Spcialism - blog

To move from insignificant to influencer in your industry, organisation and own career, embrace the power that being a specialist gives you.


After my surgery last year I was referred to a physiotherapist. I didn’t call for about 3 months, because I thought I was doing well enough. Then I started to get post-surgery problems and I decided to book in.

The conversation went like this:

“Great, we’d love to see you. There’s a 3 month waiting list, so your first appointment with Dr Box will be January 2015.”

Wow, 3 months!

Luckily for me I got a call the next week and was able to attend a cancelled appointment at very short notice. Speaking to Dr Box about her practice, she told me that in 10 years of being in business, she has never had to advertise for patients – not even once.

The reason for this is that she is a specialist in post-cancer surgery physiotherapy (one of very few in the State) and her reputation precedes her. She has a steady stream of referrals and in fact, more demand than she can ever hope to satisfy, even with the addition of two other specialist practitioners.

When considering career paths or building your business, being known as an expert or a specialist in your field undoubtedly increases opportunities and, in most cases, income.

For example, as a former lawyer, it always amazed me how much more a specialist tax lawyer charged than a general commercial lawyer. Because there are fewer of them, and they have extremely specialist knowledge, they can charge a premium for the work they do.

Many of you will read this and think “I’m not specialist in anything, I’m good at a few things, how do I know which road to take?”.

Others may be reading, knowing that they are being led down a path of specialism that doesn’t suit them, or interest them.

Here’s a model to help you determine what YOU can become a specialist in.

Expertise: Where does your expertise lie? Think beyond pure subject matter here and dig deep to determine your strengths and natural talents – they also have a major part to play in determining your expertise.

Demand: You may be the best specialist in the world in a particular area, but if no-one needs what you have to offer, your business or career is never going to take off.

Interest: Gallup polls show that the level of emotional engagement we have in our work has a huge impact on our happiness and life satisfaction. To sustain you through the work it takes to get there, and then to really reap the rewards of specialism, it’s crucial you choose an area that you actually enjoy!

Before you even use this model though there is an important question you need to ask yourself: do I value my skills, strengths and talents enough to view myself as a specialist? 

Specialism is a superfood for your career, but it will only work if you have the foundational diet of self-belief, self-confidence and self-knowledge in place to support it.


PS Want to find out more about how you can super-charge your career or business through building your power of influence? Join me in SYDNEY on 24 March and BRISBANE on 13 May for an exclusive workshop for professional women. Click here to access tickets for both events.