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
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",
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.
"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...
"Denis G." wrote in news:474bd85c-e86b-42f8-96ab-
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.
"Denis G." fired this volley in news:474bd85c-
Call yourself a "Universal Repair Service", but then narrow it down for a
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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
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.
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
in Basic, Karel, Clipper or learn another framework. I don't program in C but I
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
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
or bed a reciever.
Most days I just keep things going in a manufacturing facility that has both
What is it that you want to focus upon?
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.
=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.