The Importance of Relevant Experience In The Workplace
Guest Blogger, Paulo da Costa: “Paulo has worked in Media, Marketing and Research for the past 18 years. He is also a qualified Life Coach. When he heard about the opportunity of working with Google as a Coach he ran to it and never looked back.”
What is ‘experience’?
Experience is the knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.
It is important to have a theoretical knowledge about any subject that you wish to work in, but practical experience is vital. Only by performing a task and by having gained experience in doing so is it then possible to see what really works and what doesn’t, even if the theoretical knowledge could fill the gap on the surface.
When performing a task which you have experience in, you understand the finer details that theory cannot provide. It also allows you to perform under pressure, as you have most likely encountered a similar experience before. Experience allows you to understand that pressure, remain calm, and approach the specific subject with more maturity, which is something that can prove a lot more difficult for someone with little to no experience.
Employers, when looking at CVs with similar education and backgrounds, are more likely to make their decisions based on the experience candidates have in different areas. Work experience is particularly valuable as it exercises the brain and demands it to perform tasks which an inexperienced candidate would be more reluctant to do.
Gaining volunteering experience can also be a bonus, especially in terms of charity work, which proves that the candidate already has the drive to act with compassion and aid others.
A huge part of the interview process, for all candidates, is finding the best responses to the questions posed by the interviewer. A large majority of these questions will be on the experience that the candidate has in relation to the job role they are applying for, and how the candidate’s current skills, acquired by this experience, can be translated.
Competency questions are asked with the objective of understanding how the applicant’s experience aligns with the current role, as they are normally looking for someone who “hits the ground running”.
Experience is earned, not given.