I can remember, from the time I was in diapers, that family, friends, and strangers told me that I was and am unique. And though I am ‘unique’, I know I am not alone in being told that I was, though it is true that we are all noteworthy in our own ways, Margaret Mead described the nature of the individual the best when she said “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” So, that’s it. There is nothing we can do to be individually special, because in reality we, like everyone else, are special? Wrong. We, individually, may not be specifically different from others around us, but we have the ability to stand out from our peers by being in a word “eclectic”.
Why be eclectic? Well the definition of eclectic is simple, “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources”, meaning that to be eclectic is not to be different in an entirely strange and non-relatable way, rather to be knowledgeable in a wide range of topics and skills. For example college student’s, are working towards the skills that will become their expertise (major), though this is not the only thing they are experts in. If you have played a sport for years, you could be considered an expert, or if you have dabbled in art, music, cooking, etc. for enough years, the skills become second-nature and thus something you could speak about extensively with others, knowledgeable in the topic or not.
You know that person at events who attracts people like moths to a flame? Well I could bet you that, that person is an individual who is an expert in at least one topic, and is very, very, well informed in other topics, such as food, wine, politics, pop-culture, etc. The great thing about this type of person is that you are one of these people. Now you may be shaking your head, disagreeing, but honestly I’m sure you have done a lot of things in your life that you could easily talk about if prompted or could engage someone in a conversation about.
So what is the point of this discussion in particular? Become well informed on what is going on in the world right now, and things you are interested in. Also, when you see those professionals at a networking event, don’t be shy to go talk to them, because while you may not be well versed in the topic of their expertise, you could capture their attention with what you are an expert in! Show what you know, every experience or interaction is a stepping-stone to greatness.