Developing expertise can often lead to extraordinary success in your career, business or organization. Not only will others turn to you for the latest news, but you will likely edge out the competition by being more substantive during meetings, interviews and networking events. It will also help you understand, fulfill and predict client or consumer demands. Here are a few things you can do to become the go-to guy or gal about a certain topic!
Know the Issues: Developing expertise is more than just learning about something; immerse yourself in the subject’s past, present and future. Expertise can be about your industry, specialty or field, or even something social or cultural. Stay on top of today’s news but research the subject’s history, analyze its evolution and try to predict its relevance over time.
Develop Credibility: Create an e-newsletter, e-mail links and articles to your contacts, or join discussion forums and blogs. Tom and Dave Gardner, founders of “Motley Fool,” posted investment advice online and it snowballed into a premier financial education company. You can also pitch articles to publications or websites like About.com or eZineArticles.com, create a profile and post How-To articles on eHow.com, build your own website or blog (try Blogger or WordPress), or start blogging here on Waste Time Wisely!
Incorporate it into your life: Join associations, unions, charities or organizations, and attend events, seminars, conferences and networking opportunities. Find a mentor and become a mentor when you are ready.
Join or Start the Discussion: Share your expertise with coworkers, friends, colleagues and even strangers at events or parties. Find out what other people think about the subject to help develop and strengthen your opinions. Collect business cards from anyone who shows interest in the subject so you can contact them if you hear or read anything exciting or new. And, of course, if you have a blog or website, be sure to include links in your email signature.
Jovie Baclayon is the editorial director for YSN.com and an expert in the experiences faced by emerging adults. To learn more, check out Jovie’s YSN portfolio and feel free to e-mail her! She blogs every Wednesday and Friday on Waste Time Wisely.