How to be a genuine expert in your field

Subject matter experts, also called SMEs, are professionals who have specialized knowledge in a pertinent field that to the extent it makes them uniquely qualified to provide guidance and strategy regarding the specialization. SMEs are in high demand in workplaces that take a technical approach to operations and culture. Due to advances in technology, there is increased need for subject matter experts.

In this article, you’ll learn what a subject matter expert is and how to become one.

What is a subject matter expert?

SMEs are consultants that advise employers on a specialized practice. They might be an internal employee who is hired by a company to provide unique insight on a certain element or process within the organizational or business infrastructure. They can also be third-party contractors who offer subject matter services on an hourly or service fee basis.

SMEs exist in all different industries including:

  • Human resource management
  • Law
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Military
  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • IT
  • Health
  • Architecture

A notable trait of SMEs is the development of abundant knowledge and experience within a specific practice, process, technical method or piece of equipment. The knowledge is prescriptive and teachable, it provides SMEs a baseline for offering consultative services to support the needs of a company.

The duties of SMEs are as follows:

  • Analyzes company activities to make sure resources are being used in the most efficient way possible
  • Provides documentation and communication around specialized organizational processes
  • Takes a technical concept and makes it easier to understand
  • Creates and edits processes that help businesses perform prescriptive tasks consistently and efficiently each time
  • Supports leadership in aligning company and personal values to strategic vision
  • Makes recommendations for technology infrastructure, software and equipment to support goals
  • Assists in sales growth and account management when needed

How to become a subject matter expert

Professionals who choose to develop their careers to become SMEs should expect to do the following:

  • Gain knowledge on a subject
  • Seek continuing education opportunities
  • Test and test again
  • Be an authority
  • Prioritize authenticity

Gain knowledge on a subject

SMEs must be knowledgeable. If you want to become a subject matter expert, make room in your life to learn new things and develop new skills. You can do this by taking courses—such as online classes or certification coursework—that position you as an expert in the field. You want to balance that with experience.

Look for opportunities to increase your skills within the subject matter at work or in the manner of volunteer work so that you can achieve hands-on experience within the subject. It’s a good idea to pursue only topics that really interest you since you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to learning.

Seek continuing education opportunities

Outside of traditional coursework, there are many ways to continually pursue education and become a subject matter expert. This could include attending conferences, participating in discussions as part of a community of experts or on social media and staying up to date on the latest news and trends about the subject.

Test and test again

While having new, innovative ideas is part of the job, it’s important that you be able to test your theories and prove outcomes. A successful SME is always working on innovative processes and testing their own work. It’s important that your practices be tested because your performance depends on it. For example, if you come to a company with a new idea on how to organize their IT department, you want to make sure it’s going to work for them. You do this by testing the theory before you bring it to clients.

Be an authority

It’s important that, as an SME, you present yourself as the authority on a given subject. One way to do this is to manage your social media presence. You can use Q&A websites to offer expert advice, participate in social media forums and even write columns for publications that are notable in the field. All of these things help establish you as a subject matter expert to others.

You can position yourself as a thought leader by starting an informative blog on your subject matter of choice, or even a YouTube channel if that makes more sense for your industry. The idea is you want to put your voice out into the world in places where it’s likely to be heard by the people you need to reach most as an expert.

If you work in an authoritative role, like management, for example, it may be easier for you to be recognized as an SME. As such, plan your career accordingly to become a subject matter expert.

Prioritize authenticity

Finally, it’s most important that you be yourself. Consumers who might require your services will appreciate your authenticity. While SMEs might have a role in the sales process, most likely it will be peripheral, meaning that the SME is not the person who closes the sale.

Instead, subject matter experts are sometimes brought into the sales process to explain what they can offer the customer that is unique and how their vision can help the customer be more successful. This helps secure customer buy-in. It’s important that SMEs be viewed as neutral and not persuaded by sales or commissions if they are to be viewed as a trusted expert.

Example SME scenarios

In the following examples, we’ll apply subject matter experts to fictional workplace scenarios, so you can see how SMEs work:

  • Taylor provides expert consultation on network activity. He can help American Fashion Company determine what fluctuations in network activity mean for customer experience.

