Which is better – Jack of all trades or Master of one? According to me, neither. Decisions in life don’t always have binary solutions as much as our brain would wish it would be. Life is complicated. Once you’ve neared mastery of one specific subject, you have a base knowledge upon which you can make analogies and mirror it into a different field. As James Liu, Founder / Developer, BoxCat Games, said,
“You can not be a jack-of-all-trades without being a master of at least one.”
Let’s look at the pros of being JACK OF ALL TRADES:
The biggest advantage of having multiple skills is that it makes your resume more attractive in the market. When you enter the market with divergent skills, there are chances that your different skills may interest clients and will land a good bunch of projects on your desk.
You can easily blend in any environment depending on your various skills.
Your multiple skills keep a constant flow of undertakings and you stay busy for most of their career.
Cons of JACK OF ALL TRADES:
Everyone has a maximum workload that they can handle. When they reach their full capacity, it results in work burnout and leading to a chain of non-productive days.
Exclusive projects relate to a specific field, require much focus, are generally paid higher than usual projects and are a gem for a successful portfolio.
When you have multiple projects to handle, you need to be good at project management, too, which is a skill in itself. With poor management, your career will have a downfall in no time.
Let’s look at the pros of being MASTER OF ONE:
Experience is your greatest asset in work field. Tasks can be done effortlessly when you’re working in the same field for years and years. It makes it less challenging.
You develop a specific approach to deal with the projects or work given to you. New projects easily get adjusted and enable you to stay focused without losing your productivity.
When you put a ‘specialist’ in your profile it creates a positive impact on the client or employer’s view. It adds a lot of value to your resume. You charge higher than what a general professional in your field would do.
Cons of MASTER OF ONE:
The most basic disadvantage of being a master in one thing is that you don’t have much to offer to your client. So this may lead to shorter business relations with your clients.
People who work in a specific field may get a project that requires skills more than what they possess. In such a case, they have to outsource parts of their projects. In such cases, you lose control of the overall quality of your project. This might affect your reputation in the market.
You won’t be able to expand the business without taking help externally since you are a master of one particular skill.
So what do you think is better – Jack of all trades or Master of one?
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