Yesterday I watched oDesk youtube video and man said: don't search for jack of all trades.
Quite often people ask for something like this:
"You should have a strong background in US business topics and team building themes as well as exceptional PowerPoint skills."
How reasonable is this?
To want to have an artist / designer and a business mastermind all in once? Do they even know what "strong" and "exceptional" mean?
Do you ever apply to such job posts or just skip them?
I don't know anything about this video or what the person in the video is talking about.
But as to the point: "don't search for jack of all trades."
Well, yeah. If you're doing serious business, then you hire specialists who are highly proficient in their respective fields.
If you just have a little hobby website or project, like "My Dog Fido's Favorite Things Blog," then a jack-of-all-trades is totally fine.
re: "You should have a strong background in US business topics and team building themes as well as exceptional PowerPoint skills." How reasonable is this?
How reasonable is this? That's fine. This only specifies three different skills:
- U.S. business topics
- team building themes
I'm sure there are lots of people who are quite competent in all three of these skills. There is even quite a bit of synergy between these three skills. Asking for these three skills strikes me as very reasonable and does certainly not constitute searching for a "jack-of-all-trades."
I often see requests for an ebook to be proofread, edited, then formatted for publication on every kind of ebook platform known. I often reply and point out that proofreading/editing and fornatting/design for publishing are totally different skills, and they may be better off looking for two specialists. One or two have agreed to that and let me do the proofing and editing plus basic "clean" formatting (ready for the designer/formatter to take over). So Vesna, it's worth taking a chance sometimes and just offering to do part of the job. Of course, when the dreaded connects come along that thinking may have to change.
I can say that I have routinely applied to projects which list many skills required. Sometimes the client really is looking for a number of different people to different tasks, but that desire doesn't always come across clearly in job application.
Sometimes the client didn't realize that they need different specialists for optimal results, and they can be persuaded to hire multiple different people.
There are many things I can do, but most of those things are better done by other specialists, and a few things are best done by me. I prefer to work on projects using the skills I am best at, but sometimes clients want me to work on the other aspects of the project, even when I tell them straight up that I'm more expensive and less proficient than other people when it comes to that particular skill. (I don't adjust my rate downward for different skills.)
Sometimes they just want to keep their contractor list small and simple, and that's of more value to them than saving some money or getting a specialist.