If you speak confidently enough on any topic, some of your audience will consider you an expert.
I once made an instagram story walking along a beach talking about sand dunes.
My knowledge on the topic came from a few things I’d heard growing up, a little googling for key terms, and literally just taking time to look at the dunes and the plants holding them together against the waves.
I then went to dinner with some friends a few weeks later, and was asked how I knew so much about dunes.
My intention had never been to act an expert, or to deceive anyone, it had merely been to inform, and make people think a little deeper when they next see dunes.
This got me thinking;-
I like to consider myself a jack of all trades. I have an electrical engineering degree and I have my own power tools for woodworking. I was a swim coach and then a project manager. I am able to spout random facts about all sorts of things. I frequently move around, between jobs, companies, places, searching for what’s next.
Like many of you, once I feel I’ve mastered a task, I start searching for what’s next. Onwards and onwards, ever searching for new challenges. In fact, so many of us do this that that there are hundreds of Ted talks on the topic.
But the point here is, by doing the myriad of different things we do, we know a little about a lot. And I think that is far more interesting than knowing a lot about a little.
I need to say here – I definitely respect experts. We need them on some topics to make the world go round. They’re people that are passionate about their area, and have the drive to know absolutely everything about it. But I think you’ll find they also know a little about a lot of other things. That’s part of being human.
Sometimes we don’t even realise that some of the things we know are worth sharing. What we may consider ‘common knowledge’ may be more unique than we realise.
So I encourage you all to go on out there and share your thoughts. Just because someone knows more about a topic, doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference, in your network.
And whatever you do, don’t limit yourself to only doing things you know.
Listen, read, observe, and keep learning new things.
Stretch. Reach out.
The old saying is ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have.’
I’d like to encourage you to ‘apply for the job you want, not based solely on the skills you have.’
Seek out things that you want to do, look at what’s required for the job, then go after that.
You don’t even need all the skills – in fact, it’s better if you don’t. If you only apply for jobs you’re already qualified for then you won’t have much to learn.
As learning is what keeps us interested, we then won’t be inclined to stick around long.
Find your passion. Stretch yourself to follow it.
You are capable of more than you believe.