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Jack and Jill of all trades

You will need to earn more to spend more or save more to spend more
By Narayan Krishnamurthy | June 22, 2017

The brouhaha around job losses and retrenchment in recent times made me speak to a few people I know who lost jobs at some point in time to understand how they managed that phase. Most of them had taken it very bitterly at the time, but on reflecting at the experience now, have stated that the experience was worth the while. Mind you, some of them are today charting their own course in ventures they would not have got into but for the job loss, and as for the rest, most of them are doing good, some much better than what they felt they would have, if they had continued with their earlier jobs.

The process of learning is continuous, but what one learns can be used, abused and scaled favourably. Today, multi tasking and expertise on multitude of subjects have become a common talk point, and someone being introduced as Jack (or Jill) of all trades is no more seen as insulting. This is where I would like to disagree, because there is a point in everyone’s life when one masters a specific subject. After that it is pretty much the basic knowledge which one builds analogies on.

At a time when one set of students are about to enter college, and another leaving it, my suggestion to them is to focus on at least one area of specialisation, whatever it may be. No, I am not influenced by the famous dialogue from 3 idiots: “Kamyab hone ke liye nahi kabil hone ke liye padho kamyabhi jhak mar ke piche ayegi.” But, it is definitely something that seasoned teachers and even HR managers talk about. None of them stress on this enough, perhaps out of fear of increasing competition, but to be a Jack of all trades you need to be the master of at least one.

Personal finance is all about earning, saving, investing and spending. If you find your expertise in any one of them and prospect, the chances of understanding all the other three is extremely likely. For instance, if you are an expert when it comes to spending, which is what most people find easy to do; you will need a lot of money to spend or you will be a very good negotiator to strike a deal to get a good buy. Any of these two is possible if you understand how to extract value out of every rupee.

Now, to get the most of every rupee, you will automatically understand the importance of earning, savings and investing. You will need to earn more to spend more or save more to spend more. And, at some point you will realise that you could invest what you save to earn more and then to spend more. These are all inter-linked. Master any one and you have the necessary ingredients to develop expertise with all.

To be successful in careers, as with money—you should be able to adapt to situations, adopt the new and learn what is needed. You will feel confident—with confidence and a wide variety of skills, you would always be doing something you’re good at, in turn constantly boosting your confidence no matter what you’ve set your mind to. That, in a nutshell, is what I feel I learnt from my conversations with those who have come back from a job loss situation to achieve professional and financial growth.



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