There is a saying that “Jack of all trades, master of none”. While most people are doing well in their professional career, how many of them are truly an expert in their field? A study finds that one of the leading causes of high job turnover is due to lack of experience and expertise in the relevant sector. So, what will make a person love what s/he is doing? How can a person become a role model to others? And, finally, how can a person become a genuine expert in his/her chosen field? Let’s find out.
What makes an expert?
An expert is someone who holds considerable knowledge in a specific branch of knowledge. someone who is an authoritative figure in his/her relevant field, is also called an expert. The extent of knowledge and the means of their application determines the credibility of an expert.
Naturally, this is not something that happens overnight. Rather an expert only becomes an expert after going through a long and arduous process of proving competence and demonstrating exceptional skills.
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How to Become an Expert in a Specific Field?
Below are some of the means to become an expert. However, none of these are shortcuts, and all of them require long-term commitment and dedication to see results.
Practice Practice and More Practice
Malcolm Gladwell, the celebrated author of various non-fiction and self-development books opines that it takes 10,000 hours of continuous practice to become an expert in anything. This might seem like a pretty definitive way to expertise. However, a 40-hour workweek will still take 5 years to hit the 10,000-hour mark.
It is not easy to stay put in one goal. Most people will lose enthusiasm or get discouraged by failure. However, the key to becoming an expert is to bounce back from this and repeat until perfection. It is not just about practice, it is embracing a mindset to become the best. What follows in this process is perseverance, dedication, and a sense of discipline. These are the ultimate driving factors to standing out from the rest.
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Professional Networking with the Field Leaders
There are already established industry leaders regardless of the sector. These are the people who have shaped themselves and emerged as an authority in their relevant field. Networking with them will provide an insight into their mindset.
To become the best, it is important to stay surrounded by successful people. Every industry leader has an approach and growth pattern which makes them what they are. Engaging in conversation, asking the question, seeking guidance will help one to imitate one’s industry leaders’ thought process. Because adopting the best practice can develop a person as one of the most competent experts in his/her field. For more on professional networking, you can read our comprehensive guide here.
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Mentor a Mentee
There is no point in learning if it does not have a practical application. The process of mastering something is not limited to just learning. Rather, it is about perfecting the execution of the learning as well. One of the most effective ways to do that is to train a subordinate or someone looking for a mentor.
The sharing of knowledge not only sets up a mentee for success in the field but also helps the mentor to engrave the earned knowledge and see its practical application. It is a win-win scenario in every way.
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Practice Thought Leadership
How often is the status quo questioned? In most cases, the organizational culture becomes so ingrained that there is no question of overhauling it. There is no effort to change a thing or think of processes that might elevate the current standings. As a result, there arises a rut that ultimately prevents excelling opportunities.
A change can be initiated through leadership qualities, especially thought leadership. Thinking and initiating changes to the existing processes, rejecting the traditional norm, and introducing a shift from the standard practices eventually makes way for success. Because no great thing was achieved without taking a risk or doing what others generally won’t.
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Get the Basics Right
While running to change the existing process to stand out from the rest, people often forget that some stuff is better left the way it is. The change proposition not only looks silly, but it also shows a lack of depth of knowledge. And this is precisely what should be avoided.
Becoming an expert starts from the basics. As a result, it's important to hone the basics to develop perfect decision-making capabilities. Strengthening the basic knowledge will eventually make way for better opportunities.
This point can be interpreted in several ways. The process of learning and being an expert sees ultimate fruition when the knowledge is decimated for the benefit of the greater mass. An expert in a relevant field should demonstrate their expertise for the benefit of their professional community.
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They can be the torchbearer of change and influence others to take up the changing mentality. Start a discussion, raise voice and encourage deep-diving into a specific subject matter. The more there is a demonstration of expertise, the more recognition comes for the position as well as the relevant field.
Understand the Trends
Every sector regardless of the industry is dynamic. There is a constant change in day-to-day procedures and operations. It is an established notion that an expert is an unsaid leader in their sector. So, is it feasible for a leader to fall behind on the trend? Or adopt something that is already outdated? Of course not.
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A leader has to stay up to date with the changing dynamics and trends of the sector. This can be done through networking, reading, and analyzing the sectoral overviews. This is also where practice and learning come into play. To become an expert, practice the process of seamless blend with a changing environment. Because an expert is only deemed as an authority when they demonstrate successful transitional capability.
The process of becoming an expert is not a tough thing, rather a time-consuming one. It requires utmost sincerity and dedication to learn and apply the learning. The trial-and-error nature of the process means it will take time to reach the desired level. However, the effort and sacrifices are well worth it considering the benefits of becoming an authoritative figure in a relevant field.
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