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The definition of an expert is someone who is “very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area”. To become an expert in something you need learn new skills, practice those skills and develop a deep understanding of a particular topic. This often happens at work. As you spend time working in a particular area, you gain skills, knowledge and understanding.

A skill is the “ability to do something well” and skills are an essential asset in our working life. We get so many opportunities to pocket great skills on our career journey. As we use them in different roles or even in different industries we forget how valuable they really are and how important it is to keep stock of them.

I speak with so many people looking for work who underestimate their transferable skills. What I mean by transferable skills are those skills that have been earned and developed and are seen as valuable for another role.

For example, I recently spoke with someone about her career across marketing, product and now human resources (HR). She suggested she had a portfolio career, which technically she did in how we currently assess roles and expertise. But in relation to her skills, she had some core fundamentals that had carried her through her different roles. She had great stakeholder management skills. Anyone who works in marketing, product or human resources are responsible to so many different stakeholders. She was great at collaborating stakeholders and taking them on her journey. She was also good at pitching an idea. The marketing role required her to pitch his ideas for brand campaigns and advertising, the product role also meant she needed to compete for project funding and needed to pitch product ideas and the HR role required ideas for employee growth tools that also needed to be heard by executives.

She was innovative in all roles, she was reliable, she was a planner, she was creative, she was strategic, she was a great communicator and she liked working in teams.  All of these skills were used in each of her functional roles and could also be used across similar functions in another industries. Her success in transitioning in to different roles was easier because she drew on her skills and was open to learning new functional areas to grow as an expert in each function. She was in the same industry and therefore had expertise in that industry, which helped his transition between job roles.

To become knowledgeable and an expert in different areas and industries, you need skills, exposure, practice and time. Don’t underestimate your skill level at any stage of your life. Skills come from study, new tasks, on the job learning, life experiences, sport, community work, parenting, travel and work. Build on your skills, expand your skills and create expertise in yourself. If you don’t know what your skills are then make an appointment with a career coach like me, tell me about yourself and your career and we can stock take your skills together. We tend to only remember the skills we liked getting or the ones that we are good at but it is the ones we forget and another person can sometimes see, that builds our confidence and rounds out our resume for career progression or change.

For a further conversation about coaching, please contact me: or my contact page. 

October 2017

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