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JLeslie's avatar

When did you realize and accept you are an expert at something?

Asked by JLeslie (59833points) March 12th, 2016 from iPhone

When did you feel confident to say you are an expert at something in your professional life? To the point that you believed yourself to be capable of being a mentor or consultant?

Please describe what happened, and if you utilize and promote your expertise.

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11 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

With the deposit of the first check.

cookieman's avatar

I don’t feel it’s my place to anoint myself “expert”. I have a lot of years experience in certain areas and I’m very good at certain things, but I wouldn’t say I’m an expert.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m not going to go into much detail but when I corrected a prominent “industry expert” that was hired to consult multiple times for things that he really should have known because they would have been show stoppers. Our customers on that type of project came to me for all of the hard questions after that. In that area I can say I am without doubt or “was” now that I work in a different area of my field. Going from being the guy who knew everything to having the know how of an intern was not easy but the stress reduction probably added years to my life. Having new, multiple adventures and learning new things is much more fun than being at the top of a limited game anyway.

elbanditoroso's avatar

when I was awarded the Nobel Prize.

I wish.

It was when people started coming to me for questions and answers – not just people at work, put others as well, in my particular area of expertise.

Cruiser's avatar

When I made the decision to fork over everything I owned and worked so hard to get over the last 32 years of my life as collateral and take on a 14 million dollar debt to buy the company I worked for.

zenvelo's avatar

About a dozen years ago, when staffers at a Federal Agency called to ask me to explain the nuances of a particular situation.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

When I realized that I was one of only a handful of people in the world with a certain combination of highly-specialized professional skills.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

When I stopped having to sell myself in order to get paid for it. Now my clients seek me out purely upon reputation. Haven’t had to show a portfolio, or make a pitch in over two decades.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I have to piggyback on @elbanditoroso‘s answer.The first 2 years in my field I struggled to master different aspects of my job in fear that someone would discover I didn’t know what I was doing. I guess I must have succeeded because I gradually began getting visits to my desk from co-workers needing assistance. I even got a verbal reprimand for receiving too many visits to my desk, but I rarely turned away requests for help. Most startling was receiving occasional out of state requests via phone or email. (Amazing how your work performance gets around…!)

Eventually I was requested to mentor. Quite intimidating because I feared I would learn from my peers I still had much more to learn. This proved to not be the case. In fact, it became quickly apparent that other employees selected to mentor and teach weren’t qualified to do either. I participated in several awkward meetings with managers trying to explain why I believed students were being taught erroneous information. That is, after being reprimanded for advising students with procedure that contradicted what was taught in class.

I eventually taught classes myself. I’ve since lost whatever enthusiasm I had for mentoring upon realizing my organization was more interested in simply documenting employees were being trained instead of ensuring the training received was being accurately applied to the work at hand.

At present, I’m resisting pleas from management to teach an upcoming class as I’m the only one they feel confident enough to teach our new employees. They probably should have thought of that when I was pleading with them to stop the practice of allowing unqualified students to pass and to begin monitoring the quality of work performed. They ignored me, so they have a staff full of incompetent employees, and no one (but me, apparently) qualified to train new employees.

Anyway, that’s why I feel I’m an expert at my job.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s an awakening experience when you find out that a good number of people that are supposed to be at the top of the game when it comes to skill and knowledge are actually incompetent at their jobs but competent at being politicians.

Mariah's avatar

Whew great question. I know I am good at quite a few things but I won’t claim expert status. I’m not sure if this is actually correlated with my skill level or if it has more to do with my confidence. At this age it’s hard to justify calling myself an expert in anything.

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