Eleanor is an SEO consultant. The Corner Donut Shoppe hired her to help them raise their organic search results and set up local SEO.

Maxwell is an expert on leadership. When a board of directors calls Maxwell to interact with their team, he’s poised to make major organizational changes by offering leadership insight and new strategies.

Kiara works for Flack Soda Brand. She is the platform expert who handles customer experience through the company’s CRM tool.

Jonathan works for a digital company that pairs consumers up with credit card partners. Jonathan is the credit card SME, so his role is to ensure all communication about credit cards is updated and accurate and that information in the database is current.

  • Angie is a subject matter expert who works for a national floor care company. She helps the company secure new clients by sharing her knowledge of floor care principles.
  • How to be a genuine expert in your field

    Whether you’re a one-person consulting business or a 250-person manufacturing operation, you’ve spent years developing the knowledge that made your company a success. Why not maximize the return on your knowledge by leveraging it gain authority, or even celebrity status in your marketplace?

    Once you are seen as an authority, or expert, in your particular field, it can open up the door for higher paying jobs and other business opportunities like speaking engagement that can grow your business and fuel your success even more.

    Below are seven simple ways for you to do just that.

    1. Become an advocate and educator for your customers.

    Part of having authority status is being both an educator and an advocate for your clients. As an educator, you work hard at communicating with your customers on a regular basis. For example, financial expert Dave Ramsey has a site on which he posts various tips and articles for his customers.

    In addition, he offers seminars that help his customers learn more about money management. He even offers free printable resources. All these elements, and many more, are examples of how he educates his clients.

    2. Micro-specialize.

    Instead of trying to please everyone, focus your efforts on a small amount of possible clients. This approach will help understand the niche better and be able to cater your marketing better. You’ll perfect the art of appealing to and pleasing that smaller scope of customers.

    An example of micro-specialization in the design field could include designers who only do corporate CEO’s offices or those who choose to only work with local real-estate companies to stage private homes for sale.

    3. Write articles for news sites and profession publications.

    Make a concerted effort to write articles pertaining to your area of expertise. Send them in to newspapers and trade journals along with other professional publications.

    If you can manage to do this, you will have content to back up your authority status in your field. Don’t simply write a few articles here and there, but instead commit to regular content creation for a variety of outlets, as it helps build up your personal brand faster.

    4. Write a book using problem-solution format.

    Another tip to becoming an expert is to take what has been your most read, or best received articles, and delve deeper into the subject broached in those pieces.

    Keep in mind, the book doesn’t have to be long. In fact, in terms of today’s readers, shorter is often better.

    However, the book format does give you the benefit of the space to really explore a problem and offer up your solution, which will give you instant authority status.

    5. Start speaking.

    Speaking in public is scary for many people. However, giving speeches or participating in seminars or panels is a great way to present yourself as an authority in your field.

    One way to obtain a few speaking gigs is to align yourself with other successful speakers. If given the opportunity to speak alongside someone who is already well known, you will have a good-sized audience, and you can offer a different perspective on whatever the topic. Hone your speaking skills, study voice projection and observe other engaging speakers, ensuring you will be ready to give an interesting, stimulating speech an opportunity comes along.

    6. Get interviewed on radio shows and podcast.

    Podcasts are typically a niche driven industry, making them an ideal way to get your message across to a large amount of people.

    To get on a radio show or podcast, contact the host. You can usually find contact information, such as email addresses, on the show’s website.

    Tell the host why you would be a great fit for the show.

    Don’t forget about Twitter, Facebook and other social-media outlets, as you can often contact a radio show host through these means. If those ideas don’t work, try contacting past guests who have been on the show to find out how they went about achieving an invite.

    7. Use trust triggers.

    After you have been a guest on a radio show, spoken alongside a reputable speaker or had your worked published by a trusted outlet, you can begin sharing that experience as a way to build trust.

    For example, if you are an expert on dog grooming and you have been a guest on It’s a Doggy Dog World podcast, putting on your site that you were on that podcast is a great way to trigger trust.

    If customers trust that podcast as an expert on the subject, and you were featured, customers will feel you are worthy of trust as well.

    However, it is always a good idea to ask permission before using someone‘s name to build trust.

    Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    As we measure the degree of damage, or more precisely, reduced revenue and increased costs from the downturn, advertising spending tends to be one of the first cuts owners make. Yet this may be a great time to expand marketing to take a share of the market away from your competitors.

    The key is marketing without little or no money through efforts like community engagement, referrals or sending a press release to local media. Another method is becoming a recognized expert who is called upon by media and other outlets to speak, write and lend your expertise.

    You want to be recognized as an expert in your field, a specialist with trustworthy credentials that establishes your credibility. How does one become an expert? The traditional path is to spend a lifetime in the industry and earn relevant educational certifications and degrees. But the traditional method takes a long time and is impractical for the new entrepreneur who wants to enter the business arena as a player.

    There are alternative paths to reach the goal of being recognized as an expert. Here are 12 ideas:

    1. Learn about what’s important in your industry today and become current. Every commercial niche has one or more trade magazines. Obtain a few back copies, three at least, and read them cover to cover, particularly noting the editorials as their topics are what’s currently on the minds of the industry leaders. You should understand and adopt the opinion of the lead editorial from the lead magazine in that genre. The editors and writers know what is best for their industry. You should be adept on the subject and have an opinion or two of your own, of course, as you are an industry expert.

    2. Note the advertisements. These will also tell you what’s new and important to the industry, as well as what the leading businesses are talking about and selling.

    3. Write an article and submit it for publication in one of the industry magazines. This often isn’t as hard as it seems. Once done, you are a published writer in the industry. If you have trouble getting an article published, write a letter to the editor or respond to one; that’s easier, and it will start the process going. People will see your name and read your material.

    4. Create a website and a blog. Begin to communicate with your market, discussing industry issues and creating an open forum with you as an expert. Highlight your involvement, as well as your diverse commitment to the industry. You can further establish your credentials and publish your materials, including press releases, articles, and so forth.

    5. Create podcasts (video or audio) based on your blog entries. Post the video on YouTube. You can post your audio to iTunes. Some people find it easiest to start with services like Audio Acrobat (www.audioacrobat.com); you can phone from anywhere to record your podcast, and Acrobat feeds it to podcast hosting sites such as iTunes.

    6. Offer to speak at a local college. Just about everyone lives near a university, college, state school, technical school, or some other bastion of higher learning. Offer a professor or department head the opportunity to have you speak at a forum run by the professor or department head on a subject relevant to you and the educator’s interest group—at no charge, of course.

    7. Offer a local club, association, or service organization programming chair the opportunity to have you speak on a relevant subject both at no charge.

    8. Run your own seminar. This is a smart way to continue to build your credentials.

    9. Become a corporate speaker. If your subject matter has commercial application, you may be able to get a local business to let you speak after hours, during lunch, or at a business meeting. Being a public speaker at leading businesses and corporations adds to your credentials.

    10. Send out media releases to the local press. Repeat your credentials and promote your speaking, writing, seminar or whatever you have to promote that you believe is of interest to and important for the general public to know about.

    11. Join a national trade organization for your industry and offer to write a monthly column on interesting aspects of the industry for the organization’s newsletter or magazine. Of course, mention your name and business at the end to insert yourself subtly and tastefully. Be sure your article at least includes a byline with your web address. Now that you’re writing a monthly column for the industry trade magazine, you must be a respected expert.

    12. If you can afford it, give a seminar at your industry’s national trade show. Or have a booth, or get on the board or any committee for the organization. All these options give you enormous credibility and visibility. Speak at the trade show; sponsor an event; be a presence.

    You have begun to cement your reputation into a solid foundation of respectability. Now you can add to your credentials the facts that you are a nationally recognized and published author, a lecturer at universities and colleges, and a nationally renowned expert on your area of interst. In the end, marketing you as the expert leads to more business.

    This article is an excerpt from the book Successfully Navigating the Downturn available from Entrepreneur Press.

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    I recently related the central idea of a terrific book, The Death of Expertise (Oxford University Press, 2017), by Tom Nichols, on my blog as follows:

    “In our culture today, we not only don’t trust our experts, but openly argue with, ignore, defy them, and at times even treat them with outright contempt.”

    Though I also noted that, despite the growing disdain for experts in certain fields in some quarters, there are still many who flock to experts for guidance and advice.

