Vogelpath-De Iongh

Master a Trade, Jack of None

SpecialistVSGeneralist

We have all heard the saying “A jack of all trades, a master of none”. The obvious message being you can do a little bit of everything, but you won’t necessarily nail any single one of them.

The global employment market is booming, despite the natural and man-made atrocities plaguing News24, the world is speeding towards mass producing bionic-eyes, fighting crime with remote controlled drones, investors creating giant health and wellness companies and internet start-ups are becoming banks. There are opportunities all around and the biggest ones seem to be when you are first. When you are the initial starter of an idea, coupled with drive and never-say-die attitude, one tends to see a burst into the marketplace and brand instantly created. You would use Whatsapp over WeChat right? Well maybe not always, but you get the point.

What do you have to offer the marketplace? Do you simply have some general knowledge or do you have a special skill or experience that makes you as an individual special? If the answer is no, well what are you waiting for? Maybe you haven’t decided what it is that you want to specialise in, and while you think about that, some guy is being the first at something, leaving all potential competition in awe of their inability to have spotted the same opportunity. If you are to be valued, rewarded, recognised and remembered, the world will give it to you as long as you can offer something in return, and from an  employment perspective, this often leads to rare-to-find and highly skilled people, with a twist of personality.

Specific to the legal market in South Africa, the top dollar, status and prestige are offered to the elite few that either work for gigantic brands or have years of experience. Once you have had a general sense of the law, find something that you are passionately attracted to and get involved! Find the company, the mentor, the boss or the business unit that will lead you to gaining experience and expertise in what it is that you are interested in. Stick to it, even through the tough times and eventually you will find yourself on the top of the hill not realising how hard the climb was.

Specialisation creates trust. Simple. Through a series of unconscious thoughts like “if that’s all she does then she must be good at it,” and “No I’m not that concerned that it’s slightly over my budget, I know it will be done right the first time”.

Take the time to introspect, to commit to yourself that you are able, strong and intelligent. If you want to forge ahead in the legal market, you need to be the best at what it is you promote. Jack of all trades is not a master, for a reason.