3D: Be an expert

You can do anything, and be anything if someone helps you!

Expertise is an integral part of success in the global economy. Competition for jobs, and promotions, requires that you have more connections, better soft skills, and greater knowledge than the competition. In an economy where almost everyone is worried about losing their job, you must take the time to acquire specialized knowledge, or acquire specialized skills that make you more valuable. According to research performed by The Economist/YouGov.com, 62 percent of Americans are worried about losing their jobs.

More importantly, that number climbs to 75 percent if you make less than $35,000 year. Why? Because the employers of those who make less than $35,000, are cutting back hours, and lowering salaries. They know that they can hire newer employees to do the same job cheaper. To learn more go to: The Economist/YouGov.com, documented in The Week Magazine, December 13, 2013 issue, p. 17, section Poll watch. In short, if your boss wants you to attend a conference, or be on a committee, it is wise to participate.


An example of developing expertise is when one nurse specializes in having an excellent bedside manner, or another becomes an expert at maintaining patient records. Both have become valuable to their employers. Other key ways of developing expertise require some research.

Before applying to a job take the time to research, and become an expert on the hierarchy of the organization. During the interview, let them know that you did your research. Also, during an interview learn the roles that different individuals play. Know whom you would report to, and whom they report to. If you already work for an organization, it is helpful to become an expert on the power structure of that organization. Moreover, it is important to understand the following types of power:

  • Derivative power – Derivative power comes from having a close association with someone in power. Most secretaries benefit from derivative power. When you apply for a job, and especially if you get an interview for a job, be as kind as possible to the secretaries, and the janitorial staff because you never know whom they are connected to.
  • Coercive power – This type of power is based upon using intimidation, fear, and punishment, one should avoid overuse of this type of power.
  • Reward power – This type of power is based upon a person’s ability to give people something of material, or personal, value in order to motivate them. People prefer to be rewarded for doing well, and not forced to perform well out of fear.

Being an expert is important. Be able to recognize when the three types of power above are being used. Remember, the competition for jobs is at an all time high, and it is getting more competitive.

COMPLETE p. 62 of the workbook, then proceed to p. 63: Be a great communicator

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