The Value and Necessity of Experience

advancement business success experience learn from mistakes learning Mar 19, 2024
Jody Holland Training & Speaking | Leadership
The Value and Necessity of Experience

There is great value in learning, and there is even greater value in learning through experience. Imagine trying to learn a new language but never speaking it aloud or never communicating with another person who speaks the same language. It would be pretty difficult to know if you’re getting the pronunciation and intonation right. Now imagine how that translates into business. You gain valuable insight by working in and experiencing a business industry.

Universities are designed to prepare students for entering the world and starting a career. A degree indicates that a person has successfully completed their academic requirements, but it does not necessarily mean that the individual will automatically excel in their chosen field. That is not meant to be discouraging; rather, it’s meant to drive the point that we are never done learning, and experience in the business world furthers that learning. You can read about how to swim fast, but it won’t happen unless you practice swimming consistently.

Albert Einstein famously said, “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.” Much of experience comes with age, but it also comes with putting yourself out there and trying new things. We don’t start at the level that we want to end up at; we start at the bottom and work our way up. Think back to your first job. You might have worked in fast food or retail, and you had to go through training. You may have known the basic requirements of being a cashier or of serving food, but having the job and knowing how to do it is very different from knowing what the job is. After training and working in that position for a while, you might have been promoted and even had the opportunity to oversee others.

Your experience allowed you to move up the chain of command and direct other employees who might be in the same position you once were in. When you moved on to your next job, you had experience to back you up, and you could look for a higher-level position, which often comes with higher pay as well. Experience is often required for career advancement because it helps prepare you for the next task. Individuals who want to go into education are required to complete time as a student teacher before they can graduate and apply for a teaching position. This is so that they are ready to be in the classroom on their own.

Experience is never meant to punish anyone or hold them back. It is meant to prepare individuals for a specific profession or for life in general. I know it seems contradictory at times to require experience to get a job because how are you supposed to get experience if you can’t get a job without having experience first? Well, you start at the bottom and you work your way up. You demonstrate what you are capable of, and you earn your advancements.

Nothing in life is just given to you. You have to work for everything you want, and you gain valuable experience along the way. Experience is not just a formality, it’s a necessity. So keep pushing through, learn from your mistakes, and strive to be better than you were yesterday.


-Meghan Slaughter

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