Jack of All Trades

Jack of All Trades, master of none. The fountain of knowledge known as Wikipedia says this:

“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but spends so much time learning each new skill that he/she cannot become an expert in any particular one.”

This is me to a tee. My resume of life is such a varied canvas of experiences and qualifications that I don’t really know how to describe myself. Since I was a kid I wanted to be a Jedi/Break dancer/Cricketer/Hairdresser/Cartoonist/Film director/Script writer/Poet/Musician/Rock star/Journalist/Academic/Music writer/Coffee drinker/App developer/Record producer/Market analyst/Musician/Music writer, the list goes on and spins around in circles. I was good at cricket but not that good. I drew capable comic strips in math class but they weren’t that good. I made short mockumentary films with my brothers and friends but they weren’t that good (but stacks of fun). I learnt guitar and wrote songs and started a band and was the best thing I ever did, but it didn’t fully go to plan. And that might be because I didn’t think I was that good.

The reason I post this is that as I settle into Austin and looking for permanent employment (aside from appreciated temp work), writing an application cover letter or handing in a resume is a challenging experience. I have much education and some varied job experiences under my belt, but it’s so diverse I sometimes don’t know where to start. Employers understandably look for employees who can satisfactorily fill their role, so it can be hard to get to another stage when half of the requirements you have learnt and can contribute to, but the other half you haven’t experienced or mastered (yet). I’m capable of learning things, but most organizations want someone to jump right in and not spend an age training. That’s why jobs often come from a network and getting to know people, because as they get to know you they get a sense of things you can do and able to help them with. On paper you aren’t quite the type, but in person they’re willing to take a punt. But since I’ve had to make a network and relationships from scratch, it hasn’t been easy to achieve.

So the FURTHER REASON I post this is that I truly do enjoy writing and studied journalism and communications for a reason. There are music reviews and interviews which I’ve done for the NZ Herald and UnderTheRadar in the past. And I love it. I know what I’m doing. I’m not winging it. It’s tough work but I’m good at it. (Unrelated, but I’ve found myself reading music bios on Wikipedia for hours on end). So as I have investigated freelance writing roles the recommendation that often pops up is experience with WordPress and adding to a portfolio with blog writing. So I’ll.. hey, whoa, come back! I promise this isn’t all purely for practice. I’ve got WordPress down so I’ll post some of my Austin experiences, share work I’ve written for publications (I’m currently working on some now for NZ and Austin websites Ovrld.com), and it will be good to see if I can trade in my Jack for a King. So yeah… is the King the ‘master’ they’re implying? I could probably Google this but man, it’s all making me want to join a card club now. Then when I’ve found a game I’m alright at I could try my hand at the casino. Then if I do alright there I should probably be a stockbroker. And if I find I have a knack for some risk taking then maybe I could run for office. Yeah, I’m a citizen and all. I probably won’t be elected but hey I can write a book about the experience. Then do speaking tours about the book and the experience. Then write a book about the experience of writing a book and going on a speaking tour. Oh and then I’ll…

*June 23rd additional update*
This TED talk video lead by Emilie Wapnick sums me up quite well actually. Go Multipotentialites!

One thought on “Jack of All Trades

  1. Loving the blog Joel. You‘ve got talent. This is a quote from Word for Today that I read this morning: “Look at what you enjoy, what you‘re good at, and what God is giving you the grace to do…..Trust His ability in and through you, don‘t be afraid to be unique…”


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