We all know that one person. You know, the one that seems to be able to do whatever job or task is given to them. Even if there are experts out there who could produce slightly better results, this person just seems to be able to do it all. He or she is what is known as a “Jack of all Trades.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, but did you know that this is an abbreviated version of the axiom? In today’s world of specialization, this phrase is often used in a dismissive or derogatory manner, but that is the opposite of its original intent.

The original saying was, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” That’s right, it was meant as a compliment. It was a label placed on those who always seemed to be able to get the job done, whether that be in a backup role, as an operator for a temporary need, or a novice placed to get something started while an expert was located to take their place.

My wife and I recently met one of these interesting characters. He was doing some work for the owner of a rental unit in our neighborhood and spared us a few minutes while getting some needed items out of his truck. Though he had spent time and money gaining expertise in a particular field, he was now working as a handyman instead. When my wife asked why he wasn’t using his education to work in a related field, he responded, “I like the freedom and sense of accomplishment I get from doing this more.”

The owner of the rental unit views him as an invaluable resource. Instead of hiring someone for each fix needed to get the property ready for rent, he can work with just one person to get the job done quickly. He does a good job, for a fair price, in an acceptable time frame.

Sometimes we absolutely need an expert, but never forget just how useful a “Jack of all Trades” can be!