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How to Become an Expert at your Next Job

At this point, you should already know what your next job is going to be. If not, please visit our complete guide first.

Nowadays, there are tens (if not hundreds or more) candidates for any open position. Therefore, you must shine and stand out above all the rest. That is exactly why I wrote this guide that will help you to become an expert at your next job before you work even a single day.

It might sound crazy to you, but actually makes complete sense – a company wants to know that you will be productive and bring them value as fast as possible.

If they realize it will take you months before you will be beneficial to them, they will hire someone else. It is that simple.

In this post you will learn:

The Day-to-Day

I can’t even count how many times that, while interviewing candidates, I realized that they have no clue what the day-to-day looks like.

Are you familiar with the rule of 80-20? While this concept can be applied in many contexts, this is very applicable to the day to day of any job. While at work, only 20% of the time will be spent doing interesting stuff, the stuff that this job is famous for.

Let’s take the software developer position as an example – only 20% of the time (if they are lucky) will they be working on a new feature or new code from scratch that creates something new.

The rest of the time, they are sitting in meeting, fixing bugs, doing Q&A (although they are often not the ones that are supposed to focus on this), and many more not-so-interesting tasks.

But that’s ok! We are all grown ups that understand that you cannot only do cool stuff all day long.

In conclusion, you should read about the job you are looking for and talk with people in this role (need help? read our networking guide) to understand:

  • What the 80-20 looks like for this job
  • The relationship of this role with other departments in the company
  • The best practices of the job (Do’s and Don’ts)
  • How you are measured

Do you want to know how the daily work looks like at your dream job? Click here

Know how your daily schedule is going to look like
Know how your daily schedule is going to look like

Digital Tools

When did you last learn to use a new tool? Be ready to learn some now.

As technology progresses, new tools are constantly invented to save us time, improve our performance, and enable us to become experts in our jobs. Luckily, it is so easy today to learn them using online courses or YouTube lectures.

It doesn’t matter if you are going to work as a sales person or as a software developer, you will use digital tools in your day-to-day work.

For example, nobody will hire you as a salesperson if you are not familiar with SalesForce.

So, you will need to:

  • Research the popular tools and their usage (prevalence, contexts, etc.)
  • Learn the best practices of how to use them
  • Study the pros and cons of each tool

Do you want to know which tools are important for your dream job? Click here

Skills and Knowledge

In today’s competitive workplace, you must have a diverse set of skills. However, it is going to take a while to develop those skills. So, to optimize your time, find out what the main ones are and focus on developing them.

The best way to acquire a new skill is to practice it over and over. As Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his book “Outliers,” it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something – demonstrated in his book by legends of their field like the Beatles, Bill Gates, and Bill Joy.

For example, the most important skill for a product manager is to be able to prioritize. One way to master it is by pretending like you are the product manager for different applications you are familiar with (Facebook, Apple iPhone, Slack). Then, analyze their features and think about the next feature they should develop and why.

Doing this over and over will not only help you to become expert, but also enable you to tell an interesting story when you are asked in an interview about the skills you have.

Nowadays, you also need to gain a lot of knowledge regarding your job and the industry and market. However, because we are humans, we cannot acquire all the knowledge out there.

Therefore, make sure to prioritize which knowledge you need and list it into bullet points. Then, start to learn them one by one while you expanding your studying resources.

That way, you will have a learning plan, where you learn a lot and are aware of your knowledge gaps.

In summary, in order to become an expert in your next job, you need to:

  • Master the top 3 most important skills for your dream job.
  • Prioritize which knowledge you need and acquire it.
  • Create strong and concise (2 min. max.) stories about your knowledge and skills.

Do you want to know which skills and knowledge are needed for your dream job? Click here

Make a project!
Make a project!

Project

This is probably the most important task of this step. Although you might have an impressive background or years of experience in a similar field, you need to have a good project to talk about and show.

Using all of the above (day-to-day, digital tools, skills and knowledge) and the information you have about the companies you plan to apply for, you should prepare a relevant project.

This project will show your prospective employer that you can be productive and bring value from day one! This is a huge advantage over other candidates who will bring value only months after being hired.

For example, assume that you are going after a marketing manager position in the sports-tech industry at a companies that create products for teenagers.

A perfect project for this could be to open a new Instagram account that deals with sports and build a follower base of, for example, 1,000 followers in a finite timeline. Obviously, make sure to use the relevant digital tools to handle the posts, followers, and campaigns.

Applying for a job with such a project under your belt is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It makes you an expert at your next job and shows that you are ready to bring value from day one. Needless to say that you will also learn a lot in the process of your project.

Do you want to get an idea for a project for your dream job? Click here

Next Steps

Ready to start? Click on the button below to start your journey:

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8 thoughts on “How to Become an Expert at your Next Job”

  1. Great article!
    I Just finished a course and want to become a QA engineer – which project I should make?

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