I'm asking about someone who's employed by a company and does different jobs (both a qualified and unqualified person). Who knows; maybe in English those two are two different words? What are they called in English?

All I know is a navvy but that usually means physical work.

Let me just try a few things here. These are just wild guesses, nothing more.

  • odd job man/worker
  • shiftman
  • (unskilled) labourer
  • In software this would be a Full-Stack Developer. ie a developer who codes in all languages and posses at least minimal skills in all things software. Perhaps this term could be applied somehow to any profession? Nov 1, 2015 at 13:22

12 Answers 12


A person who can perform many jobs may be a:

Jack of all trades

  • 1
    My first though
    – WernerCD
    Apr 12, 2014 at 16:48
  • 2
    In the broadest sense the person may be called a jack of all trades but I highly doubt this would be the title of a person at a company or the term the employees used. I have never heard anyone say "Oh let's assign that to our jack of all trades". Apr 12, 2014 at 19:46
  • 1
    This is not a word but a saying, which has a second, more negative, association. (master of none) Also it is not unanimous across languages. Nov 1, 2015 at 13:26
  • @BenRacicot You are correct! Nov 1, 2015 at 13:31
  • I have on several occasions, inside a technical company, heard statements such as "Fred is our jack of all trades". I would not consider it to have a negative connotation.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 8, 2016 at 18:39

I am not big on jack of all trades used in a "company" sense. Not many people would say, let us get our jack of all trades to help you out.

I have heard one specific title given to this type of person at restaurants, construction jobs, and big company. The term is floater.

  1. One who wanders; a drifter. 3. An employee who is reassigned from job to job or shift to shift within an operation.

For formally communicating a person's role in the company, I would consider referring to him or her as a generalist. Contrast this to a specialist, whose job is defined very narrowly.

Our generalist, Samantha, is responsible for performing a wide variety of tasks to ensure we're shipping the best product possible.

Definitions: Merriam-Webster, Oxford.

It's difficult to imagine unskilled laborers being referred to as generalists and specialists, though, since being unskilled precludes one from having specialized in something.


Factotum, may come close to the idea . Mr. Fixit and Jack-of-all-trades may be considered also.


Consider the idiom chief cook and bottle washer

a person who does a wide variety of routine, sometimes menial, tasks: He's not just sales manager, he's the chief cook and bottlewasher in this firm.


Depending on context, consider "gofer,' "handyman," and "versatile/all-around worker."

gofer (or gopher): a person whose job is to do various small and usually boring jobs for other people.

handyman: a man employed to do various tasks (Collins English Dictionary -- Complete and unabridged, Ed. 2003).

versatile: (of a worker, etc.) able to turn easily and successfully from one task, activity or occupation to another.

all-around: able to do many things; versatile.


A Renaissance person is someone who works at many careers during his/her lifetime, possibly at the same time. The "Renaissance" part is because a lot of people (usually men) were like this during that period, such as Leonardo da Vinci, who was an artist, scientist, inventor, engineer, architect, and a whole bunch of other things. I suppose that, as it was a time of change, there were more unfilled "niches" for people to fill, and some people just happened to fill many at once, not to mention how low the barriers to entry for those jobs probably were, for a couple reasons.

We may be entering another "Renaissance", with regards to the Internet. For example, I'm answering this question on English.StackExchange, and I've answered several questions on StackOverflow, SuperUser, Security.StackExchange, and even Physics.StackExchange (although I haven't gotten money for any of them).


The OP included odd-job man and he is perfectly correct. It was the first expression that came to my mind as well. MW, curiously, also spells it as odd-jobman

a man skilled in various odd jobs and other small tasks

Another related term is odd-jobber. Origin: 1855–60


Dogsbody or Lackey - Generally used to mean someone who is told to do all the jobs no-one else wants to do, skilled or unskilled.


You can call such a person a one-man band. This expression emphasizes that the different jobs are performed simultaneously or nearly simultaneously while avoiding the possibly negative connotations of jack of all trades (jack of all trades, master of none).


If what you need is not strictly an adjective, then the expression "he wears many hats" could fit your needs.


A term that will specifically imply a person who not only does different jobs, but is fluent at them would be a "POLYMATH"

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