In a world of increasing digitization, there is a growing demand for adaptive, versatile employees who have mastered multiple domains. As a result, employees (and people in general) look to expand their knowledge base – even if it lacks direction and focus – and feel justified by the idea that, if they accumulate as much information as possible, they will become more useful, adaptive, and (conceivably) more valuable to companies and prospective employers.
So how does one balance life-long learning with mastery without diluting the quality of the knowledge you acquire? The key is to build on what you already know, expanding to secondary topics and interconnected information, and enjoying the process. Try starting with:
This is a relatively obvious starting point. Begin by adding to your current knowledge base on topics that you’re familiar with. Go over it again and look for gaps.
Excelling at something makes you feel good about your learning experience. Think of this as being on the Beginner level of your knowledge journey. As you amass more information, you can slowly increase the complexity and tackle more difficult topics.
We’re more inclined to do things that we find happiness in. When you dig into new knowledge on topics you enjoy, you find multiple other related topics and your interest is piqued to learn more.
Once you’ve began to master what you already take an interest in, start to think about how these strengths and skills can be applied to other areas.
Just because you have a broader understanding of a topic doesn’t mean that you have mastered everything there is to know about it. What are the smaller components? What lessons are still left to be learned? How can you gain more specialized knowledge on that subject?
Dr. Álvarez Mangual is the founder and executive coach of Thriven Partners, LLC. She has over 20 years of workforce and talent development experience that has intentionally centered inclusion, equity, and justice.