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Jack of All Trades? Or Master of One?

In his lifetime, Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.

Basically, Da Vinci was a one-man wrecking machine. A Jack of All Trades

Four hundred ninety five years after he died, the world has changed so much. Yes, we still have painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, mathematicians, engineers, inventors, anatomists, geologists, cartographers, botanists, and writers (that would be me! Ha!).

But all of these tasks are normally carried out by different individuals.

During Da Vinci’s time, there were no computers and HTML codes. Heck, the Internet was not even conceived during those times. But if it existed, Da Vinci probably became a web designer and maybe a developer too.

da-vinci

Image from Biography

Now we ask, is still possible to have multiple areas of practice nowadays?

Some would argue NO. A number of people say being jacks of all trades is not recommended, especially with our times. What’s best today is to find a specific field, study hard and become an expert.

Some would refute and say YES. Some believe that it is still relevant and possible to become one. It just entails a lot of effort and time.

“Jacks of all trades, masters of none,” the congregation of the masses shout. But what really is better: become a this guy? Or become a master of just one?

Versatility Is the Name of the Game

designer-busy

What does being Jacks of All Trades mean in web design?

Being  Jacks of All Trades guy in web design means:

  • You are proficient in different aspects in web design and development.
  • You are adept in color theories, composition of elements, technical matters and more.

In web design, being an all-around guy means that you are able to adjust on the tasks a client gives you. Be it in simple like banner design to intricate jobs like WordPress theme development. As one of the  Jacks of all trades, you have to be able to deliver in the deadline you both agreed upon.

What Are the Trades That I Should Be Good at?

How does being one of the Jacks of All Trades play in my work?

Being a Jack of All Trades play a major role in how you manage your work. Now that you have identified that you can be good at a lot of things, you will be able to take on different projects concerning different facets of design. That means more money.

designer-on-phone

This is advantageous for budding designers who haven’t found their niche yet. They get the experience they need while being able to test out different waters before plunging right on to them.

However, it can be difficult at times. For example, you are designing on a project that requires expert-level knowledge or skills. Of course, you will still take some time to adjust and learn what you need to learn about that field and it can be very time consuming.

Master of One

web-designer

What does being a Master of One mean in web design?

A master in a specific facet of web design means that you are able to identify your skills and focus on specific projects.

For example, if you are an expert at PHP, then you will be able to narrow your job targets to PHP development.

This is also advantageous because you will have authority over the knowledge that you are a master of.

  • You are the person whom the clients run to when they need a specific problem to be solved.
  • They will always identify you as someone who can be trusted heavily on matters of great importance and specificity.

However, it can hurt because as you are mastering a field that you have chosen, you also tend to ‘unlearn’ and ‘unfocus’ on areas of knowledge you are not mastering. Example, you might be a hardcore expert in Typography but because of this, you lost interest in coding.

How does being a master of one field play in my work?

expert

Image from Flickr

Being a master in one field of design can really help you. Your authority adds to your reputation. In a career like web design, where it’s really not easy to get famous, being an authority in something is a big thing. Example, when we speak of CSS, we may list Cris Coyer on top.

Now, would you want to be recognized as someone who speaks with power? Master that craft.

What’s Really Better?

So, what’s really better? Be this and be just average at everything? Or be a Master of One, be the best at something and suck at other things?

The answer is be a Jack of All Trades.

tug-of-war

Image from Flickr

Being a good at everything is just the most practical choice in our era today. In the present, our world is fast-changing. The trends we may be masters of today may fade away instantly tomorrow. If that happens, where will you be?

It’s better to be good at everything than be the best at something and suck at other things. Clients choose people who don’t suck at anything. Unless the projects are really sensitive, they will pick the guy who can do it all simply because it lessens the costs.

In a world where everybody wants to be masters, the Jack ends up running the show. While everybody keeps on mastering things, Jacks tend to move forward and take what they need.

So, to conclude, if you really want to earn a lot, take a lot of projects, you have to sell yourself as someone who can do different tasks, someone flexible and can adjust in different situations.

In short, pick a modern-day Da Vinci.

Conclusion

Are you a versatile worker? How is it been going lately? Are you getting the same amount or projects as the Masters? Or if you are a master, how are things going? Do you feel better financially and emotionally than the jacks?

Do you agree that Jacks of All Trades are better these days? Tell us in the comments.

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