At work, the more “experience” the better. Most job postings even list a certain number of years a person has to have in that field before even applying for the opening.
A small part of this makes sense. There are certain things we can only learn from experience.
But most of it — especially the time requirement — is absolutely ridiculous.
When we’re learning something in school, is it our amount of “experience” with something that dictates how well we understand it? Do we judge a student’s success on how long it takes them to figure out how to do a math problem? Do we laud those who had to spend more time in 3rd grade?
“Timmy is our best student — he’s spent 4 years learning the quadratic equation.”
In a learning environment like school, we would find this mindset absolutely absurd.* Backwards. In education, we associate intelligence with speed. How quickly a person can absorb something is a sign of their natural talent and proclivity for that subject. But at work, we assume the opposite… all the time.
Do people need experience? Sure, but not everybody needs the same amount. People learn at different rates and in different styles. Slapping a number of prerequisite years on a job posting is mostly laziness.
How does your organization measure experience? Could it be time to re-think the definition…?
*Hm… makes me wonder what kind of environment we have at work.
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