They say that you should study hard, find a profession and look for a decent job. If you do so, you may become a successful person somewhere down the line.

There is a lot of truth in my statement above, but that was 20 years ago. In the 21st century, you not only need deep specialization within a particular field, but a full set of skills that will back it up. This is the most fool proof way to stand out from the crowd.

I call it 1+100 rule. You take your specialization and make it the foundation of your lifetime development and then you mix in other ‘ingredients’. Divesting your knowledge base like this keeps you versatile in the marketplace as time progresses.

Let’s say you are a programmer with 5-years experience, then you may also be able to make great face-to-face presentations as your secondary skill. In time, this will help you to become a leader in your given field.

When you work in a sales team, it would help tremendously if you become highly skilled with Excel spreadsheets. It will help to expedite your reports and put you first in line for a future managerial role. The most important thing here is to remember that skills need to be interconnected somehow.

The biggest mistake is developing a skill that does not compliment your current career. It’s probably not in your best interest to learn how to build houses, when you actually work in an office as an accountant. I’m sure that this may be enjoyable but your time is valuable and finite, not infinite.

When success in a chosen profession is your goal, you need to find a way to make it possible. Thinking out of the box is one way of doing that. Interdisciplinary approach is key to your development process in helping to achieve those goals, but it needs to be used wisely.

It is all like a double-edged sword, which can help you by leaps and bounds, but it can also slay you if used improperly. Ultimately, finding the connections between your specialization and additional skills that complement it, are crucial.