We live in a society that is age-obsessed. No one wants to look old. No one wants to be old. Yet, there’s no escaping it. Each one of is going to turn around one day and be ‘old’. Then we’ll ask ourselves, “When did this happen? How did this happen?” Of course those are just rhetorical questions. We all know time stops for no one. So rather than talk about something that no one can change (getting old), let’s talk about experience.
Experience is relative and it’s not necessarily age-related – although quite truthfully, it often is. In my younger years I used to say, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage”. I still believe this. But back then, I was the youngest one on the team. Today, well let’s just say that I’m no longer the youngest!
A perspective on becoming the agency go-to guru:
At some point during my career I found myself on the other side of the fence of experience. No longer was I in search of the person who would know the answer. Seemingly overnight, I became the person who knew the answer. Well it may not have been overnight, it may have been over 20 years of late nights at the agency to become that go-to guru.
And I must say that I enjoy it – having the knowledge, the know-how and the confidence that comes along with experience. Although, I’m not saying that I’ve stopped learning. NO! In this field, it’s impossible not to learn new things. But the learning process is much easier for me now. It has become quite fluid and intuitive.
In business, regardless of whom you talk to, being of a certain age is seen as a disadvantage. So let’s talk about the advantages of experience. There are so many advantages for businesses to employ experienced people. Here are the reasons:
1) Wisdom is knowledge: There’s very little that can compete with knowledge. A wealth of experience provides depth of knowledge that is astounding. And you can only get it one way – by experience. (Funny that!)
2) It takes less time to get things done: Anyone with experience has gained many skills. They don’t know everything, but they know a lot. At the agency, our designers can really churn out outstanding concepts and designs quickly. They have a wealth of experience to draw from, cutting out the insecurities and cutting down on the time it takes to get things done. At the speed of business today, half the time to do anything is big a plus.
3) Getting it done right – the first time: No need to expand on that. You all know what I mean.
4) Confidence and professionalism: From an employer’s perspective, when someone is able to hit the ground running and have confidence, it’s nothing short of bliss. Having the professionalism to handle stressful situations gracefully is invaluable.
Experience matters. The experienced stage is a great place to be at in one’s career, at least that’s my perspective.
What are your thoughts?