I recently spotted an article on LinkedIn that struck me with how much it applied to Association leaders. A career coach noticed that when a candidate who worked for a long time in one company and had therefore taken on a lot of different roles and experiences along the way, a “Jack of all trades” so to speak, he or she had trouble getting interviews.
I can’t think of a position that’s more “Jack of all trades” than an association professional. Particularly the small staff association professional. Read the whole article here.
The whole thing seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Of course you want to grow and develop as many skills as you can, both personally and professionally. It’s the path to being a well-rounded professional, able to answer whatever is thrown at them, and with the ability to take on true challenges presented by members.
However the idiom isn’t just “Jack of all trades.” The complete idiom is “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Do you find that true? If someone asked you in a job interview what is the one thing at which you truly excel, what’s your answer?
The article goes on to provide tips for appropriately displaying and even compartmentalizing your skills to look better for future career potential.
Here’s the biggest take-away (I feel) from the article: become a “Swiss Army Knife” of skills. Be totally aware of what your skills are and when they’re needed. If you are seeking a new position, line up specific examples of when your variety of skills has been handy for a specific challenge. And then rather than leave your skills displayed out, neatly put the skill back and be aware that you can access it at any time.
Finally, your wide range of skills is a great thing. Be proud and make sure your resume is up-to-date and accessible. Be proud and aware of the skills you can consider yourself to have mastered!
Speaking of skills, “Social Media Management” is one of the top ten skills of 2014. Can you say that’s on your skill list? If not, why not check out our free ebook for some helpful hints and tips to get started on another new skill?