The other day I got my wife to watch an old movie with me called “City Slickers.” It’s about a group of businessmen who do a short stint as cowboys driving a herd of cattle in the Midwest. The trail boss (aka the guy running the show when they’re not on the ranch) describes the meaning of life as “just one thing.” That’s what inspired this post today.

I’ve been writing a series about young HR professionals, SHRM, and how to get more credibility. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short career, it’s that you need to be good at a lot of things, but you need to be really great at doing at least one thing.

Check out the short (2:21) video below for some of my thoughts on how to become indispensable by specializing in something that nobody else wants to do or knows how to do. Sure, you can (and should!) be good at multiple things, and as your career progresses, that number should increase. But when you’re starting out or trying to move up the career ladder, here’s my advice: be really great at one thing. I mention a friend in the video, Steve Boese, who is a pillar of the HR technology community. He’s really great at tech, and people follow him for that specific reason. Just one example of thousands of professionals out there.

(Subscribers may need to click here to view the video.)

Critical thinking for the day: What’s your “one thing?” Let me know by clicking here.

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  • 0 thoughts on “How to become the “go to” person

    1. Love the early morning vlog. Young professionals have the world at their fingertips, regardless of industry, if they are tech savvy. It’s great advice about becoming the go-to person by specializing in something that other more seasoned professionals may not have the skill to do.

      • Thanks, Trish! I tried to spin it so that tech isn’t the only thing that looks like an option for people. While it is my passion (and specialty, at times), others can be awesome at handling people (I’m not quite good enough at that just yet!) or knowing which rules/policies apply in special situations. Be a walking dictionary for your little piece of the overall process and people will see and recognize your importance!

        Thanks for the comment!

    2. […] Fast forward another year and a half and the “personnel department” of that organization hunted me down to see if I would join them upon my graduation. I had established myself as a hardworking, team oriented producer. And so, without another offer, I accepted. My thought was that by working in personnel I\’d learn about organizations and their jobs and be able to decide on my direction. Turned out I really enjoyed the HR work. I headed up a robust summer intern program, backfilled for the recruiters, and generally made myself indispensible. […]

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