is going to help you much more than a master of one.   

Let’s discover the pros of each.  

Jack of All Trades  

Diverse skillset: A Jack can bring many skills to the table. From graphic design and social media management to administration and office management, they can do it all. 

Long-term learner: Because a Jack has a large skillet, it will grow and develop over a longer period, making the Jack someone who is constantly learning.   

Excellent leaders: Because of their diversity, Jack’s easily become good leaders. This is because they have experience in many of the jobs around the office and understands the ins and outs.  

Master of One  

Expertise is key: In many cases, an expert is required. In larger companies, this is usually the case. Experience cannot be bought.  

Excellent productivity: Because a master knows how to do their job well, you will rarely struggle with their productivity. They know how to get the job done right – in record-breaking time.   

Can become a Jack: Masters may be forced to learn new skills in a diverse work environment. Masters are eager to learn and will most probably master their newly learned skills too.