#1 career mistake professionals make

A good professional is versatile. They can handle a wide array of task with aplomb and serve as the go-to person on a variety of projects. Having a wide range of skill sets is great when you’re already an employee somewhere, but if you’re trying to get a job or score a promotion, it’s better to have one skill that really stands out from the others. Being okay at everything but not shining in one particular thing is a mistake that many good professionals make in their careers.

Although having a range of skills is helpful, having a particular specialty will ensure that you are maximally productive in one area.

While you can just be useful in other fields, you become absolutely essential when it comes to your specialty. You’ll be able to contribute to your company most effectively in your particular field, so specializing is a win-win situation for both you and your employer. That’s why lawyers, for instance, usually specialize in different fields of law even within the same firm.

If, for example, you’re a writer, you’ll probably end up writing on a variety of topics, from news to family life to DIY to entertainment. That’s to be expected, but don’t spread yourself too thin at the price of losing a specialty. You’ll be able to score higher paying writing jobs by having a specialty. The same is true in any field of work – and it’s definitely something you should keep in mind the next time you consider taking on a freelance, volunteer, or overtime project. Is this going to build my special expertise?