Watch this scene from Devil Wears Prada. It is a masterclass in what it means to be a true expert in your field.
If you don't know, Devil Wears Prada is an iconic film now 18 years old about a young journalism grad who settles for a job as Miranda's assistant. She is the fashion world's kingmaker.
Yes it is also a movie about career-focused people being assholes. You gotta have that in a mid-2000's comedy drama.
I love the blue sweater scene because Andy, the protagonist, looks at the frantic conversation about a dress and scoffs: "Ugh you guys, it's just fashion, who cares"
Well first of all, Andy, you're at a fashion magazine. This is what they do. That's like scoffing at a software engineer for talking about vim keyboard shortcuts.
Challenged, Miranda looks Andy up and down then in a stern matter-of-fact voice puts her in her place with a pure demonstration of deep expertise. There is more depth in fashion than a fresh grad could even dream of.
"Oh you think your sweater is blue? It's cerulean. That color first appeared in a 2002 collection of cerulean gowns. Then another designer used it for military jackets. Then the color took off and eventually filtered down to the discount bin where you found your lumpy sweater. You think you're exempt from the fashion industry, but in fact every choice has been made for you by the people in this room."
Whatever your field that's what you wanna be able to do. Answer even the smallest question with depth, confidence, and detail.
PS: Devil Wears Prada is also a great movie showcasing Andy's growth from being a pair of hands to a delegatable professional. Recommend watching.
Continue reading about What being an expert looks like
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