Accrue Broad Knowledge to Be a Hero or a Star | #Career #Teamwork

You can be a star in your work when you accrue broad knowledge. Are you surprised to hear that? Many people are. It seems that the specialists in any line of work are the stars and heroes. Well, some are. Yet there are many opportunities for you to shine with your broad knowledge. Here are well-known and personal examples as well as tips on when it is can be especially helpful.

Accrue Broad Knowledge: Image is picture of words knowledge, experience, collaborative.

Accrue Broad Knowledge to Be a Hero or Star! Image by Howard Lake via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Howard Lake via Flickr Creative Commons License.

How Broad Knowledge Can Make You a Star or a Hero

Sometimes we focus in on a single track of knowledge or experience to get a job or propel our careers. And it often works. Yet, there are many times when broad knowledge becomes even more helpful and valuable in life and career.

Prepared for Emergencies

Airplane Captain “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed a large commercial jet (Airbus A320) on the Hudson River after a bird strike killed all engine power. There were no deaths. He saved everyone with the help of nearby boats.

How Did He Do It?

When asked how he was able to land the disabled Airbus, he replied: “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15, the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.” He had broader knowledge to draw on. He had flown gliders and taught glider flying in his younger days as a cadet at the Air Force academy. (A glider is a plane with no engine.)

Broad Knowledge & Experience Makes You Valuable

My sister the scientist was constantly reading, trying new things, and gaining experience in different areas. She was like this even back in high school. Then, when she landed a job with a big pharmaceutical diagnostic company with her Masters degree in biochemistry, her broad knowledge and experience made her invaluable even during layoffs. The company always found her a position even when they were eliminating departments because her broad knowledge was needed in another area!

Starting & Running Your Own Business

In my own life, being interested in many different subjects, learning everyday and everywhere, prepared me to run my own business. Although that was never my career goal in my younger years, I always loved learning different things. (Perhaps it runs in the family!) The challenges I faced when I finally decided to start and run my own business were as vast as you can imagine. I had already been a math teacher and then a computer systems programmer analyst. My studies along the way included psychology, foreign languages, music, and other liberal arts. I was always up on current events and could start a conversation with anyone. Most especially I had discovered my innate ability to read people well. Put all of that together with a curiosity to keep learning, and I was able to run a successful business.

How & When Can Your Broad Knowledge Help You

  1. When you feel stuck. I was recently speaking to a stay-at-home mom whose children are now in college. She realizes her life is changing yet doesn’t believe she has skills other’s need! It isn’t true yet she doesn’t see it.

  2. During transitions. Perhaps you are moving because of your spouse’s job. Your specialty is not in demand in that state or country. What should you do? Take inventory of your broad knowledge and experience to discover new opportunities.

  3. Adjusting to a whole new life. Consider how many high school grads feel lost as first-year college students. So many new situations to adapt to and seemingly no knowledge to do it. So, stop for a moment and consider what you have encountered in your life that can help you now.

  4. High school graduates looking for their first big job. Many feel lost not knowing how to explain their talents and experience to hiring managers. Once again, take time to assess your broad knowledge and experience in everyday life. Also, highlight what you are naturally good at!

  5. Military personnel transitioning to civilian life. Many say that shifting to civilian jobs is tough. So, write down the broad knowledge/experience you gained in the military and your natural talents. Companies do need you!

Summing It Up

Then at the end of each day, jot down what you learned. After a couple of weeks, look at what you have written. Is there a common thread? Are you discovering a new focus and/or accruing broad knowledge? Life changes constantly. Keep building your knowledge bank (to use Captain Sully Sullenberger’s words) so you can be ready for whatever life offers or throws at you.

What are some of the things you have learned that have prepared you? I would love to know!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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©2023 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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