How do you get experience? By doing the damned thing.

I honestly think that ‘You don’t have enough experience,’ is generally a cop out answer for feedback as to why a person didn’t get a leadership role. Especially if it’s the only reason given. (326 words)

  1. That’s usually pretty obvious from their CV or application form so why waste their time interviewing?
  2. I honestly believe that any competent person can be trained to do the operational bits of most jobs if they have the right training, support and overall ethos or attitude.
  3. I’ve seen people with no experience be given jobs over those who have several times in my career

Anybody remember the TV series, ‘Faking It’? People were given a month to master a new skill, with the help of an expert mentor. ¬†Most went from nothing to doing a pretty competent job. Also Strictly (used to) have people who had never really danced properly and got many up to a decent standard with intensive support from a professional.

I educate young people. None of them were born knowing how to factorise a quadratic equation but with careful teaching, mentoring and support from somebody who knows what they are doing, they learn.

I also develop staff and leaders. I once hired somebody whose boss indicated ‘No leadership potential’ on their reference because I saw something in him. He then went on to have a massive impact in his department and across the school because I and others believed in him and he took and created opportunities.

I’ve also been given roles where I had no direct experience but I learned on the job, I made mistakes and then I got better.

How does somebody get experience? By doing the damed thing. Being supported, given space to learn, reviewing stuff then trying again.

Maybe, ¬†‘You don’t have enough experience’ really means ‘I’m not willing to or don’t have the capacity to develop you at this time,’ or ‘Your ethos doesn’t fit with ours.’ That would be more honest.

 

 

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