    Therefore, becoming an expert — that is, ideally (a) a true expert who really does know his stuff and (b) is also recognized as such by his industry or field — can be a big boost to your career and your business.

    Reason: recognized experts or “gurus” are more in demand, have an easier time getting clients, earn more money, and sell more of their products and services.

    But how do you become a genuine, recognized expert in your specialty — and gain the kudos, prestige, and financial rewards that go with it?

    Well, on page 30 of his book, Nichols says there are four requirements needed to truly become a genuine expert in your field:

    1. Education — What he really means is knowledge gained through study.

    Broadly, to be a genuine expert requires deep understanding of your subject, and part of the way to gain expertise that is through diligent, persistent, and careful study.

    As an autodidact, you can study on your own. All experts I know do.

    But obtaining some of the knowledge by getting a degree in your field, especially from a prestigious university, can also be a plus — and in some fields, like physics and medicine, is requisite.

    And in many other fields as well, not only does a formal education accelerate your learning, but people tend to take you more seriously when you have your degree or certifications.

    2. Talent — People are typically talented in a discipline through some combination of training, practice, and natural aptitude.

    3. Experience — Malcom Gladwell, Mark Ford, and others have said that to become good at something you have to do it for a thousand hours — and to become a master, you have to do it for around 10,000 hours.

    4. Peer and public affirmation — It usually takes both achievement and recognition by both one’s peers and the general public to be considered an expert.

    Examples include movie directors being recognized with an Oscar, musicians with a Grammy, scientists with a Nobel Prize, and journalists with a Pulitzer.

    Of course, those are at the top of the game, and multiple lesser prizes and publicity can also help you achieve expert status — everything from giving a talk at your local library to writing an article for your industry trade journal.

    Do you have any questions about gaining expertise in copywriting? Let us know in the comments below so we can help.

    The Professional Writers’ Alliance

    At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

    In 2015, an eighth grader did some research into the story behind the ‘No Irish Need Apply’ signs that were alleged to have existed in 19th century United States. Despite claims in 2002 from a distinguished historian that the signs were a myth and had never existed, the eighth grader Rebecca Fried was able to prove the historian wrong simply by doing some basic research on Google. Not only did Fried found photographic evidence of the signs – but she found lots of it. 1

    Just because something is stated by an ‘expert’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.

    Back in 1830, scientific writer Dr. Dionysius Lardner said rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia. And in 1903, the president of the Michigan Savings Bank advised Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co because the horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad. 2

    There are many more examples like these, and this is why not all experts are as highly regarded as they used to be.

    How Society has Raised the Bar for Experts

    Until recently, society looked up to and respected all experts and their opinions. However, in our new internet-age, knowledge is available to all at the click of a button.

    Previously, years of education, work experience, and formal titles were the ways most people used to recognize experts. Unfortunately, these are no longer good indicators. For example, materials studied in the past can now be outdated. And as for those people with extensive work experience, this doesn’t guarantee they operate in an efficient or high-quality way.

    Titles like doctor of ____, or psychologist of ____ are licensed/exams-based, but whether qualifications are up-to-date is open to question.

    Judging whether a person is an expert based on the above indicators fails to take into account for the way information and knowledge changes over time. Not all experts will be dedicated enough to keep up with the latest developments in their chosen field.

    Traditional experts became experts by taking a lot of time to investigate topics, but nowadays, the internet has massively reduced the time needed to research or learn a topic. You could think of it this way: In the past, experts owned the knowledge, these days this knowledge is freely available on the web.

    Clearly, the internet has rapidly shifted information from the hands of those who have it – into the hands of those who do not. 3

    Of course, the development of the internet hasn’t wiped genuine experts of the face of the earth. We should still respect real experts, especially those who have gone through the stages outlined below.

    The Five Stages That All Genuine Experts Must Go Through

    The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition lays out five distinct stages that all people must go through on their way to becoming experts.

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    A great way to become more valuable in your current job–or to make a major career change–is to become an expert. The good news is that it is never too late to become an expert by either developing a base of knowledge within your current field of work, or in an entirely new one.

    How does becoming an expert at something you love–and earning more money as a result–sound?

    Try these three steps to becoming an expert and you, too, can revitalize your current position, or begin an exciting journey toward a new you.

