So you have been working in the IT field for a while now and you have managed to gain a wide variety of skills and amassed a large amount of knowledge in your field. Now you may be thinking about sharing what you have learned with others but are perhaps a bit hesitant. Here are 4 reasons why sharing your professional expertise will help not only others but yourself as well.
1. It engrains what you know.
Ever heard the say “Practice makes perfect”? This is true because repetition helps your brain latch on to concepts more readily and the more you do it the better you become at it.
Sharing what you know with others will give you a chance to repeat activities you may not have a chance to do in a normal environment and while teaching these activities you will help deepen your understanding as well. Nothing helps deepen knowledge as effectively as sharing it.
2. It expands what you know.
Sharing your expertise means inviting a new conversation. If you keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, you may learn something in the process as well. Even though you may have been in your field for a longer period of time it doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know. Encountering people with different ways of thinking will help broaden your own knowledge and give alternate ways that you may approach problems.
3. It establishes your reputation as an authority.
If you want to be seen as a leader in your field, you have to stand up and be vocal about what you have to offer. But instead of telling people, you’re an expert, give them a taste in a way that helps raise their level of expertise too.
4. It increases your professional value.
When your expertise helps the entire team, you become a more valuable part of it. Your presence is worth more to the organization, and that can translate into tangible rewards.
Now you are probably thinking this is a bad idea because it runs the risk of making you look arrogant instead of knowledgeable. Sharing your wisdom with the people around you is not an activity born from the ego. It’s about being of service. It’s about them, not you. Giving, not gloating.
Now that we’ve gone over a few reasons to share your expertise with others you may be wondering where to start. Here are a few ways to share your professional expertise comfortably and easily.
1. Become a Mentor
There’s no shortage of young professionals looking for guidance. When you see a newbie with potential but in need of support, take that person under your wing. Share the hard-earned lessons you’ve collected over the years.
At the same time, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. After all, the best part about mentorship is that both people learn equally. As a mentor, you’ll gain a new perspective about the work you do. Your mentee’s youthful inexperience can actually provide you with a wealth of powerful insight…if you’re open to it.
The written word is always a wonderful tool for reaching others. Consider writing an article for a publication catering to your industry or profession, or maybe even start a blog. Nothing is more empowering than putting your thoughts out there for the world to see. The Internet attracts a global audience and there are many people out there who are searching for answers to questions that you can help.
A few bylines can quickly elevate your professional visibility and shape your reputation as a leader in your field. Just be sure that whatever you put into writing is something you stand by wholeheartedly and are proud of as it creates a permanent record that can and will follow you for the rest of your career.
3. Train Others
Offer to present on a topic of interest at a local industry conference or meeting of your professional association. Host a lunch and learn event at your company. Present what you know with confidence, in a way that engages and enlightens your audience. Remember not to talk “down” to people; as the instructor, part of your role is to tap the wisdom in the room. Open the conversation so others can share their expertise as well. Don’t presume you’re the only one with something to say.
Training others in any setting, big or small, will help boost your public speaking skills (incredibly valuable for any profession) and position you as an authority. Just like writing, standing in front of a room creates automatic credibility.
4. Be a Resource
When you read an exceptionally helpful article, stumble upon a useful new piece of information, or find a more effective way of doing things, don’t keep it to yourself. Each and every day, you likely have something worthwhile to share that could be beneficial to your colleagues. You don’t have to wait for a formal training session or an explicit request for help.
Imagine if one of your colleagues did this for you. How would you feel? How would you view that person? Your small gesture can positively influence someone’s entire career. It’s definitely worth the few minutes required.
5. Take the Lead
If you have special expertise that could be beneficial to a particular task or project, don’t be afraid to take the reins. It is often the case where highly experienced professionals don’t want the responsibility of leadership, so they sit back and keep their knowledge to themselves. The whole direction of the project will be changed under competent leadership and won’t need to be put on hold while everyone spends their time fixing mistakes and inefficiencies that could have been avoided in the first place.