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4/30 Reframing and redefining what an expert is in 2022

Being an expert no longer requires you to have a PHD and 25+ years of experience. Here's why.

Emma Downham
Emma Downham
2 min read
4/30 Reframing and redefining what an expert is in 2022
Photo by Austin Distel / Unsplash

Hello there, I'm participating in #Ship30for30 on Twitter. It's a writing program with the aim to produce content people actually want to read. You can learn more about it here*. This is essay 4 of 30.

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Being an expert no longer requires you to have a PHD and 25+ years of experience. In 2022, we have experts in all sorts of fields with varying levels of experience.

Take software engineer Dan Luu. He was recently offered 4 software roles with gigantic salary ranges. All US$550k+.

Luu has 5 years experience under his belt. To be clear, US$550k per year is more than the Prime Minister of Australia gets paid to run an entire country with 25+ million people.

Obviously making solid cash-money isn’t the only sign of an expert, but I’d wager a bet that many people would consider it a contributing factor.

Back to Luu.

Amazon. Twitter. Snapchat. LinkedIn. All of these gigantic software companies consider him an expert in his field and offered generous stipends to secure him.

After reading this information I started to think about “who” is an expert. Then, by happen-chance, I listened to an incredible podcast a by Marketing and Business Coaches Ellie Swift and Rachel Kurzyp who articulated exactly what I was thinking.

In 2022 there are more “buckets” of experts

Gone are the days when expertise required 3 degrees and 25+ years of experience.

The world’s moving at such a rapid pace that many expert’s jobs, or areas of expertise, didn’t exist 30 years ago.

Kurzyp makes the point that these people are still experts and always will be. But, nowadays, there are more buckets of experts. And falling into those buckets are people who lean in and share the learnings from their professional and personal lives.

They may only be 1% ahead of you in their journey

It’s often much easier to learn from experts who are only 1–10% ahead of you. I studied journalism from 2007–2009 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. During my entire degree I learnt from clever professors, but they’d been out of the writing game for years. No professors taught us how to write for digital publications. To be fair, it was just before smartphones came into the world, but looking back, the curriculum of the degree didn’t have much foresight. This is why you should find experts who are just ahead of you in the game. If the gap is too big, they’re likely out of touch with reality.

How do you define expertise?

Swift and Kurzyp posed these two questions that are worth asking yourself. It may help you determine if it’s time for you to redefine who and what an expert is to you.

  1. What do you think an expert means?
  2. Who do you consider an expert in the online space and how do they show up and share?

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Emma Downham

Hi 👋 I'm a word wrangler with a knack for marketing. I write about SaaS marketing, business & productivity. Occasionally I'll deep dive into other things fascinating me!