    1. Figure out what you’re interested in

    First you need to evaluate your current position. What do you know right now that you are close to being an expert in? You are probably already an expert, or close to one, at what you are currently doing, so you can easily build upon that expertise and take it to the next level. This is a much easier, less time-intensive route to take than learning something entirely new.

    However, if what you are currently doing no longer interests you, you’ll need to figure out what does. Make this your first priority. Whatever route you take, what you choose to be an expert in has to be inspiring so that the necessary reading and learning seem effortless to you because it resonates with every fiber of your being. Everyone has one–some have more than one–you just need to find it.

    2. Focus on one subject at a time

    Get rid of your cluttered mind and focus on one subject at a time. Overwhelming yourself by trying to learn too many things at one time will only set you up for failure. Focus. If you want to become a website designer, begin learning how to build one form of website–say, WordPress–before you take on all the others. Once you feel comfortable with one, move to another. Before you know it, you will begin to feel like and be an expert website designer.

    3. Remember that practice makes perfect

    Becoming an expert overnight just isn’t going to happen. You are going to have to put a lot of work and dedication into becoming an expert at anything. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field. While you may not have to devote that much time to become an expert, depending on the subject you select, you are looking at hundreds to thousands of hours of some or all of the following:

    • Studying–reading books, online courses, attending college, watching videos, attending seminars and training programs, learning from other experts within the field.
    • Practicing–actually doing what you are learning. As in the above example of a website designer, you can apply what you have learned by creating websites on your own. By practicing what you learn, you are going much deeper into what it takes to be an expert in that field–working out the kinks, investigating and solving problems not covered through studying and instruction alone.
    • Presenting–finding ways to document your findings. Create a blog or journal of the steps you are taking to understand the many facets of your newfound expertise. Write or speak at a conference about the trials and the resolutions so that others can learn from you. Teaching what you have learned to others will push you even further toward your goal of mastering your new field.

    The upside is that if you have truly found your passion–your thing–in life, learning and becoming an expert will be fun and exciting. If this is not the case, you have made the wrong choice and you need to go back Step 1.

    Comments

    viphat commented Sep 8, 2017 •

    The Five Stages That All Genuine Exports Must Go Through

    The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition:

    Stage 1: Novice

    • Follows the rules and plans they are taught.
    • Lacks flexibility in handling works and challenges.
    • Doesn’t know how to make judgments based on what they’ve learned.

    Stage 2: Advanced Beginner

    • Has more experiences and starts to interpret different situations.
    • Uses the same approach for different situations because they don’t have enough experiences to look deeper at each scenario.

    Stage 3 – Competent

    • More holistic in handling problems.
    • Starts to know how to interpret different situations with flexible plans.
    • Starts to formulate their own routines to achieve things.

    Stage 4 – Proficient

    • Able to solve problem intuitively.
    • Continuously adjusts their ways and approaches.
    • Perceives deviations from the normal pattern.
    • Give suggestions and guidance to others based upon their knowledge and experiences.

    Stage 5 – Expert

    • Understands the whole picture intuitively with a deep and tacit comprehension.
    • Creates the guidelines, plans and rules for others.
    • Continuously self-tunes and self-learns.
    • Know how to handle problems that have never happened before based on their knowledge.

    In fact, ordinary people can become experts, provided they are willing to invest the necessary time and effort.

    Fake Experts

    Many people who claim they are experts are actually just at stage 2 or stage 3 of the Dreyfus model.

    These people have gained some knowledge and experiences, but they have not embraced the continuous learning and self-tuning process that real experts have. Because of this, when these ‘fake experts’ encounter problems that they’ve never seen before, they fall back on the same approaches and methods that they’ve been taught.

    You now understand what makes a true expert. Read on to find out how to become one.

    The Journey to Become a True Expert

    From Novice to Advanced Beginner: Log Your Experiences and Knowledge

    Your step from moving from novice to advanced beginner should involve the development of a personal library of experience. A logbook of experience and knowledge learned should be completed to show your progression. Ask for feedback from your tutor/instructor, and add this information into your logbook. Finally, log your reflections for actions you’ve taken.

    From Advanced Beginner to Competent: Grab Every Opportunity to Practice Knowledge.

