Let me preface this by saying I try to have a positive attitude and outlook as much as possible and I try to rarely give into self-pity. On occasion though, my positive attitude has to battle disappointment and this blog may very well be an example of that.
Most people have a word in the English language that they do not like. It is either something they cannot spell, pronounce, or maybe something that is just awkward or icky sounding, or that represents something they do not like.
I have had issues with my least favourite word for a couple of years now. It is constantly mocking me, being a thorn in my side, so I thought it was time that I call it out.
My least favourite word is: EXPERIENCE
I know, it seems like a fairly non-offensive word. Many people generally think of it as a positive word. A good experience is a positive. When you gain experience, it is a positive, because you have learned something new or improved your skill at something.
I myself used to like this word, but I have grown to not be so fond of it.
Since I have graduated from both University and College this word has been the bane of my existence.
It is usually accompanied by:
You do not have enough …
The other candidates have more …
I may not have a massive amount of professional experience, but I do believe I have more than a sufficient amount. Additionally I believe the experience I have gained has been extremely valuable. Alas though, my view and valuation of my experience is not what matters. What does matter is how potential employers value my experience.
I have submitted many applications and gone to many interviews and I always seem to have the same problem.
“We love your energy, enthusiasm, ideas and you have a fantastic portfolio, but the other candidate has more experience.”
“While we thank you for your application, we will only be interviewing candidates with more experience.”
I do keep adding to my experience by completing freelance projects and volunteer projects, but I am not adding those “years” that companies seem to be looking for or the “Permanent Role” experience they seem to value more.
So I keep finding myself in the same nasty cycle:
To get a job I need experience, to get experience I need a job.
On one hand I get it, companies have to do what they think is best for them, and I respect their decisions. On the other hand though, I honestly believe that I could be what is best for one of these companies that I am applying to. I am smart and hardworking. I wasn’t the top of my class in college by fluke and I haven’t gotten glowing references from the people I have worked with me by mistake. I am good at what I do and when I don’t know something, I learn it and I master it.
I understand the value of experience, but sometimes I think people value quantity over quality and for me that is a problem. I may not have a lot of experience, but I have had good experiences and I know that I can easily make up for any lack of experience with my smarts, my skills and my determination.
Job hunting is hard and some days it takes a lot out of me. I try though to maintain a positive outlook as much as possible, because I know eventually, if I work hard enough, I will catch a break and I will find my place. I know that one day the word “experience” and I will be on good terms again, but for now, I wouldn’t be too disappointed if I didn’t see or hear it used often in some form of rejection.
Tomorrow is a new day and I will approach it with the belief that good things will happen.