Expert versus Experience: I'd rather be experienced

Recently, I have started thinking about the difference between an expert and an experienced professional. There may not be much of a difference by definition. I feel that expert is a person who has reached a pinnacle of his or her career while an experienced professional is one who is continuously learning.


Last week, Ed and I attended a Meetup Group, “Tiny Business, Mighty Profits,” facilitated by Russ Henneberry, an Internet marketing guru, who shared with the attendees how the tools available through Social Media need to be part of and in some cases the core of your marketing plan. As we shared our thoughts with the group, I noticed that many individuals introduced themselves as “expert this” and “expert that.” (I’m guilty as charged, too.) As we discussed ways to build our presence using on-line tools available, it dawned on me that we need to demonstrate more of our experience than expertise because the latter can show we no longer are growing as professionals.

In the fall of last year, Ed and I heard Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, describe Twitter as a utility. He didn’t say he was an expert using Twitter. The programmers at Twitter keep up by improving the utility to serve the needs of its experienced users.

In looking at ways you communicate your professional and personal skills to others by being an expert versus experienced individual, think about this:
  • An experienced individual continues to learn
  • An experienced individual is open to change
  • An experienced individual can develop an expertise but is humble not to claim that she knows everything
I’m not an expert really at anything. I have many experiences that can help me become a better professional and person.

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