Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Jac(k) Of All Trades Syndrome

Hello and happy new year. I hope 2011 is starting off great for everyone so far. With this "beginning" often come new goals. Naturally, I am curious to learn of everyone's new year resolutions so please, do tell.

I have a few myself, one of which is overcoming the Jaclyn Of All Trades stigma. What do I mean by that? I don't want to confuse you here, I will always be the Jaclyn of All Trades. But we all know how the saying goes, "Jack of All Trades, Master of NONE."

Personally, my saying is "The Jaclyn of All Trades gets the job done!"

In this day and age, isn't it safe to say that we are all Jacks of Trades? Entrepreneurs have to wear multiple hats and perform diverse functions when starting up their businesses. Employees I know that work for major corporations are doing the job of 2-3 people. Many actors I know start off as their own managers and handle their own PR. So, how can we successfully be Jacks of All Trades that get our jobs done and break down the negative association with being a professional multitasker (especially if this is the only way we can survive in business now a days)?

The following tips have worked for me, I hope they'll work for you too.

1) Find an area of expertise that you are knowledgeable in that also has some overlapping functionality. For me, social media is the best example I can provide to articulate this point. I can communicate, I can write, I can be creative and my work has a purpose--whether that's building a brand or developing potential customers for a company. I stick to digital since that is what I know and can measure not to mention that it's FUN.

2) Leverage your passions to help you professionally. I happen to love performing, writing, speaking. I use my writing skills to create quality content for the company's I work with (as well as for my blog.) Another great example of how I have done this is as follows: my third year living in LA, I did a lot of background acting where I observed directors, producers and underwent the casting process. Flash forward to a recent project I worked on-I casted, scripted and field produced 2 commercials for a company campaign. I lived, I learned, I applied my passion and skills and my former company benefited in the end by having a tangible product they could use to promote their brand.

3) This next one is important. Finish your projects and tasks through to completion. Sure, it's great to be busy and to have a booming client roster. However, if all you can do is start projects and not follow them through to completion, you keep the "Jack of All Trades" stigma alive. Get organized, plan your projects out in phases with specific targeted goals, meet your deadlines and most of all finish what you start.

These tips have worked for me, especially while working under tight deadlines and wearing multiple hats. I don't mind being a Jaclyn Of All Trades, multitasking is my specialty. Granted, remaining adaptable while being pulled in a few different directions and managing long term goals is NOT for everyone career wise. Sometimes it can be stressful but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks for reading this, feel free to share with others and also comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Signing off,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

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