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What is your breadth of experience?

It's easy to get caught up in become a specialist in your day to day work. In fact, it makes sense to become an expert in what you do every day: it optimizes your results, helps you become the “go-to” person in the business, and furthermore   saves you some time in trying to solve problems (if you're an expert, you probably know   of   a solution). However, John Reiling, PMP, warns against only having a narrow window of experience. Instead, he suggests having a “breadth of experience”, which will surely give you more insight into any problem or challenge you face:

  By the same token, I think we can control to a large degree the experiences and exposure that we have.   We can have a big hand in the types of experiences we string together for ourselves that, over time, create a body of seasoned knowledge and wisdom  that is uniquely ours and uniquely valuable. In any situation, there are things we can control, and things we cannot.   Wisdom, I think, is the ability to know the difference, and in any case to make the most of the situation.   We need to accept that, no matter what, uncertainty is for sure!   But we can actually plan for that, to a degree.

Having a broad background can help you apply past experiences to new situations, despite those situations not necessarily being directly related to the past experience. For example, if in the past you learned of a unique risk in application X, you are more likely to check if there are any unique risks with any application you come across in the future.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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