What are the typical skills of a "Jack of all Trades"? Do they have limits?
The typical traites of a "Jack of all trades" person is that they poses a wide breadth of knowledge and ability but very little depth. An example would be someone who knows a little bit of several programming languages but not enough of any one language to build a complete application. The obvious limit is an inability to excel in a career that demands deep understanding in one or more skills. I found this to be true with working in IT technical support. Since we had to support all of the company products most of us knew a little bit of all of our products. If we needed in depth information we had to refer to the programming team for the specific application we needed assistance with.
Interesting question J.S.Matthew. There is a saying I've heard that goes, "jack of all trades, master of none." As Lucidwarrior says, a jack of all trades is someone who should have a wide breadth of knowledge and ability. A good place where you can find jack of all trades is in the world of diplomacy.
While diplomats will tend to have a particular area of specialization, the demands of the career also require them to at least be a jack of all trades. Especially for countries with limited resources, their diplomatic missions overseas in some places will have a limited staff complement. This sometimes means that an officer and/or staff in an Embassy sometimes find themselves dealing with issues involving economic matters, political/security issues, cultural affairs, etc. As for limits, well this is good only to the point where they can initiate an understanding or commitment to cooperate or work on a particular area of interest. When it comes to working out the technical details, the entry of specialists and technical experts are usually required and brought into the process.
I am an RN who spent the majority of my 30+ years in Pediatrics,15 of those years in Neonatal Intensive Care. Now I am a Home Health Nurse who cares for patients whose age group spans infancy to Geriatrics. As you can imagine the medical issues are of a wide variety. My knowledge base has increased tremendously and I really enjoy what I am doing but even though I have been out in the field for 15 years I feel like a "Jack of all Trades" because I am no longer specializing in Pediatrics.
The typical skills of a "Jack of all Trades" is the ability to be curious, a fast learner and a keen attitude to learning which is what makes him able to learn many trades but he does have a limit and that is that he is no master of any trade.
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