Is it really that bad to be a Jack of All Trades? (I don’t think so!)
Does anyone else find it really hard explaining what they do for a living? Whenever I meet someone new they ask me what I do, and I find myself apologetically saying ‘well, I’m a bit of a Jack of All Trades’ before giving a long and complex explanation of all the things I do.
I used to just say ‘I’m a Virtual Assistant‘ or ‘I’m a freelance Personal Assistant‘ but I quickly discovered this was meaningless a) because most people have not heard of Virtual Assistants at all, and b) because it doesn’t adequately describe the variety of work I find myself doing. At any given time I might find myself creating a WordPress website for one client, whilst for another I could be researching complicated travel options. Meanwhile, it’s likely I’m also putting together newsletters, sending out invoices, developing record-keeping systems and carrying out bookkeeping for a variety of other customers.
When I explain this, it’s inevitably met with a raised eyebrow, and the question ‘so… how did you get into that?’. I know this is because they are suspicious. Most people have a ‘specialism’ – one thing that they are really good at and that they stick to – so they find it hard to understand how one person can do so many things without making a real hash of them (which I don’t, I promise).
The answer lies in my unique work history, which has seen me organising events in Bangkok from my desk in London, identifying issues in multiple offices around the globe and putting in place processes to address them, interrogating budgets (and then interrogating the people responsible for them!) and managing teams. Amongst other things. Plus, as I am certain my former colleagues would happily testify, I love to accumulate (collect, if you like) new skills and experiences and so have always been the person sticking my hand up to join this working group, or manage that project, or try to break the new database. There’s actually a snazzy new term for this that I recently came across called ‘multipotentialite‘ (otherwise known as a polymath). Anyway, regardless, that’s me – a true Jack of All Trades… and I don’t think it’s a bad thing!
So, what does this mean for my clients? Well, firstly that I spend a lot of time saying ‘actually, have you thought about doing this…’ and then putting it in place for them (only if they want me to, of course). But most importantly, they feel confident that they can leave certain aspects of running their business to me, freeing them up to do what they enjoy doing – which is hopefully also what brings in the money.
Bev has been a lifeline for my business accounts during the last 3 years. I literally could not run my business without her because she frees up my valuable time to actually do what I love…run my business! Lynnea
If you’re a freelancer or small business owner and you think you could benefit from some support, you’re in luck! I have two new support packages offering regular support but at a reduced rate – starting at £65 a month. And even better – if you sign up in September you’ll receive a bigger discount for the first 3 months. Get in touch now to discuss how I can help you.