Three Simple Reasons Why Being A Jack (Or Jill) Of All Trades Could See You Falling Down The Career Hill

On paper, being a Jack (or Jill) of all trades can seem like it would make you an appealing career prospect. After all, the more that you can do, the more you can ultimately bring to a company, right?

Or not. Expansive skill sets have their place if you’re working things out. But, if you know what you want to do, spreading your skills too thinly could hold you back more than you realise. Keep on reading to find out why that’s the case, and how a more niche skill set might end up proving better for your career prospects in the long run.

A lack of speciality

Satisfying careers aren’t built on substandard skills. Yet, if you’re trying your hand at every possible thing, that’s precisely what you’ll end up with. After all, no matter how talented and committed you are, you can’t be the best at everything. Employers are far more likely to value a speciality skill set that genuinely sees you coming up top in your field with knowledge, focus, and specific skills that few other candidates bring to their interview. 

More room for mistakes

Even if you’re okay at a lot of things, spreading yourself too thinly makes it unlikely that you’ll ever be ‘great’ at anything. As well as making you a less appealing employment prospect, going too broad with your job focuses leaves a lot more room for error in a role that you should technically be suited to. Your boss will certainly end up pretty peeved if they hired you based on your knowledge of Microsoft Azure, but they then have to hire trained Azure specialists to fix mistakes you made because you weren’t 100%. Equally, you’ll struggle to stay in a role where your limited knowledge of supplier software like Proactis prevents orders arriving when they should. By comparison, focusing on one or (at most) two skills that you understand intricately means that you can truly deliver on any promises made during your interview. This is guaranteed to keep your boss satisfied, onside, and more likely to consider you as a serious asset. 

Limited growth trajectory

There are a load of entry level jobs for people with a broad grasp of various topics, but career growth generally requires more focused skill sets, and the inner confidence that they bring. If you know too little about a lot of things, you may therefore find yourself stuck at the bottom in place of people who, at least to begin with, might seem like they know less than you. Even if you opt for wide-ranging broad skills to secure yourself a position in the first place, it’s therefore crucial that you buckle down, narrow your focus, and really think about the skills and knowledge base that you need to develop in order to get where you want to be. 

Knowing it all might sound great, but it comes at a cost. Keep your career from falling down the hill by avoiding being a Jack or a Jill of all trades if you want to sidestep these setbacks.

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