- Beyond academic qualifications lies the next level of competition, experience.
- Current and future employers do and are likely than not to place a premium on experience making it the next level of competition.
- Exposure to other people and situations does not count for much if the people subscribe to similar schools of thought as ourselves.
Today’s job market is way past the point at which many candidates have a certificate, diploma, basic degree, master’s, and PhD and requires more to compete for prized career opportunities.
Beyond academic qualifications lies the next level of competition, experience.
Current and future employers do and are likely than not to place a premium on experience making it the next level of competition.
Experience means being exposed to diverse places, people, and situations. Its value is our ability to professionally navigate the unexpected and at times unorthodox situations that we are wont to face in the real-life — scenarios that are not and can honestly not all be fathomed within most academic course content.
It is reasonable to expect that employers aim to and endeavour to create environments in which team members can collaborate in harmony.
While comfortable working environments where considerations for our diversity are made to enable requisite camaraderie are certainly important, it is crucial to encourage the free expression of different perspectives.
It is through this experience of different perspectives and free expression of opposing views to ours that the desired expansion of our minds, personal and social evolution is created.
As we may have had the gift and displeasure of experiencing, other people’s views may even be offensive. I suggest that this is exactly what is desirable.
Opposing perspectives expand our knowledge to a higher level than we already possess or at least think that we do.
Exposure to other people and situations does not count for much if the people subscribe to similar schools of thought as ourselves.
This is not to imply that is easy or fun to be in situations where your views are challenged but it is an invitation to review our thought processes and perhaps overhaul them if it serves us better.
Even if upon evaluation we turn out to be right and the opposing view determined to be ridiculous, the opposition is still in and of itself of immense value. It offers us the opportunity to interrogate views from viewpoints that we might never otherwise have considered.
If we discovered good value, we adopt it in part or whole. If not, we enjoy the benefit of holding on to our positions with greater conviction.
Being in situations where we have no choice but to navigate the unpleasantness of our innermost held beliefs, norms, and habits all while delicately balancing the need to observe the unwritten social contract of respect in disagreement is a good definition of experience.
As workplaces strive to keep team members relating harmoniously the onus is, however, on individuals to have a good handle on their emotions when encountering differing views.
The premium placed on experience, particularly experience in multi-cultural environments is the self-mastery that such experience inevitably develops in him/her.
When tried, tested, and well-honed, a professional is equipped to manage even the most trying of circumstances with the tact and decorum that great brands require.
It is not surprising then that when candidates competing for an opportunity possess comparable academic qualifications, their experience levels become the competitive edge.
It differentiates the academically qualified novices from the seasoned professionals who owing to wetting, in fact soaking their feet in diverse and often challenging situations have come out on the other side made of more durable substance than their academically worthy competitors.