What am I capable of? And do I need to be an expert for you to hire me?
That is a great question and not one that I believe can be answered fully via a Resume.
I often hear myself saying, “I am a Jack of all trades, Master of none”. I ask myself,
Is that a cop out? Is that true? How many people are truly an expert in their field? How many people simply promote themselves to believe, and have you believe, they are an expert? And does it really matter anyway? As long as we have the capacity to learn, listen, overcome fears, build resilience, and give something “a red hot go”?
So, here I am, a mother and wife at 51 with two children, looking for interesting, fulfilling and well-paid work having resigned from my job in March this year and ready to give IT “a red hot go”.
Immediate question – Why would a mother resign from a good job if she has two teenage children?
Because her mother was dying so she decided her time would best be spent helping the family care for her at home.
Interviewer’s possible thoughts: who does that? No immediate income? Risky? Selfish? Lying? Awkward conversation? Fired from previous role?
Reality under the circumstances: brave; decisive; can prioritise under pressure; caring; empathetic; teacher (and remotely); ability to learn new skills;, delegator (and again remotely); organised; achieves results under pressure; interacts effectively with new people; public speaking experience; administrative genius; capacity to find solutions in very trying circumstances…
Am I nurse: NO. Am I a funeral director: NO. Am I a qualified teacher: NO. Am I a psychologist: NO. Am I an expert events organiser: NO. Am I a CEO: NO. Am I a Jack of all trades, Master of none – well, YES. Does this mean I do things half-heartedly? NO.
My career spans 30 years in many rewarding positions where I have met numerous wonderful people, I have an Honours Degree, and up until now, have had incredible life experiences and challenges which have demanded ongoing adaptability, patience and endless flexibility.
My Resume includes major achievements such as an Online Manager, Website Manager, Digital Content Specialist, Senior Policy Adviser, Research Officer; Media and Public Relations Officer, Secretariat support to several Committees; Administrative Assistant; Editorial Assistant; Electorate Officer; Events and Conference Assistant; BUT…
My Resume probably doesn’t portray that while undertaking all of these roles, I was sometimes a photographer at events; I published live social media; I proofread the work of colleagues; I interacted with some very clever people on a daily basis; I interacted with some very annoying people on a daily basis; I undertook numerous administrative tasks in a role which may have suggested otherwise; I wrote many reports for a diverse range of people; I taught; I listened; I worked on my own and with colleagues; I learned on a daily basis about issues, people, systems I knew very little about.
My Resume also wouldn’t tell you that while all this was going on, I was learning to be a mother and a wife which apart from the day-to-day lessons of multi-tasking, domestic chores, and teaching, it includes the welcome daily reminder that I need to constantly develop my resilience. I have faults (many, my teenage children would say), but, the best news is, I can continue to improve as an individual, a mother, a wife, a colleague, a friend and an individual because I am reminded of these flaws regularly. It’s an on-site human resource course available to me daily and it’s free.
My Resume wouldn’t really explain just how much volunteer work I have undertaken. Some of it to be part of my children’s lives and other work because of my beliefs. This work, on most occasions, brings with it joy as it means working with children and young people. This also means, on occasion, managing difficult personalities and their sensitivities, particularly with adults whose children I was looking after – THEIR children, THEIR flesh and blood.
My Resume wouldn’t tell you about my life experience – about the things I could control and those that I couldn’t. It wouldn’t tell you that in some cases I could have reacted better and in other cases, I reacted with such distinction, I should have received a medal.
So, where to from here.
I am a Jack of all trades, Master of none – and very proud of it. I come with so many skills – some from formal education, some from my experience in the workforce, some from learning from others, some from life lessons and others I have taught myself. I am willing to work and to work hard – either in an office or remotely – I can do both.
My Resume probably doesn’t tell you that I am ready, willing and extremely able, at the right price, to give my absolute best in many, many fields. My name is Sarah but you can call me Jack.
By Sarah Morrison, one of Commtract’s highly experienced communicators across a range of sectors, particularly in developing and implementing an online presence, and is based in Canberra.