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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > Most of us undervalue our knowledge – Podcast

Most of us undervalue our knowledge – Podcast

July 18th, 2011

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This weekend was the 4th of our free CareerCamp unconferences here in the Los Angeles area. You can learn more about what happened there on the website at http://careercampscv.wordpress.com.

My first session of the day was a breakout discussion on social media and your career. (The audio from this session should be available both here on Career Opportunities and the CareerCampSCV web site.) During that discussion, I heard a common refrain, “What do I have to share, discuss, write about, blog about?” I have heard this many times before and I always work to dispel this myth.

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Unfortunately, most of us often undervalue or devalue the unique knowledge that we have developed over the years. Even someone starting out in a career has learned some important lessons that could benefit others. Still, many of us hang our heads and proclaim we have nothing to offer to the world. Sometimes, in a slightly mean fashion, I will point out to people that if they have nothing to say about their work or their life, then they have much larger problems than just building their career. Most immediately understand what I mean. It is my effort to get them thinking about what they know and how important it might be to others.

What is an expert?

My definition of an expert is someone who has one more piece of information or one more experience than someone else. In reality, this means we are all experts at something — to someone. There will always be those around us who can benefit from our experience and our unique, specific knowledge. No two lives are the same and we will always have different experiences from those around us. Sure, we might think we all move through the same world and experience the same things, but it simply isn’t true.

We each have our own perception of experiences, even if we experience them at the same time as others. It is simply a part of being a unique human being. We might see the same concert, the same movie, work in a similar job at a similar company, but we experience them quite differently. Everything in our past and present effects how we perceive the future and changes it — sometimes in dramatic ways. This uniqueness is exactly what we have to share with others and exactly what they want most.

Your blog to the world

One of my first prescriptions for most people seeking to build their career using social media is to start a blog — start sharing their unique knowledge and experiences with others. As I am sure you have seen on occasion, though, many people start by simply sharing other people’s information. Sharing neat items you discover is great — you are acting as an information curator for those reading your blog — but it is more important to share your opinion, your analysis, your gut feeling of why something is important enough to share. People read your blog to hear YOUR opinion, not a simple restatement of news that can be found elsewhere. Make sure you offer your take on the info to make it as useful as possible.

One amazing thing that occurs when you start a blog is that you start finding things to share there. The mere act of having a place to put stuff lets you see exactly how much you have to share. It is easy to not share something if you have no place to post it. Your blog makes it easy and you will suddenly find yourself blogging more than you ever thought possible — simply because you have “a place for your stuff” as comedian George Carlin once said.

Don’t undervalue your own knowledge and experiences. I know it is very natural and very easy to do, but if you want to build the career you deserve, you must learn to recognize exactly what makes you unique — exactly what makes you special — and, more importantly, to share that with those around you. Your goal in using these tool is to build your career by showing people “what you do and how well you do it.” Doing this on a daily basis, both face-to-face and online, could be the single most important thing to do for your career today.


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