How to Have Career Success (as jack-of-all-trades and a master of none)

Actually, you don’t even have to be a jack-of-ALL-trades and you absolutely don’t have to be a master at them. At least, according to this entrepreneur-blogger in a post about “skill stacking.”

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Photo by Gerd Altmann on


Foroux says he got the idea after reading a book on “talent stacking” by Scott Adams, changing the name as he felt the word “talent” implies “nature” or “a natural” rather than developing skills by nurturing them He uses his own successful career as an example, noting that he wasn’t even that good at some of the skills.

Like drawing.

And though he doesn’t say so outright, it sounds like Foroux didn’t intentionally set out to acquire X,Y,Z skills after deciding those particular skills were the key to success if he wanted to do X, Y, or Z (or in his case “blogging” and presumably becoming an entrepreneur).

[Though he does recommend that you develop skills in specific areas like writing and personal finance.]

Reading this I immediately think of LinkedIn and how those “jobs you might be interested in” they send out on a nearly daily basis, always includes a line like: “you have 3 or the 7 needed skills.” Which I guess means, you could research dream jobs on LinkedIn and then go about building a “skills stack” based on those skills that come up most often.

Of course, I don’t think those companies will be down with a person being bad at the skills they call for in their job description, even if you happen to have the entire job skill stack of the 7 out of 7 skills they are looking for.

On the other hand:

As Foreaux says:
How many people do you know who are not the best in the world and yet are doing well? It’s all about increasing your odds of success.

The other thing about throwing away conventional wisdom that says you have to be a master to be successful?

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Photo by Leo Cardelli on

You’re more likely to go for that dream job, start that business or do whatever it is you want and define career success, rather than wait until you have accumulated “the right stuff,” like that upteenth degree,  or for  “the powers that be” to anoint you as the next heir to the throne.


#TimesUp #Resist

an excerpt from the beautiful and poignant poem by Halsey @ NYC Women’s March 2018

halseys-speech-at-the-womens-march-on-nyc_elite daily
photo credit: Elite Daily ( You can hear her read the entire poem on YouTube).

Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale
And that’s why we’re here
And that’s why we rally
It’s Olympians and a medical resident and not one fucking word from the man who is President
It’s about closed doors and secrets and legs and stilletos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in ghettos
When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers and child brides cry globally under the covers
Who don’t have a voice on the magazine covers
They tell us take cover
But we are not free until all of us are free
So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly
Ask her story and then shut up and listen
Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian
Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs
Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues
For the people who had to grow up way too young
There is work to be done
There are songs to be sung
Lord knows there’s a war to be won

Winning Arguments Through Science

I love a good argument.

For one, arguments are intellectually stimulating, firing up my dopamine receptors to capacity. And they are an opportunity for me to engage in one of my favorite activities–at work and at leisure–and that is:


My. Dope. Candy.

Which is why, along with potato chips and chocolate, I maintain that I could never become a casualty of the other kind of drugs.

And just like I approach a good kettle potato chip or gourmet chocolate, I approach argument making with the power of vengeance.

Winner take all.


Which feels good in the brain, but according to at least one work colleague, doesn’t translate into good feelings in the office. After one vigorous argument, one of work colleagues told me that it was one of her least favorite things about me. And that many people in my office felt the same.

I’ve heard it before.

For a while I will try being less aggressive and more compromising. That tends not to last long. For one thing, it’s a lifelong habit. While it really started developing in back in 6th grade when I learned about debate, I think it goes back further than that.

And honestly, most of the time, I’ve tended to brush off  as a price of being in business. And pretty much unavoidable, especially if you are an ambitious woman trying to rise up in the business world.  And if you are an ambitious black woman in business, it’s almost a given that men and dominant culture will see you as “uppidy.”

Win Arguments by Aligning with Your Enemy

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

According to this article @Fast Company on “winning arguments without making enemies,” the secret sauce is in how you frame your argument.

In the case of same-sex marriages, researchers found they could move the needle with conservatives by emphasizing how same-sex couples were “loyal, patriotic Americans” rather than Satan-spawn.

They framed their position to liberals as one of “fairness.” Which to me is like “duh.”

But okay.

Feinburg and Willer [the scientists conducting the research study] concluded that to win someone to your position, it’s best not to challenge their beliefs but to instead connect your own position to those beliefs (which, obviously, means empathizing with values you may not share–often the tricky part). Doing this can help others see the legitimacy of your position and reduce the perceptual gap between your viewpoint and theirs.

This is advice that definitely plan to take this advice to heart at work.

But when it comes to other areas where much is at stake, all I can say is–

democrats vs republicans

We’ll see.