    Learning is by participation and interaction with others. Normally, this takes place through the exchange of ideas and opinions. As you move from advanced beginner to becoming competent, you’ll evolve from the acquisition of knowledge to participating in learning. You’re likely to find yourself starting to see beyond the normal situations and beginning to suggest ways to do things based on what you’ve learned.

    From Competent to Proficient: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

    This stage will take you the longest because it’s rooted in continuous exposure to different cases and reflections. You’ll learn to look at things from different angles, and suggest different approaches based on what you’ve learned. With continuous reflections and experiences in guiding other to perform, you’ll deepen your knowledge and skills.

    From Proficient to Expert: Continuous Learning and Tuning

    A true expert doesn’t stop learning. They continue to look for new methods and approaches for different cases. They also reflect on what they can do better, and keep a close eye on the ever-changing information world. If you’ve reached this stage, but stop learning and reflecting, you’ll eventually fall back to previous stages.

    True Experts Don’t Possess Knowledge, They Explore and Share Knowledge

    Due to the impact of the internet, knowledge is no longer exclusively in the hands of qualified experts. However, just because we can now Google information at the tap of a key, this doesn’t mean that we’re all now experts. Genuine experts still need to go through the five stages of skill acquisition.

    The text was updated successfully, but these errors were encountered:

    Finding your next job can be tough. In our technology-driven world, applying for jobs online while in your PJs is a convenience that’s hard to resist. But a crucial component of a successful job search involves networking: getting out there to expand your professional contacts and discover opportunities.

    Find and apply to the jobs that are right for you. We have 9.8 new jobs added each second.¹

    How to network effectively

    Networking skills come easily to some, but this is rare. For most of us, they’re an acquired talent and require practice over time. And that practice is well worth the effort: the research consistently shows that internal referrals are the top source of hires, meaning those personal relationships can have significant payoffs.

    1. Start by determining your goals

    Ask yourself what you are looking for from the relationships you hope to develop. Are you anticipating making contacts with a specific future employer? Meeting a new mentor who can provide career guidance or industry expertise? Meeting new people in your industry? Perhaps all of these? Intentionally identifying your networking goals will help you structure questions you want to ask, prepare your elevator pitch and determine requests you have for your contacts.

    2. Talk to your friends

    Friends can play a valuable role in your networking efforts. Whether you’re an introvert, new to networking or having trouble focusing on your goals, begin with people you already know. Take them to coffee or lunch and learn the story of their career paths and choices. Focusing your conversation on their professional experiences will reveal new perspectives and ideas, even if you’ve known each other for a long time. Ask if they can connect you to someone in your field or at one of your dream companies, and build from there.

    3. Attend events to meet new people

    Step away from the computer screen and shake some hands. Online networking is a powerful tool, but there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction. If employment is your goal, the networking events you’ll find the most productive are ones that include a diverse mix of job seekers, industry reps, recruiters, and companies seeking talent. If you’re looking to meet peers in your industry or learn more about a new field, you can easily find industry- or career-focused groups and meetups in your local area by searching social media channels.

    You can use these networking events to make new connections and then, you’ll be able to follow up and cultivate those relationships with meaningful one-on-one conversations.

    Pro tip: Think quality over quantity. Networking is not about trying to meet as many people as you can. It’s not a numbers game. Seek people who will make a difference in your life—and those you can inspire as well.

    4. Ask to understand

    Amidst the stress of the job search, it’s easy to become so focused on yourself that you forget to really pay attention to others. When you network, whether at an event or a one-on-one coffee, ask people genuine questions based on your goals and listen closely to their answers.

    Clear your mind and focus on listening empathetically and with curiosity rather than with self-interest. You’ll learn a lot in the process and make an impression with your attentiveness. Active listening is a skill we should all practice, and networking events are the ideal opportunity.

    5. Build a network matrix

    Target the companies you’re interested in, and seek out people who work for each company or who know someone there. Build a “Who + Where” matrix that matches who you know with where they work and use their name as referrals when you apply for positions at those companies (be sure to ask their permission first). A contact who can provide insight into the hiring manager’s personality or preferences is a real asset. At some companies, employees receive a bonus if their referral is hired; if your friend is lucky enough to work for a company that rewards referrals, you’ll both have something to celebrate.

