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It’s better to be a jack-of-all-trades than a master-of-one. This is the position informed by the set of my life experiences, and it has been rather convincing.

I, however, don’t think this has always been the case. Technology, it’s accessibility and effectiveness, are critical determinants. If it is easily accessible and works effectively, I think it better to be a jack-of-all-trades; if it is not accessible nor effective, it would be better to be a master-of-one. This line of thinking, however, is based from an economic perspective.

Being well-versed in a number of areas is plainly more fun. Imagine if you were confined to only do or specialise in one thing for the rest of your life. Most would deem that a prison sentence more than a vocation. (Un)conventional wisdom says that you can start a new career every seven years while conventional wisdom says variety is the spice of life. If the goal is to optimise wellbeing, happiness, or some other crude proxy for a good life, learning to be a jack-of-all trades seems a reasonable approach.

In the working world, there is an argument to be made that jack-of-all-trades are more sought after. Put simply, the resultant output of a combination of unique and uncommon experiences leads to new insights and an edge. Learning one thing well means that the person is only comfortable with one way of thinking. If, however someone is a dancer, writer, runner, and sales manager, they have four distinct ways of thinking with which to approach each area.

Possessing multiple ways of seeing the world not only is advantageous for one’s career, but for solving problems in general. Empathy would grow simply because jack-of-all-trades have more things through which they can connect and identify with. It is a numbers game at that point.


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