While it goes without saying that knowing your field of work inside out is vitally important to your career, there is also the risk of over-specialising to the point of negatively impacting both your own work and the cohesiveness of the business. Devoting too much attention to your own work, without taking into account the surrounding workings of the business, can have a significant negative affect on your workplace.
As you become more experienced in your work, it’s important to also retain perspective of how you fit into the workplace at large. Here are five good reasons why it’s so important to develop knowledge outside of your own speciality:
By learning how the different departments in your place of work function, you can understand how your work is impacting other parts of the business. This allows you to cultivate practices that might make a small difference to your working life but might lead to a huge rise in productivity elsewhere.
It can be highly valuable to get fresh ideas from work sectors entirely different from your own, as there are often tasks or systems, such as time management, which are common to all sectors. By taking the opportunity to observe a different field, you might learn new ways of working in your own area. If you’re a Project Manager in Construction, why not organise a cross-sector meeting or visit with a Project Manager from Hospitality?
Thanks to quality free online education platforms like Alison, it’s never been easier to try your hand at learning a new subject. By studying a topic that’s completely removed from your day job, you can make your brain work in new ways and develop alternative ways of thinking and approaching problems.
Humans are creatures of habit, and this includes how we work. Every now and again, it’s important to take a step back to see how we can improve on our established ways of doing things. Otherwise we can end up making the same mistakes or sticking to dated ways of doing things. By asking colleagues from other departments about your performance at work, you can gain a useful insight into how you can improve on your working methods.
Perhaps the most important reason not to over-fixate on a particular area of work is that, if you define your role too narrowly, you can be overlooked for promotions if management can’t imagine you in a role with broader responsibilities!