4 answers

How does one become an expert in their field of work? (Maybe provide specific tips!)

Asked

As college students, we recognize that we must be distinguishable in our field, but many of us, especially those who are first-generation college students, are unsure of how to do so. Please expand on what individuals can do to become more experienced other than doing internships and working in their field of choice! #career #mathematics #careers #expert #first-generation

4 answers

Mike’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Every field is a little bit different, but here are a few things that I've done in the past that have been helpful. If I had to boil it down - and this may seem obvious - but study the field as intensely as you can; and surround yourself with people in that profession. Most of all...be patient and enjoy the experience along the way. Becoming an expert in any field can take years of hard work. Good luck!

Unless you are majoring in a very specific degree - make sure you learn as much about the field as possible before looking for jobs. I know that can be a challenge when you already have a full school schedule. But the more you know, the more you'll stand out from your peers and the less you'll be surprised by the expectations or job requirements once you start.

Leverage your network. If you know people in the field already - they can be your best asset. Make sure they know your interest (don't assume). Talk to those people and find out specifically the steps they took that made them successful. If you can have one of them serve as a mentor - even better. If you don't already have a network in the field - things like alumni associations, local professional organizations (specific to that field), or LinkedIn groups can all be a great starting point.

And when you do look for a job - Be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Look for companies that inspire you - even if the first role is not exactly aligned with your dream job. You'll be surrounded by people that are where you want to be and you'll see how they work first hand. Take on extra projects and assignments as often as possible. That's the path I followed and it's resulted in a great career working with people I enjoy and admire.

Updated
Thank you for the helpful advice!

Paul A’s Answer

Updated Yorba Linda, California

Hi Shakuan Mike offered you some good advice. I've personally have owned and read 100's and 100's, listened to many tapes and CD's of book on Leadership, Sales, Making money, attended a number of extreme!y intense personal growth workshops (at least 12), certified by 3 sales training organizations as a sales trainer, been in therapy for 4 years, completed a 3 year Coach Training program, have given 100's of hours of talks to business classes through out California High Schools, I am constantly watching experts you will find at u tube like Robert Kiyosaki "new rules of money" , Kyle Cease and Mike Dooley, etc; who offer a different perspective then maybe you received in school. The 20th Century mindset for careers and jobs is different then what will work in the 21st Century. Maybe the question you want to discover the answer for is What "lights my fire and turns my lights on" Read "Make The Impossible Possible" by William Strickland . "Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Tim." A paperback by Howard Schultz is an interesting Bibliography. My point is study experts in your fields of interest by googling them, check them out on u tube. I offered some of my journey yet left a ton of stuff off. Be open, keep exploring and remember the words to the song Row Row Row Your Boat. The best! Paul

Updated
Thank you for the helpful advice!

Wayne’s Answer

Updated Cincinnati, Ohio

Great advice so far regarding this question. I would add one or two suggestions. First, don't expect to be an expert in your field overnight (or upon graduation). As stated previously, that comes with time and experience. So how do you get the experience? Follow the advice above, as well as don't be afraid to do the job that no one else seems to want to do. Volunteer to take on that task even if you know absolutely nothing about it. You will learn more about the organization by having to reach out for help, more about the process because you will have to research it, and you will gain respect from those who understand how difficult the task is and that you were willing to take it on. I have found that those who take on those tasks often know more about the subject/operation/process than those who didn't dive in that deep. Change is inevitable so don't be afraid to change your direction if you discover something you like better. Be a life-long learner. As a life-long learner, there are countless opportunities to explore and experience. Good luck!

Updated
Thank you for the helpful advice!

Jon’s Answer

Updated Norwich, England, United Kingdom

I worked in IT for three years with no prior experience. The two things that helped me break into the industry were:

Experience from doing bits from hobbies (eg learning different web code)

Interest in the subject material - which lead to the hobbies and then job :)

Do what you like, but also like what you do!