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.


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