A Tale of Two Fields

Someone famous once remarked that to be elite is someone who can straddle two different fields or worlds, and be an expert in both and communicate between the two.

Being an expert in one field is hard already, much less two. Being an expert means putting in the time, gaining a network, and developing a deep expertise in a chosen field. Doing it in two fields means replicating that work effort. But it doesn’t have to be doubly hard.

Because you only already have one chosen field of expertise A, the moment you choose to work at a different field B, you’re known as the person who knows A best. You may be terrible at B, but the fact is that you know A super well, so at least people will gravitate to talk to you. Over time you will gain a network, but more importantly, the experience and language to talk to field B people. And over time, you will become an expert in field B through experienced interaction.

Those two fields have different languages, customs, and people. The more distinct those two fields are, the higher value you can create in bridging the two. The more you can be comfortable on either side of those fields, the better you can relate between them.

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