Knowledgeable or Experienced

Albert Camus once said, “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.”

Our nervous system is wired to relate experience with the time spent by an individual on that topic or situation. While, it may hold true most of the time, but it does not always. We are all unique in our own ways and we undergo different situations. The way we deal with a situation varies with factors within our control and out of our control. Of course, over time, we learn the basics, we learn to deal with external forces, we may even be able to mitigate the risk (by planning well in advance); nonetheless, we become more knowledgeable about the situation. Then again, there may arise a situation which is alien to us. Or not!

I have come across people who have worked on a particular type of work for long,

  • Case 1: A person works on a type of work and continues to do so for years, without learning other aspects.
  • Case 2: A person has worked on similar projects, but still needs guidance every time he starts a new work.
  • Case 3: A person has worked on multiple projects, but lacks management skills.
  • Case 4: A person is good at management (getting things done), but doesn’t have good knowledge about the processes or the work or the people skills.

Arguably, they all have knowledge to perform their duties and have spent more time than others but are they really experienced? Rather, will they be successful in the long run? I have always related experience with skills, maturity, and understanding of the topic. Knowledge will tell me how to work, while the experience will tell me – how to complete a work efficiently, what all could go wrong, help me tailor the approaches, and how to deal with both, people and work.

Imagine a scenario where you have been following a checklist to perform a task, you are confident of performing it again. However, there are external factors (like moving to a new environment, or permissions to access the relevant information, or any such condition) which holds you up. Your experience will tell you to be patient, careful, and try a different approach (which is not mentioned in the checklist). On top of it, experience will tell you whom to contact or how to deal with the situation, in case of failure. Knowledge can make you proud or arrogant, while experience will make humble and respectful.

It is not about the time we have spent on a particular thing, it is about what we have learnt while working on it. It’s not only the piece of work we do, it’s the way we do and with whom we do it. Most of all, experience tell you what not to do!

It’s our ability to deal with the unexpected that makes us experienced. ~ PR

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

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6 Ways To Get Better At Soft Skills

According to Harvard Business School, an individual’s technical skills account for (nearly) 15% of his growth, whereas the remaining 85% (or so) is determined by his soft skills. While the technical skills define the type of work you do, the soft skills define the kind of person you are. Every non-technical work, to its simplest form, like the way you talk or the way you walk can be thought of as a soft skill. Few of the commonly used soft skills are time management, communication, presentation, and team work. There are many more which you can find on a job descriptions, speaking with a HR, or on the internet.

Every year, millions of students graduate from their respective universities; but not everyone is able to get a job. Various researchers have found that around 15-20% of the students (globally) graduating every year are employable.

So… what makes a handful of them tick while the others fuse?

Having studied from the same college, the batch of students graduating would have same information or skills. Of course, some of them would have a natural ability to perform well, but what makes them better is the ability to do more than what they have learnt technically. Think of a job like sales or marketing where you have the knowledge to collect data, but people who are able to connect with clients and present their data in a better way will be appreciated.

Is there any way I can learn or improve?

Definitely! And the best thing is you don’t need to go back to school or college. Naturally, these wouldn’t be easy, at times, or within your comfort zone. And, the first and foremost thing would need is an intent or willingness to learn and change. There are trainings provided by most of the organisations, if not then you can find incredible amount of study material online. But, before you search for course material you should be aware of areas which you want to improve upon. A good to way to do that is self-assessment and taking feedback from your peers and supervisors.

Trying to gulp it all at once could lead to a lost cause. Define certain goals around the skills you want to hone, and repeatedly practice them in your daily routine. Always remember, it’s not about changing others but you and you only. So, don’t force this upon others, however, finding a partner would put it on a fast track. Things we learn since childhood days are difficult to let go, and learning a new skill pushes us to do that. It’s like changing your behaviour, the way you perceive things, and the way you deal with a situation.

There would be times when you would want to quit, the easy way out; but remember it’s a need rather than a want. In order to progress in your career you need to get better at these. Any new skill would start with learning to self-manage.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!