Which Subject Matter Am I An Expert At?

Feb 27 2008 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search info

An early challenge job changers face is determining who they are professionally.

If you’ve been in the workforce 5 years or more, you’ve had LOTS of areas where you could demonstrate expertise. Depending on your career, this could be even less than 5 years.

Maybe you’re an expert at post merger integration, turnarounds, FAS 133, ruby programming, project management for windows infrastructure, Human Resource wellness programs, selling technology services or managing design teams using modern CAD programs to build hospitals.

Notice that these are very specific subject matter expertises. In today’s job market, the more specifically you can define your expertise, the better you’ll sell yourself.

Why? You are defining yourself as an expert to solve very specific problems. It’s what employers want to see, and what candidates seldom do. Remember, today’s hiring manager hires employees like consultants – to solve specific problems with specific subject matter expertise.

So, you’ve decided “I want to be a Subject Matter Expert today!” Now what? What do you choose to specialize in?

I put my clients through a simple exercise to help decide what subject matter expertise to choose. In practice, I’ll have them choose as many as three.

I have clients prepare a 3 column chart (MS EXCEL or your favorite spreadsheet works great for this). The left column lists “My Skills”, the center column “Market Demands”, and the right column lists “Experiences Desired”.

  • Under “My Skills”, list your top 10 specific skills that make you unique. Avoid broad descriptions like Leadership
  • Under “Market Demands”, list the top 10 skills you see demanded in the market for jobs you’ve been applying to (or viewing)
  • Under “Experiences Desired”, list the top 10 experiences you want in your new job. Again, be specific.

Once you’ve made your lists, compare them. There should be an intersection of skills & experiences that exist in all three columns. After all, shouldn’t your next career move involve something you’re good at, something in demand, and something you want to do?

If you don’t have skills and desired experiences that intersect, you may want to broaden your skills or demands list. Alternatively, consider if it’s realistic to expect your desired experiences can be accomplished at the start of your next job. Perhaps this is a signal that your next job could be more of a lateral move that might LEAD to the experiences you desire – a stepping stone, perhaps within the same new employer.

What’s the value in going through this exercise? It forces you to brainstorm, and writing this information down brings insights. In addition, it gives you more information to share with Recruiters, mentors, friends, or Career Coaches. Have fun determining your subject matter expertise!

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (phil.reCareered@gmail.com), and we’ll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to phil.reCareered@gmail.com to enroll in a free group teleseminar “Accelerate Your Job Search – tools you can use”.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at http://ResumeWebinar.com .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at http://reCareered.com/newsletter/

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/philrosenberg
Follow reCareered on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/company/recareered.com
Like reCareered on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reCareered
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+: http://gplus.to/philrosenberg
Follow reCareered on Twitter: http://twitter.com/philreCareered
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/e/gis/1800872

Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Subject Matter Experts Rule! Today's employers hire Subject Matter Experts to solve problems. Managers and executives might not like...
April Fools #1 – “The Job” Video Here's what happens when you're NOT a Subject Matter Expert. Anyone ever feel like this?This is so wrong,...
Veteran Job Search Problems Mirror Others Changing Careers In honor of Memorial Day, let's look at the job search problems returning veterans face. First,...
8 Ways To Brand Yourself As A SME (even if you’re a generalist) As I discussed in earlier articles, branding yourself as a generalist...