Everyone has a different set of skills.
I’ve been using Photoshop on a near-daily basis for a long time. So have some of my designer & photographer co-workers. But I know little about animation features of the program; while one guy has never used the filters. Another has found an amazingly complex non-destructive way of fixing color desaturation; while I like to demonstrate the “quick and dirty” methods I’ve discovered over the years.
A trap I’ve fallen into at times is to consider myself automatically superior because of my specific knowledge. Seeing that another print designer didn’t know how to rotate the content of an image frame in InDesign made me feel quite smug the other day.
The opposite situation, of course, makes me a little angry. I was re-working the treatment of a headline according to the Art Director’s instructions, but he decided to bring in another co-worker to help, figuring that this person knew more than I did concerning typography. And I must admit that this is possible. But I’m still cranky about it.
I figure that going through a lot of various experiences, at workplaces and other realms of life, eventually gives most of us the maturity to keep smugness and resentment at bay. Or at least below the surface.
As I continue my job search, it’s a constant reminder of what competencies I lack. Descriptions of what the ideal employee for the position would know how to do (or have a degree in, not necessarily the same thing) are daunting. “They want someone with a Master’s in Marketing who also builds websites from scratch and has over 10 years of experience in copywriting for Fortune 500 companies?! Yikes.”
Self-doubt creeps in, and I regret having focused so much in honing my print-design chops. “I need to learn everything I don’t know!” So I go through tutorials in UI/UX design. I read books on marketing. I practice writing.
But then I become concerned that I’ll be seen as “Jack of all trades, master of none.” So I’m back to wanting to specialize in the Photoshop work which I did almost exclusively for 8 years.
There’s many a balance to find: between pursuing multiple skill-sets and concentrating on getting really good at one or two.
Between appreciating the capabilities and different methods of others, letting them do their thing their way; and knowing when to share my own ideas of what might work better.
Between realistic assessment of useful skills I lack, and pride in all the ways I already know to create great things.
I’m still figuring it all out. It’s comforting to remember that I’m not the only one…
Well, that’s all for now. Back to pursuit of omniscience and ruling the world.