    Below is just one of the ways to organize your network matrix. This example highlights an individual focusing on jobs in the technology industry because they include more contacts from companies in this area. As this example shows, you also can organize your network contacts by relationship and how well you know each individual (in this case, by tier) to understand and prioritize how your contacts can help.

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    6. Volunteer in your community

    If you can, donate your time to a good cause and mingle with people who aren’t in your industry. It feels good to give your time to others in need, and if you’re unemployed, it’s wise to get out of the house and not spend too much time in isolation. Pick a cause or group that resonates with your values and donate a few hours each month.

    Volunteering can help you grow your social network by exposing you to people who share your passions and personal values. You can also volunteer for a professional association to grow career-related contacts as well. Along the way, you may meet mentors and new friends with fresh job leads.

    7. Follow up and don’t forget the basics.

    After an event, send follow-up emails to your contacts, thank everyone you spoke with, and complete any promised tasks. Even if you haven’t made commitments, stay active and develop your new relationships. And don’t forget to always carry a printed version of your resume and business cards, if you have them. If you’re inviting people in your network out to coffee or lunch, always offer to pay for the meal and send a thank you note following the conversation.

    Increasing your visibility as a job candidate is the primary benefit of networking, but it’s also just the beginning. Building relationships with people who you feel are knowledgeable and reliable can provide guidance and help you get where you want to go. And these relationships aren’t a one-way street: you will also meet people who can benefit from your support. In this way, you’ll build a professional circle over time, one based on the idea that goodwill should be paid forward. By coupling networking with your online job search strategy, you will exponentially increase your opportunities for success.

    The Duke of Edinburgh took an early interest in conservation and remained passionate about animals and the environment.

    By Dr Claude Martin, Former WWF Director

    Sunday 11 April 2021 06:14, UK

    • Duke of Edinburgh
    • Opinion
    • Prince Philip
    • Royal Family

    How to be a genuine expert in your field

    Dr Claude Martin was the director of the WWF in Switzerland from 1980 to 1990 and then Director General of the WWF internationally from 1993 to 2005.

    Here, he tells Sky News about the role Prince Philip played as president of the conservation charity between 1981 to 1996.

    I knew Prince Philip since 1981 when I was still director of the WWF in Switzerland. He became president of it internationally, and when I was director general of the whole of the WWF he was my direct boss until 1996.

    I travelled a lot with him and went to many countries with him, visits for conservation work, and I came to know him quite well.

    He had a genuine interest in conservation. It was at least 1956 when he became interested in conservation, I think it was the contact with Peter Scott, who founded the WWF, that had an effect on him, and an influence on him and his understanding.

    Since he was in the Navy, he started getting interested in birds, there must have been something from childhood, that was not the only a trigger for him but that made him interested in the world.

    It is not a surprise that Peter Scott became known to him – he had an interest not just in horses and the equestrian worlds, which he was interested in before WWF.

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    He took an interest in nature and I think the interest was always with birds but was also with fisheries – I remember having many discussions with him about fisheries.

    The WWF programme on fisheries clearly goes back to him. He had a concern about captive bred salmon, and them mixing with wild salmon.

    There was a considered thinking behind what he said about these things.

    Something that had an impact on me was his visit on his own to the education centre we were running in Switzerland.

    We also ran an interfaith evening, and that was historical – it led to the Assisi Declarations on Nature.

    That was his idea – reaching out to those who should naturally be involved and get their commitment.

    That was the centre of the Assisi declaration, that went back to him.

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    He thought about getting that idea of conservation out to other people who were not easily accessible to us.

    He didn’t lead on climate change but he never denied it.

    He definitely did bring these views to the public in the early 1990s. He went to the World Economic Forum and talked about conservation.

    And that was when these business people were not particularly interested in conservation, and he came there as a president and talked to the WEF about the need for businesses to take care of natural resources and nature.

    That was daring at the time, that people even denied that climate change was happening. It was very different times.

    That was not the thinking of the business people in the early 1990s. I think he played an important role in putting this on the world agenda with heads of state as well.

    At times this was interesting – the response they had – at times it was frustrating, or non-committal.

    In other cases it was, “Here comes the husband of the Queen of England, and says this is important, you can’t put this away”.

    He was the first and he played an important role.