Jack-Of-All-Trades

I have proudly stated here that I am a Jack-of-all-trades. I know a little bit about many different topics but that does not mean I can’t know a lot about a few of them. This brings up the idea of finding your passion and how I have changed my view of that. That is what this post is all about.

I don’t remember when I came across the TV show RoadTrip Nation. It is a PBS series about a group of young people who travel in a green RV across the country trying to find their passion. They talk with a wide variety of entrepreneurs that range from tech companies to artist initiatives. When I discovered Roadtrip Nation it brought back how unprepared I was for choosing my future occupation.

I went to high school in a small rural town in the 1960s and my “guidance counselor” who was the agriculture teacher and FFA leader decided that I should go into farming. Of course, he said that as that was about the only thing he knew anything about. I quickly discounted that possibility as I had no interest whatsoever in being a farmer. Long story short, I ended up blindly choosing Electrical Engineering because that is what Dad dreamed of being. Little did I know at the time that was a mistake.

Getting back to the topic at hand, it would have been great if I had been exposed to more fields of endeavor during those years. I might have actually chosen something that I was more attuned to. But in reality the field my personality and Aspie traits were aligned with had yet to be created. It would take another two decades before that happened.

But you have to understand how things were in the 1960. I know it is hard to believe but people almost always expected to find the right company and then to work for them for the next thirty years and that is what I did. I was one of the last few who actually managed that.

In many ways I envy those today that will change jobs on average every seven years. I know that makes the job security almost nonexistent but it also allowed them to regularly determine if a change of direction is needed.

Finally, getting to the point, I think it is better to first be a jack of all trades and then choosing the one where you want to be the master. Of course this would likely require that you would need new training and mentors; I kinda think that will be the standard for work in the 21st century. Always learning, always being prepared to change ships for better opportunities and interests. While that is threatening to many it is a challenge to those who have the confidence in their abilities.