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John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (@SQLBrit) is a Technology Lead with the database team at Expedia, Inc. providing consulting services and support for one of the worlds largest SQL Server environments. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award (MCC) John can be found regularly blogging about Being a DBA and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.

How To Be An Expert At What You Do

Every successful company has them. They’re the lifeblood of their organisations. Linchpins essential to getting things done and doing them extremely well. More commonly we know them as experts.

Experts are always in popular demand and they come in all manner of different flavours.

Of course they are just everyday people, regular folks, like you and me. Regular folks that is, who one day decided that they want to be outstanding at what they do!

What’s So Great About Being An Expert Anyway?How To Be An Expert

There are many common as well as individually unique reasons why you might want to be outstanding at what you do, to be an expert.

Some of the benefits to being an expert include:

Career Enrichment

  • Establishing yourself as the go-to-guy (or girl)
  • Being at the forefront of your customers and managers minds (particularly come review time)
  • Recognition as an authority of your subject
  • Increased opportunity
  • Investment in you professionally

Knowledge & Skill

Influence

  • People trust and value your opinion
  • Your decisions can shape the world around you

Challenge

  • Be the first in line for the difficult, demanding and interesting projects, work and opportunities.

These are some of the more general motivations however being the expert that you want to be is an individual choice.

What might an expert look like in your role/company?

What opportunities and challenging projects could open up to you as an expert?

Become The Expert “You” Want To Be

Being an expert is not about being the very best at something. It is about being the best that YOU can be.

Here are some of things you will might wish to consider on the journey to becoming the expert that you want to be:

Skills Development

  • Strengths – What are you good at? How can you excel at these even more?
  • Weaknesses - What might you need to learn in order to progress? Are there any particular obstacles holding you back?
  • Continued Investment – Make a commitment to continually invest in your skills development. (Here’s how)

Professional Positioning

  • Customer Focus 
  • You and Your Manager
    • What are your goals and are you on target to achieving them? (what is the purpose of your role)
    • Is you manager aware of your expertise and how you can contribute?
    • What would need to happen/change in order for you to be your manager’s go-to-person?

These are just some of the things you will want to consider when determining how to become the expert that you want to be. What does being an expert mean for you?

The rewards of being an expert are clear. Make the decision to be outstanding and to become the expert that you want to be.

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