"Jack of all trades" business card?

Is it possible to describe yourself as a "jack of all trades" or a
tinkerer without evoking the negative connotations of those names?
Your thoughts appreciated.
Reply to
Denis G.
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Your question almost answers itself.
I don't feel much negative connotation with the term "jack of all trades" although some might. Call yourself a "tinkerer", though, and I'll think of you as someone who derives joy from turning screws and pounding nails without ever actually getting something to work. I can sympathize with that, but if I'm spending money to have work done I'm spending money to have the work _finished_, not just messed with.
Describe your target market in more detail, and perhaps someone can help more.
In high tech, an engineer who spans disciplines and who can ride herd on the architecture of an entire system is called a "systems engineer", "system architect" or other name with the word "system" in it. Effective systems engineers have to be "jacks of all trades" within engineering, although they're often "jack of all trades, master of one".
In home repair, a guy who can come in the door, fix a leaking hose to a wash machine, tighten a door hinge or two, repair an outlet, and clean the gutters on his way out is called a "Handyman".
If you're addressing a market that doesn't seem to have built-in monikers, consider using adjectives related to "versatile", "cross-discipline", etc.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
You said "business card".. what is the business or proposed business?
I won't want to pay someone to "tinker" (definitely not by the hour!), and I might rather have an expert than a "jack of all trades" (and master of none).
But if you are good at repairing stuff/maintenance, or consider yourself a generalist.. that might start to sound useful. Card, website (if any), brochures, personal appearance should all be congruent with some kind of overall vision and unique selling proposition. It doesn't have to be conventional, but it had better appeal to the potential customers.
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
In article , "Denis G." wrote:
Probably not, without the cardee being already acquainted with your work (assuming it's a positive thing to be acquainted with your work, of course ;-) )
That, and there are so may trades that to really be jack of all is a bit of a stretch. Just list all the ones you are half-decent at (and actually care to do for money - I'm good at shoveling horse poop, and I'll do it for my garden, but nobody wants to pay my rates for having their horse poop shoveled.)
You do ceramic tile? Fiber optic connectors? Underwater welding? Replace the jewels in an 18 jewel watch movement? Graft apple trees? Dig wells? Castrate calves? Any no's and you're missing a trade or two...
And tinkering with things is generally seen as quite different than repairing them - typically in the "messing about with systems you don't understand" direction, despite roots in "traveling fixer of metal items, especially pots and pans." And sometimes the "travelling" part was important to get out of town before any of the "repaired" pots could be used and the repair melted...
Reply to
Ecnerwal
How about "practical engineer" or "Mr Fixit"
Reply to
clare
Cross-discipline sounds a bit kinky.
So the rest of us are impractical engineers?
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
"Denis G." wrote in news:474bd85c-e86b-42f8-96ab- snipped-for-privacy@l14g2000yqb.googlegroups.com:
Of the two, I'd definitely go with "jack of all trades"
Then again, a friend of mine used to have cards that said "Dragons slain, maidens rescued. Special rates for groups." in small print near the bottom.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
I have known some profoundly impractical engineers. Not so bad that they needed cross-discipline, though.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
"Denis G." fired this volley in news:474bd85c- snipped-for-privacy@l14g2000yqb.googlegroups.com:
Call yourself a "Universal Repair Service", but then narrow it down for a reality check.
You're probably NOT a jack of +all+ trades, but you do a number of them well. List them. Hit the majors, then give a category like "Competent in all minor mechanical and electrical repairs", or some such.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Only to some people. Others look down upon service people like us. I'm a handyman and that's another word which gets scowls sometimes.
My truck signs say "Home and Garden Handyman; Hardscapes, Repairs, Maintenance", but the last line says "Wishes Fulfilled!", and that gets most of the comment by passers-by.
My recommendation is to find some more concise words to describe yourself. i.e: Independent Engineering Fabrications, Inc. Whatever you're doing, describe it floridly.
-- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. --Jack London
Reply to
Larry Jaques
And that's why my business is a "Handyman and Repair" business and my motto is "I can fix almost anything !" . And the business is starting to grow ... got kinda nervous there for a while , but happy clients are your best advertisement , and I'm starting to get a few passing my name out .
Reply to
Snag
I CAN FIX ANYTHING! (where's the duct tape?)
Reply to
CaveLamb
You only put half the quote:
Jack of all trades, master of none.
When I hear about a guy who can do anything, I am immediately suspicious, because if he was so talented, he'd be busy and not looking for work. No one, and this is MHO only is good at everything. They may be experienced, did some work in that area, or was just watching when someone else did it.
I would think better of someone who said, GENERAL REPAIRS. Or better yet, just put down what you really ARE good at, and stick with what you know. It's harder to get into trouble that way.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
By that logic you should only try to hire people who won't come to work for you. There's reasons to need to find work.
But some people are pretty good at a lot of things.
He hasn't even said yet if by "jack of all trades" he meant he can do plumbing, electrical and carpentry, or if by "jack of all trades" he meant that he can castrate brown calves as well as black ones.
In engineering you need a few people (I'm one of them) who can work across disciplines. I'm not the best software guy, I'm not the best electronics guy, I'm not the best mechanical guy by far, I'm not the world's best mathematician.
But when the mathematician is saying things in Math that only he can understand, and even the software engineer can't wrap her brain around it, when the electrical guy can't understand why the mechanical guy can't find a 500 watt motor that's one inch on a side and the mechanical guy keeps trying to give the electrical guy a mere five square inches for a processor and a circuit to control those 500 watts -- I can step in, understand what each party is saying and why, and I can either propose solutions or explain why the whole approach is a waste of time and money.
That's one reason a jack of all trades is good to have around.
The other reason is when you have some small job that needs a bunch of things -- say plumbing, electrical, and carpentry -- all to get done. One guy who can do it all can sweep in, get it done in a few days, and be off. He'll take longer at each task than the 'right' guy, but he'll just make one trip. He may not be perfect at each, but he'll be thinking ahead to the plumbing and electrical when he does the carpentry, etc. Insist on "specialists" and not only will it take more people longer, but the plumber will be drilling holes the carpenter left out, the electrician won't have a spot for his junction boxes, etc.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
You can not be a jack of all trades any more.
Jack of many trades sure.
I can wire, roof, plumb and do home repair but most of us can do that. I can also program in Basic, Karel, Clipper or learn another framework. I don't program in C but I can follow along and figure out things well enough for most purposes.
I can replace the ballscrew in your cnc, troubleshoot a tooling issue, machine a part, figure out plc logic, rebuild or program a robot.
On a good day I can weld, most days silver braze. I can mount a scope, reline a a barrel or bed a reciever.
Most days I just keep things going in a manufacturing facility that has both machining and assembly.
What is it that you want to focus upon?
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Some are imprctical, cross and poorly disciplined, though. :)
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
In the attic. (Red Green)
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
"Diverse Services"
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
I'm casting about looking for a job. I've been an R&D tech and engineer skewed to the material sciences, but I've never had a business card of my own because I've never felt that what I was doing was building a career. I've had lots of ups and downs (probably like everyone else here), but I was just looking for ideas for a business card when I network and meet people. I've read some good suggestions here, but I'll have to chew on the ideas a bit and see if something really makes sense to me.
Reply to
Denis G.
=A0I can also program
chine a =A0part,
reline a a barrel
oth machining and
I like working on new products, but I'll do just about anything to make it go and make it work. I'm not a true expert in anyone thing, but I like working between disciplines. I think that that is where the best innovation comes from.
Reply to
Denis G.

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