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How To Become An Expert In Your Field

by Lois R. Earles
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There are many reasons why you may want to become an expert in your field. You might want the notoriety among your peers and wider opportunities to pass on your knowledge at conferences or in lecture halls. It could be that you want to start a business related to that particular area. Perhaps you are looking for a career change, and becoming an expert will help with employability.

Alternatively, you may want to look brainy at a dinner party! Whatever the reason, becoming an expert in anything takes plenty of hard work and commitment. These days, with such a wide availability of knowledge, many of us are encouraged to learn a little about a lot rather than focusing on a subject. However, if you are willing to put in the work, here are some ways to become an expert in your field.

Make a Plan

When you set yourself a task as big as becoming an expert in a field, it is worth starting with a strong plan. Without this initial steering, you are unlikely to achieve the success that you are looking for, as you might not know where to even start.

While it is great to create a long-term map, it is also worth breaking this down into smaller and more attainable goals that you can tick off along the way. It may be that you aim to read a certain number of books or publish an article. Once you achieve this initial goal, take the time to celebrate, but make sure that you set another one, so you always have something to work towards.

Read About the Subject

While there are plenty of new forms of media these days and many different ways of taking in information, it is still hard to beat the knowledge you get from a good book. If you are looking for a few possible recommendations, visit this website. It allows you the time and space to learn about a subject in-depth, which you often do not get with other media forms.

If you choose a timeless subject to focus on, it is much easier to find books that are classics in their sector and have stood the test of time. However, some of the more fast-moving subjects may require you to get a more current book. While books give you a detailed look at a particular subject, you can also get plenty of information by reading online articles or following a blog.

Gain Practical Experience

While reading is useful in many subject areas, in others, you will need to develop practical experience as well. For example, if you want to become a leader in craftwork, you need to get on and start building things. You will learn so much from making mistakes and develop many skills that reading books alone cannot provide. Practical experience can come from the activities that you do on your own.

Still, you could also look for real-life work experience that allows you to work with people who are already more knowledgeable than yourself in the field. Even if you just start off with unpaid work experience, it is still a good jumping-off point.

Interact with People Involved in the Topic

Books are great, but they cannot give you the same experience as face-to-face interaction with someone who is highly knowledgeable about their subject area. There are plenty of successful people who are more than happy to take on a mentoring role with someone who is up and coming in the field. If you do not have any direct contacts in the field, you can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn as a way of getting in touch with some people who you admire.

While it can feel intimidating to send that initial message in the first place, you may be surprised by the positive responses that you receive back. Having the opportunity to ask questions to experts in their field already is invaluable and can present you with some answers you were always wondering about.

Accept That it Will be a Long Process

We live in a culture where we expect everything to be sped up, but becoming an expert is likely to take thousands of hours and work and practical experience, so you need to accept that you are in it for the long-run. Without this initial level of commitment, you will not reach the heights you would like. There will be times when you inevitably feel disheartened, but you need to keep moving forward to achieve the goals you have set yourself.

Take a Course

If you prefer a more structured approach to your learning, it is worth taking a course to provide a grounding in the subject. There are also plenty of specialized courses available online that can allow you to zero in on a particular aspect of a subject you are interested in. These range from full-length degrees to simple webinars.

Before you engage in anything, it is worth looking closer at the educational institution to determine its reputation and the level of teaching that it will provide. Bear in mind that experts tend to have focused intensively on a very niche area of a subject. If you try to be too broad, you will likely find that you move farther away from becoming an expert rather than moving closer.

Write a Blog on the Subject

Once you have built up your initial base of knowledge, you could launch a blog on your chosen subject area that allows you to write about different aspects that interest you. The great thing about a blog is that it is an interactive platform on which you invite people to leave comments and open up a discussion.

By interacting with other knowledgeable people, you help to build up your own base. At the same time, a blog is an invaluable tool that establishes you as an expert, which is highly useful if you plan on marketing yourself as one in the future at any point.

Keep Up with the News

While it is obviously important to learn about the prior knowledge that has been released about a certain subject, you also need to keep up with the news and recent thinking about the area. One way of doing so is by subscribing to trade publications or any magazines that specialize in the area. You could also follow social media pages that are directly related to the area.

Another great way of keeping on top of the current news is by setting up a Google Alert or similar function, so you can find out when the topic area has been discussed in the news.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts have seen a big resurgence in recent years, and they are another useful way of taking in information. Plus, many of them have the natural advantage of being available for no up-front cost whatsoever. This means that you can subscribe to them with no commitment and stop listening if you find them no longer useful.

As such a cheap form of media to establish, you could also consider setting up your own show and putting it out there to a wider audience. Again, this is a useful way of demonstrating your expertise to the public and anyone else involved in the sector.

Get a Job in the Sector

Learning on the job is a great way of becoming an expert as you are being paid to grow in the field. Of course, you need to choose the types of the job carefully. It would be best if you always are looking for roles that stretch your abilities. If you get stuck in a rut, it is all too easy to do the same tasks day in, day out, and not be learning much. So, be proactive in searching for new positions when they become available.

Start a Business in the Field

If you are not looking for a job in the field, your priority could be to start a business in it. Again, it gives you a vested interest in the subject area and a reason to keep learning more. Starting a business can stretch you in a way that some of the other options above do not.

However, suppose you have established a certain level of expertise by using some of the advice listed above. In that case, this can be enormously beneficial in growing your business and turning it into the success story that you are looking to write.

Becoming an expert in your field can be achieved, but it also takes a great deal of time and commitment, so you need to be ready to put in the hours. The list of methods above is not exhaustive, but it provides some idea of the kinds of activities you will need to engage in. Developing into an expert is not something that should be taken lightly, but the benefits that it can provide to your future life can prove to be invaluable.

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