In this world, it pays to be specialised. Through my observations, a person would earn more when he/she is very specialised in his/her role. Society pays for someone who has in depth knowledge in his/her experise, because the supply is scarce and it fulfils a certain need in the society. For example, the society needs a heart surgeon to carry out heart surgeries for patients. No one would want a General Practitioner (GP) to do it. The GP also has some knowledge about the heart, but the depth of knowledge is not sufficient to solve the problems of the heart patients which the heart surgeon can. And because of this specialty, he/she gets paid more. In fact, several times more. It pays to specialise.
In university, I have been exposed to the concept of broad-based learning. As we anchored on our core subjects, we are supposed to learn a little about other subjects not related to our field of study. This helps to reduce our ignorance in other areas of life. If we agree that specialty is important, shouldn’t we focus our time to further deepen our knowledge in our area of expertise, rather than diverting our attention to other subjects?
Now let’s turn to management. They get paid alot. Are they considered specialist? There are 2 ways to look at it. You can consider them as a specialist in leading and managing people, putting resources together and direct the company to greater heights. On the other hand, they can be considered generalists as they need to know a bit of everything but do not really need to have in-depth knowledge in a particular area in the company. For example, a manager of a drink company does not need to know the exact recipe and procedure that make up the drink. The chemist does but the manager would probably just need to know the composition and also some knowledge in other areas of the company. If you ask me, I would go with the former – the manager is a specialist in managing, and that is why he is paid well. No everyone can be a manager and not all managers can manage well.
To be paid well, you have to be an expert and make sure your expertise is valued and is in demand by the society. But even the quirkiest specialty can earn a decent living. Even if you are good at killing insects, you can be an expert in the pest control industry (it just happened this example came across my mind while I was typing). The bonus is when your expertise is close to something that you enjoy doing, you won’t feel like working anymore. You enjoy learning more and further your knowledge in your area of expertise, and thereby increasing your income as well.
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There are 3 good reasons why you should be an expert.
- You get paid well which I think I have covered pretty much earlier on.
- You solve problems in the society. Sounds noble? But it is true. If you are the best expert, you solve problems that no one else can.
- You only have 24 hours a day, how many things can you do? You should just focus in one area and be really good at it so that you can achieve no 1 & 2.
What is your area of expertise? How do you increase the level of your expertise? What if you read articles about your area of expertise for half an hour daily? What if you get to learn from people who have more knowledge and experience in your area of expertise? What if you keep practising and hone your skills in your area of expertise daily?