Jack of All Trades, Master of Whatever You Want to Be


by SimGHOSTS Board Member, Matthew Charnetski

“We are the sum total of our experiences.  Those experiences - be they positive or negative - make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives.  And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become.  None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will we be tomorrow.”

B.J. Neblett


Recently I was reading an article whereby the author explained how taking a motorcycle driving course made them a better driver in general (Just follow me on this)…  

As I reflect on the strange path that it has been to get to simulation, and even within simulation, to where I am now; I’m struck by the overlap of all the different paths my life has taken and how they all contribute to what I do now.

We have a cool gig.  Just talking about our field gives me goosebumps and butterflies.  And, just as importantly, what we do is something that not everyone can do.  This is probably one of my favorite things about our community.  As I’ve continued to reflect on this, and been working with more people trying to expand and enhance their roles, I’ve been blown away by both the paths that have brought us together and the remarkably diverse skill sets that everyone I meet brings to the table.

And the more I think about it, the more I want to encourage you all to keep it up.  Simulation conferences are great.  They tend to be pretty diverse and high yield events.  And I expect to see as many of you as possible in Miami.  That said, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities.  Professional development that can help you in your career is all over the place.  One member of my team is an SP Educator and is looking in to professional development on interpersonal communication; both for herself and to help in enhancing training for our SPs.  Another member of my team recently attended a course working on teamwork, communication, management, and self improvement.  Though it was very much not simulation specific, I can already see how it has benefited our team and improved the product that we deliver our learners and faculty.

So, think about what you do.  Think about what you want to do.  Be honest with yourself about where holes may be in your professional self.  And then do something about it!  Make a plan.  Ask around.  This community is filled with problem solvers and a diverse community that may have ideas that never occurred to you for professional development.  In the end, I would suggest that the maxim “Jack of all trades, master of none” is a bit short sighted.  In you all I have seen that it is absolutely possible to dabble in a myriad of things and still become highly skilled in whatever you choose to focus on.

Finally, my question to y’all.  What kinds of unusual professional development are you engaging in?  Where have you found unexpected benefit from colleagues or things from your own past that you never expected to help you in your sim career? Share your thoughts in the SimGHOSTS Forum or our social media channels.