#JongStemme: An expert in everything is a master of none?

Henry

By Bianca Prinsloo

“An expert in everything is a master of none,” goes the proverb. This concept is perhaps a little more familiar in English as “a jack of all trades…”. But if you think it ends there, you are wrong! “An expert in everything is a master of none, often still better than a master of one,” says the complete and very well-known proverb in Afrikaans.

With the state of today’s economy, this adage is starting to carry more and more value and it is becoming more and more important to expand your skills and make yourself versatile rather than highly educated. The younger people of today need to start thinking more creatively and help awaken the entrepreneur within themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, a tertiary qualification should in no way be disregarded, but it often cannot be relied upon alone.

I, Bianca Prinsloo, obtained my BCom Law degree at North West University’s Potchefstroom Campus in 2022. I started my first business in 2020, Die Koekie Kan, which is of course a home bakery. In 2021, I started my second business, Grace4Girls, which educates primary school girls about their menstrual cycle and provides long-term sanitary solutions to less fortunate girls. In 2023 I started an internship in the marketing and projects department at Solidarity and will soon move to the occupational safety and health department.

Although this list is largely due to my lack of sitting still and a student loan that needs to be paid off, it is also because I realized that I am going to have to teach myself skills so that I can stand out from the rest of the 22 year olds who are currently applying do for work

Before I started working, my fear was that people would think I was confused or indecisive when they saw my CV, but I learned soon enough that this is by no means the case.

By starting and maintaining my own businesses for the past two to three years, I have gained knowledge and acquired skills in two, actually more, diverse fields, which at the end of the day count in my favor when applying for jobs.

My hope is that more young people want to take the leap and start that business they’ve been dreaming about or that more scholars and students will take part in internships and holiday work. The greatest school of learning is experience. At the end of the day, you not only find out what you want to do, but you also find out very quickly exactly what you don’t want to do. You will most likely realize that you are interested in more than one thing and then I want to encourage you to dig deeper and develop your skills.

Every skill you learn is one you didn’t have before and every bit of experience you gain is a school of learning that no one can take away from you.

There is power in being an expert and if you don’t dare, you will never get the chance to really win.

  • Bianca Prinsloo is currently an intern at the Occupational Safety and Health Department of Solidarity, while completing her honors in Business Management.

#JongStemme is a project by RNews and Solidarity Youth that wants to emphasize the youth’s voice in the public domain. Visit Solidarity Youth’s website at www.jeug.co.za for help and advice with your career.

If you are between 18 and 26 years old and want to write an opinion piece, send an email to jeug@solidariteit.co.za and we will be happy to get in touch with you.