We all know and value this employee: the Jack of all trades. Jack is a true multi tasker - someone who knows a bit about a lot of things, and is readily available to jump in and contribute to whatever project we put in front of him. Gotta love a guy this handy!
However, what about the 'master of none' part - does too much dabbling prevent us from acquiring specialized skills? Is there a choice to be made here? And if so, how many Jacks do we want working for us, and when is it time to call in the specialists?
Now, the specialist is in many ways Jacks mirror image: A single tasker and virtuoso - someone who knows a lot about a few things. Do we love him as much as Jack? I think we do. After all, the specialist comes with a a particular set of refined skills which makes him a valuable asset. Provided, of course, he is at the right place in the right time.
Certain projects, tasks, timings - they may call for a specialist and his skills, which make Jack seem like a dilettante. Luckily, there is plenty room and potential in all of us to embrace both roles: In today's competitive market, I feel all of us need to branch out and dabble to juggle the multitude of expectations, while working towards attaining a specialized skill-set that will give us the competitive edge we need.