Becoming the Expert

Written by Julie Holmwood

Are you an expert and what could people knowing that mean to you?

Historically, it was seen prudent to widen ones circle of skills and round out your experience. But what does that do? Other than perhaps give you a low-level skill-base on a lot of subjects?

There is lots of talk at the moment about being known as an expert. A much used word in some circles but what does it mean to you?

When you focus on one job, give it your all, really focus on all of the intricacies then you will become known as the expert in that function or field. You might already be the expert at something? Do people always come to your for X or Y or even Z. If you are consistently asked to help with certain things then it is fair to assume you have a reputation for being the expert in that subject; even if it is only un-jamming the photocopier!

The great news for an expert is that there is always work. When you can do something in a way that no-one else can, or in a time frame that no-one else is able, you will be called on time and time again by people who know that about you

Maybe, at that point your only work is to get more people ‘in the know’ about your expert status?

We are noticing more and more people being called into projects to lend their knowledge on critical subjects. These people are always busy. They have full diaries and get well-paid. The reason being, their skill level is much higher on their chosen subject than someone with a well-rounded experience.

If you view expertise as a staircase, a highly-skilled well-rounded person might be half way up the staircase on ten subjects. Great for a small organisation that needs a person to wear multiple hats. But what about a company that is looking to hire for a specific role? Would the candidate on the top step be of more interest?

It might be that the experts are never ‘employed’ but rather contract themselves to various organisations, either ad-hoc or on a semi-regular basis. The likelihood is that their time is booked out.

So when you are thinking about which way to go next. Which course to attend? Which skill to learn? What to hone up on? How about focusing on the one element of your job that gives you the most joy? Become the expert in that?

In a virtual world anything is possible and your market really is as big as the planet!

Are you frustrated by your current situation? Are you really good at what you do but can't seem to make any positive impact on your success? Is it difficult taking that first step in the right direction? Do you just wish you could get everything to work out in life, as it does in your dream, so you can be happy?
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