Which is better, value or work experience?
3 Jul 2019 KAYA VOICES
By Tokelo Maleme
We can all attest to there being certain job positions that we believe we could have filled and most likely done very well but got discouraged by the number of years of experience in the requirement. Yes, work experience is necessary, however, is it more important than value? You could be extremely experienced in a certain position but that’s only because you are experienced in how to do it your way.
Simply put, if you have five years’ experience doing things your way, you technically have a year’s experience done for five years. Even simpler put, if you have a way of doing things and it works well, then you decide to keep using that way to do your job for five years, that’s technically not five years’ experience, you just chose one set way to do something that can be done in different ways. That’s not experience, that’s familiarity.
Experience is doing the same thing in different ways, not one thing for a long time. If it happens that you run into a problem with your way of doing things and don’t know how else to get a result, five years in, then clearly you aren’t experienced. The person who has five years’ worth of experience is experienced in what they know, not necessarily the industry. Which begs the question, why do employers focus so much on experience instead of value?
Another person might not be ‘experienced’ but may notice or see the changes that happen in the industry and how they might affect the industry or even how to take advantage of those changes. This will help grow businesses and lead to potential big profits. The value that that person acquired purely developed through interest and being able to be a problem solver before the problem affects change. In fact, said person managed to see an opportunity that the person who has become comfortable — through their experience — could not see.
So back to the question, which one is more important? Many may say value and experience work together, which I partially agree with, however, without the added extra effort it takes to know and understand something, there is no way to have experience in anything. When you learn a skill, you develop value. They both compete on the same level, but experience cannot and doesn’t teach adaptability, value does. The fourth industrial revolution is basically getting rid of experience, since almost everything is automated, experience will be irrelevant. Value cannot be replaced. In fact, the people who built these automation machines and software used the value they developed, not experience. So how important is something that can be replaced?
Kaya Voices reflects the opinions of the writers featured not Kaya FM.