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Are You A ‘Jack Of All Trades’ Or A Master of One?

  • By Black Life Coaches
  • /
  • September 3, 2014
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By Alonzo Kelly

While partnering with professionals and other job seekers to polish their resume, I notice a pattern worth addressing.  There are many questions regarding resume formats, career choices, and explanations of job changes.  One of the biggest questions I get however is, ‘Does it look bad if I have worked in a bunch of different places and had a bunch of different jobs?’  The answer is quite simply, it depends.  Let us examine this further.

If I practice one thing, one million times, we can agree that I would become very proficient at the task, or dare I say master it.  If I however practice ten things, one hundred thousand times a piece, I would be pretty good at a lot of things.  Some would even say that I am more valuable than the person that can only do one thing.  Upon further review however, saying that one person can do ten different things pretty good is better than being a master at one is pretty silly.  If you think about professional football, we ask players to play one position and become masters at such positions.  Each person has a role on the team and that role is critical to team success. If you find yourself with multiple jobs and multiple responsibilities, it does not automatically mean that you have no idea what you like doing, or that you are not committed to mastering a task.  Consider the following when writing your resume and explaining your background in an interview;

  • You have a transferrable skill that you continued to master in every job you may have had (strategic planning, high quality customer service, special food orders, special event planning, etc.)  It should be clear on your resume, regardless of the jobs, that you are passionate about one particular thing.
  • You consider it an honor to have been able to apply your transferrable skills in multiple settings.  It presents you as a person who is not afraid of challenge and can adapt your skills to the client when necessary.
  • You welcome the opportunity to learn from others and share best practices from your experiences.
  • Be clear that if the job for which are applying is not currently asking for the skill set you have, you understand how your previous responsibilities can and will enhance your role as a task leader and team member.

Having multiple jobs is not something to be discouraged about.  Remember the quarterback on one team is likely going to be asked to be the quarterback on another team.  Changing teams does not mean losing skills.  You have skills that you have acquired over time and will travel with you wherever you go.  Continue to make that point clear on your resume and in your interview.


alonzo kelly (1) Alonzo Kelly, is a member of BlackLifeCoaches.net and founder of the Kelly Leadership Group, LLC

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Black Life Coaches

BlackLifeCoaches.net offers Certified Life Coaches to the Black community that you can trust. Our life coaches and coach-clinicians come from all professional backgrounds, all training organizations and all professional associations who share a common goal of changing lives for the better.


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