You Are an Expert, and It’s Time to Own It is a blog post by guest author Patrick Sweet, P.Eng., MBA
In the world of knowledge work, expertise is everything. Gone are the days of the master builder who knew every trade and could do it all. Employers look for people with more and more experience in smaller and smaller niches. Experts are linchpins in their organizations in every industry.
Needless to say, being able to lay claim to any kind of specialty is very valuable in one’s career. It’s something every engineer should be pursuing in one form or another.
Luckily, developing expertise isn’t anywhere near as difficult as most people think. In fact, when you stop and think about it, it can be very easy to develop real expertise quickly and to reap the benefits in your career, even if you’re just getting started. The only trick is to re-frame the way you think of expertise.
Don’t ask permission
The first mistake people make with respect to expertise is that they think they need others to validate them as an expert. That’s nonsense. If you know more about a given subject than 80% of people, you’re an expert. You don’t need to be in the top 1%. You don’t need a PhD. All you need is to know your stuff better than most people.
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