At least once in her life, a gifted person will be labeled a “jack of all trades.” This basically means that we are pretty good at a lot of things. In school this is great because it means we are involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and competitions. These can all be great experiences for students, expanding their social circles and building their self confidence. Many of these activities also build important career skills for students. Aside from all those benefits, the child typically has a really good time doing extracurriculars.
However, there is a second half of the statement, “jack of all trades.” The second part of this sentence reads, “master of none.” This is the tricky part of the lifestyle. Because a jack of all trades is pretty good at a lot of different things, he does not typically have the time or desire to become a master of any particular skill. This has good and bad attributes because it gives your child a variety of experiences and skills in which he is proficient, but few that have been given the discipline and time it takes to become an expert.
One problem I ran into in school was the fact that the kids I was competing against were not jacks of all trades; they were masters of one - the one in which we were competing. This was discouraging because it was so hard to beat these competitors. There has to be a point where a gifted student comes to terms with the lifestyle of a jack of all trades. Once he understands that being involved in a lot of activities means he isn’t going to be able to win every competition, he can enjoy being able to experience so much.
The reality is, all of these activities will directly translate to marketable skills. These fun activities are broadening your child’s work range and experience. At the end of the day, it is a healthy and smart thing for a student to explore her interests in a safe environment because it helps her discover what she might want to do professionally.