The Value Of Specialists To A Business

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Society and business alike have been united in recent years in applauding the “self-made” and the “hustler” – the one-man bands that do a little bit of everything in their business to keep costs low and streamline processes. There is, for sure, an advantage to knowing a bit about everything; as a boss, it will make you a more assiduous hirer and hopefully a better decision-maker. However, there can be no doubt that the “jack of all trades” can swiftly be shown up as a “master of none” in times of need.

The existence of specialists – experts who zone in on one specific aspect of one specific sector – is essential, even if some people question the benefit of experts. Whether you are a business owner looking to make the right choices, or a job-hunter looking for a way to make themselves more employable, the following examples are all reasons why specialists are vital in the modern business world.

Experts don’t need to listen to explanations

There are countless doctors in the world, but the number of expert cardiologists is significantly smaller, because qualifying in a speciality takes longer and requires more specialized knowledge. However, you’re going to be in much better hands if you have a heart issue and go to see a cardiologist – because they eat, sleep and breathe their speciality. Similarly, if you’re working in the oil and gas industry, you could hire just any accountant or someone qualified by the likes of Copas.org who specializes in your sector – the former will be easier to find, but the latter will have an innate knowledge of what your business entails, and will work quicker due to that knowledge.

Specialists make everyone around them smarter

If you hire a generally talented individual in your business, then they will be beneficial in their role, and they’ll get a lot done. However, when they go away not only have you lost their skills; you will also have missed out on the additional knowledge a specialist can impart to those who remain behind. Any business, to operate well, needs a combination of versatile generalists and specialists who zone in on an X Factor. Think of it like a sports team; there will always be the team players who no team can do without, but they will all be elevated to another level by an expert who specializes in penalty kicks or three-point shots. Not only do they bring their special talent, but they can pass on tricks of their trade.

You can hire a specialist whenever you need one

Without a doubt, it could be seen as an extravagance for your business to have a real estate attorney on the payroll if you’re not a realtor; or to employ a structural engineer if you’re not in construction. Those kinds of hires would only make sense for the biggest, wealthiest companies. However, specialists will mostly work on a contracted, for-hire basis. It is easier to carry a leaner staff, and then hire a specialist when they are needed, than it is to cover all bases “just in case”.

The benefits of hiring a specialist are clear; and if you are considering a specialist career for yourself, it’s worth knowing that your skills will always be in demand.

Identifying Your One Thing

One-thing

Several years ago when I worked as a Youth Pastor I came across a book called The 1 Thing: What everyone craves – that your church can deliver.

It was a good, not great book, but the message was simple: build relationships. In the context of “church” it’s a crystal-clear way to set your mission.

Here’s how it applies to you: what do you do best? What is your 1 thing?

If you don’t know, keep reading…

As a huge supporter and user of the StrengthsFinder assessment, I believe everyone should live/function out of their strengths. This particular test reveals your Top 5 strengths and how to use them in your personal and professional life. It’s a great application tool towards becoming the best version of yourself, but I’d like to challenge you to take it a step further.

My Top 5 results from the StrengthsFinder are: Relator, Individualization, Maximizer, Arranger & Strategic. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the terminology, the reason I’m using this example is from these 5 themes, my most marketable talent is: efficiency (Maximizer).

I’m obsessed with efficiency. I plan out everything (even though it rarely plays out the way I envision it). I care about “flow,” punctuality and running ahead of schedule. I apply this strength to the one thing I do best: lead Millennials (that’s why my blog is called Maximizing the Millennial).

The point of my example isn’t to bring attention to myself. It’s to show you narrowing your brand down to one thing is powerful.

People do contact me about career coaching, but I don’t proactively market it. I have other skill sets and interests that excite me, but I don’t focus on them. Customers want to know the one thing you do and how you do it the best. That’s why they hire you.

Job descriptions desire generalists, but within those multitude of tasks they still want to know your speciality. Not only will identifying your 1 thing help you answer the dreaded interview question, “what are your strengths?” It defines your brand.

You can’t be anything you want to be, you can only be the best version of you (2.0). So what’s your 1 thing?