Experience vs. Ability

In today’s economy, almost every young person graduating with a Bachelors or Masters degree faces on common problem, the desire of employers to hire someone with experience. Often times, the graduate did not acquire much experience in the particular field he or she wants to enter. That person most likely either did not work, due to a busy schedule studying and doing extra curricular activities, or, worked a part time job in an unrelated field. Perhaps the post student was able to do some internships during the semesters, but nothing significant.

How then does one escape the paradox of needing experience to get a job, but cannot get a job due to lack of experience? The answer, employers need to stop putting so much faith in experience. The real qualifier for a job is a person’s ability. Not what the person has done in the past, but, what the person can do now and in the future.

When a person starts any new job, there will be a learning curve. Steep for some, not so much for others. If the person has the ability, then he or she could outperform anyone with years of experience. In fact, just because someone has done a job before and knows how it worked in the past, does that in fact mean that the person will know every nuance of the current job? Does it mean that the person will perform as well or better at the new job? Absolutely not. There are many cases where a person without experience can lean quicker and do better in a new environment than a seasoned individual. Plus, anyone fresh out of school is still acclimated to the study routine and adapting quickly to new things. While someone who has been out of school for many years and in the job market, may be stuck in his or her ways on doing things.

It is long past the time for employers to stop hanging on to the belief that only a person with x years of experience is the only feasible option when hiring a new employee. If this trend continues, there will be a large portion of the workforce which is retired and great deal of candidates with no experience or jobs, because no one would give them a chance.

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