Developing Expertise Outside Your Industry

Posted October 11, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

No matter your industry, it’s almost certain you have some expertise in an industry other than your own. Maybe you’re a lawyer who loves winemaking or a CEO who dabbles in golf instruction. The things outside our daily work lives are often the parts of our life that are most full. We do what we love, we develop expertise in a specific area, not because we’re being paid to do so, but because it’s exciting and makes us happy.

Once you’ve discovered this area of expertise, outside your working industry, how can you use it to enhance your life and make your work more fun?

  • Find a way to incorporate your expertise into your current job. If you’re a chef, perhaps you can help to make your office a healthier place by cooking a weekly meal or inviting your coworkers to take a class with you. If you have a skill that might lend your office a hand, offer to take on a project to get it done. Perhaps you love social media, but you’re not in marketing, and your company doesn’t have a social media strategy. Offer to create one. Bring your hobby or outside expertise to your job.
  • Help your friends using your expert skills. I am in no way a web developer. But with creating countless GeoCities pages with my BFF Danielle in high school, I have a working knowledge of basic HTML. Then, working with WordPress on Career Girl and my own website, I’ve learned the art of the WordPress template. So I was delighted to help Rebecca Niziol with her new website for her coaching business. It’s something I like doing, could easily offer her, and it’s been a fun project.
  • Join a Meetup Group that loves the same thing. There’s nothing crafters or knitters love more than talking about crafting or knitting with other people like them. So make time in your week to craft your expertise with others like you in the form of a Meetup group or club.

It’s healthy and contributes to your work/life balance to foster interests and expertise outside your job or field. Get excited about everything that sparks your interest and see which ones stick!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."