Is everyone a Jack?

After a few comments at work today I was driving home with the thought that it would be so good to know just one topic inside out – to be an expert in a certain field and not just a guy that thinks he’s smarter than he his and has a bit of knowledge about lot’s of things – a jack of all trades, master of hee-haw. Just another one of my crap random thoughts that will stay in my head. Then I read Gordon’s blog and today of all days he’s posted about a scarily similar topic.

Even worse – I’m pissed off like him. I would love to innovate and lead in a certain topic rather than copy and follow which is one of my better skills (that and Google searching which sums it up really). Reading the comments at Gordon’s the feeling though is it’s better to be a Jack than a specialist. From a career point of view I think totally the opposite as I struggle to describe what I do which if I was a specialist would be easy to determine.

So anyone owning up to being an expert or are we all becoming Jacks? Yes I realise that this is open to abuse and that for most I’m an expert in bullshitting and for Robert I’m an expert in bullying and betraying at Halo. They don’t count, OK!

4 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m Jack… ohh wait, I’ve already covered this…

    Frustrating though, isn’t it. Every single thing I turn my hand to I’m reasonably good at, but there is always someone better than me, and frequently there are usually millions of people better than me… I wonder if it’s my competitive nature that is to blame, or whether it’s a general malaise and the start of an (early) mid-life crisis!

  2. I find it’s time and patience. I’m a starter not a finisher and there’s always something else to do rather than get ‘expert’ on a particular topic. Getting bored quickly is another trait.

    It’s probably a bit of everything – no one specific reason as it would be more easily addressed if it was.

    Then again – maybe we aren’t as clever as we think.

  3. I think the issue here is the definition of “Expert�. If you know nothing about a subject, then you might mistakenly consider someone who knows only a little to be an Expert. Anyone who really has a good knowledge of a complex subject would never admit that they were an Expert in it, because they know they don’t have a full and complete understanding.

    E.G. There are thousands of surgeons in the world, and hundreds of them could correctly be described as Experts. But in each field of surgery there are probably only a handful of individuals who would be judged as such by their peers.

    Similarly in the world of computing, to most home computer users you would be an Expert. To true experts you would be a Script kiddy.

    Instead of worrying about underachieving or wasted potential, why don’t you do something about it? Like playing computer games…….

  4. Can you be an expert in Bomberman tactics :-)? Agree on the definition though. If I was an ‘expert’ in anything then career options would certainly be clearer but maybe it’s no bad thing. Yesterday was just one of those days.

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