When does “jack of all trades” become “broadly experienced”?

I recently transitioned out of my most current job and have had an interesting perception shift since the last time I’ve done this.  Throughout my career, I have had opportunities to do a wide-range of activities and fill very diverse roles.  This has worked well for the small, growing organizations I have been a part of, as well as my own lifestyle and growth.  This did not work as well during times of transition when it was time to pursue other opportunities.

While my resume was full of successes and statistics, it lacked focus and singular, sellable skills. I was not a database administrator or a certified project manager or a business analyst, however I had filled each of those roles for some period of time.  The first time I recognized this, I supplemented my work experience with an MBA.  Re-entering the workplace in a startup as Director of Technology & Billing, as a doer and overseer, allowed me to leverage the skills I had.  This role further broadened my experiences in managing international teams, selling a company and global billing systems.  I would not have had these opportunities without the diverse skill set I brought to the table.  But this was a specific case of a specific company who was looking for my specific skills.

This time around, I feel the conversations are different.  I now have enough experience that my expertise is my diverse background in small and growing companies managing projects, processes and answering business intelligence questions.  I have found that the tone and questions I get from people during this transition are more about figuring out what interests me  and aligns more with my interests, than what specific skill do I have.  I am no longer the “jack of all trades master of nothing”, but rather someone with broad experience.

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