Experience of a Lifetime

Have you ever recognized there are these intangible characteristics about special people who enter our lives that make it impossible to forget them? We all probably have someone in mind right now who fits into that “special” category. Could be someone we know personally or someone we’ve heard speak on television or in person; regardless, we agree there are special people who enter our lives at various times for various reasons. These people are for whatever reason timely and purposeful in our lives, and often they encourage us or perhaps just influence us to spend time in personal reflection. They spark internal thought processes we may not have been inclined to reach on our own and coincidentally, as a result of these thoughts we attain a rejuvenated view of ourselves.

One of those people in my opinion is Randy Pausch. If you have never seen his ‘Final Lecture’ I strongly encourage setting an hour aside and to give it a go. The man is an inspiration to many and he strived to help people become better at whatever it was they wanted to do. And he did it with a purpose, and a certian will to live that I can only describe as admirable.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted” – Randy Pausch

This quote sums up plenty of experiences in my life and as a result, I am better equipped as a person, as an employee, and as a leader. I think its almost humorous that employers post some job postings and list “x” number of years as a requirement for a certain position and then disqualify candidates because of a lack of what they think experience is. Experience is not quantifiable in a sense of placing value on the number of years someone has been doing a job. Real experience is qualitative. It’s not what you do in those 5-7 years of work, it’s how you do it that tells the true story. I may not have 10 years of management experience but I’m the oldest of four siblings and my first job was watching my baby sister during the summers when my parents were working. I sacrificed many of bike rides with my friends, trips to the swimming pool, and neighborhood basketball games when everyone else was on summer vacation. But experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. Yea I wanted to do those things at the time, but I got something even better instead. So here’s a tip to my colleagues in human resources and hiring managers; Don’t think you know someone’s value based on their age and how many years they have been doing a job; they are obviously trying to advance themself from that position… Dig a little deeper and be creative in your approach. Not sure about you, but I would rather work with someone young and passionate about people and change, than someone with 15 years of leadership experience who is set in their ways. But that’s just me.

One thought on “Experience of a Lifetime

  1. I'm biased of course, because I am a family member, but I definitely can vouch for you and your "qualitative" experience. I've seen it in person. Great points and a great post Mark.

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