Is your career part of your life?
Is it part of your weekends?
I’m not asking in a “you should hate weekends to be a real entrepreneur” kind of way.
... but in a “you should be excited enough to spend personal time on your career” way.
We just came out of a long weekend here in Canada, and while I definitely enjoyed family and pool time—finally, summer weather in Ottawa—I also spent some time working on my expertise.
Because for a long time, my weekends were completely unrelated to my weekdays. My career and personal interests had no crossover.
Choosing to stop living two separate lives, I started shaping my career into a reflection of my curiosities and strengths.
And when I finally found my sweet spot, I noticed that doing work was only a small piece of where success and fulfillment came from. I started caring about how I do my work and wanted to learn how others are getting their work done. The goal moved towards becoming the best at my craft and adding my personal spin to it.
A successful and fulfilling career is built by cycling through: working in your expertise, working on your expertise, growing your expertise, and sharing your expertise.
If you talk to any successful person, you'll see them light up when they speak about their career and business. Their expertise is part of who they are.
The simple tell if you're also in this category is how much does your expertise blend into your weekends?
Working in your expertise
The part where you do the damn thing.
Too many people look for excitement here, reinventing the wheel, when really they should be heads down moving the needle.
Getting better at working in your expertise means setting up an environment for success. Optimizing your schedule for when you do your best work. Limiting your distractions so you can get into flow. Time blocking your calendar so you can put all your attention into a single task.
The idea of "finding your passion" has made us forget that we need a little blood, sweat, and tears to see progress.
Working on your expertise
This is where you replace waiting for direction with taking initiative. Questioning why things are done the way they’re done.
Whether that’s at your company or in your business, take back the power of steering your own progress and efforts.
Many people seem to have this fear of "questioning authority" when in reality, we should all be questioning gaps and opportunities in our workflows. (Whether that "authority" is your boss, a thought leader, or a standard in the industry).
Growing your expertise
Looong gone are the days of working in one job for your entire career and living on autopilot.
Magic happens at the edge of a little discomfort. And we need to keep pushing our expertise beyond what we can do with our eyes closed. This kind of growth happens by rounding out your core expertise with complementary skills.
Being the best in Partnership Marketing requires constant upkeep in communication skills, keeping your ego in check, developing a success mindset, and so much more.
Sharing your expertise
What's that saying—if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough?
Using that logic, we can start sharing our expertise with others to continue getting better at it ourselves. It keeps us a student of our craft, but also spreads value, which leads to higher fulfillment in what we do.
Moving between these layers is what grows our success and fulfillment. I tend to avoid working in my expertise over the weekends. I welcome the change in routine. But what about working on, growing, or sharing your expertise?
There’s a lot we can do to move ahead. In your down time, think about how you could improve your current role. Or what complementary skills you’re interested in adding to the mix. Or how you’ll start mentoring others in your space?
Find that one seed of opportunity and start watering the shit out of it.