Jack of all Trades

Despite the saying, a varied skill set may be more valuable than a highly specialised one.

Jack of all Trades

Over the last few weekends, I turned some left over wooden railway sleepers from the kids’ treehouse project into kitchen benches. It was the first time I made benches. Or used resin. Or Osmo Poloyx.

I could have bought some from Ikea. They wouldn’t be as nice (or probably even real wood). I could probably even have had some made by a joiner or cabinet maker. If I included the cost of my own time it would still have been cheaper.

But to my mind that misses the point. I’m rather a fan of this quote:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  - Robert A Heilen

In my experience multi-faceted people, with many skills, and the ability and willingness to acquire more are far more valuable than highly specialised individuals who refuse to broaden their horizons.

Not only that, but I’ve had some of my best “work” ideas when working on something completely unrelated. 

And then there’s fact that maintaining neurological plasticity is going to be a whole lot easier if you’re doing it in multiple aspects of your life and not just when you’re forced to at work.

Something to think about if you’re hiring right now,