Years of Experience or Experience of Years?

Apr 03
[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] One thing that has always puzzled me is the rate at which some people live their lives. It seems to me there are three speeds, backwards, bumble and blitz. And these people become employees.

Let me elaborate, the backwards speed applies to those who always seem to take one step forward and ten steps back. They are usually heard talking about how they blame anyone else but themselves for the situation they are in or have been in. They take no responsibility and are always asking for something, time off, advance on their salary, reduced hours, more pay. In your business they drain you and your team.

Then there are the bumblers, mediocre. They come in on time, do the job ok, are nice to have around. And that’s a sentence where nice does apply. There are no surprises with these guys, they just bumble comfortably through work and life. These are the people who have 20 years’ experience in a job but have never really climbed anywhere. They are good, solid workers and will mainly be loyal to you for as long as they work. They have long period of time in one job, just enough work to get them by.

Finally we have the Blitzer’s, well for a short while at least. These guys are rarely in the same place for long and even if they stay with the same company their roles and projects change. These are the ones who walk in and shake everything to the core. Very challenging with co-workers because of the threat they pose to everyone in their path. They are also annoyingly brilliant. Don’t be fooled by their trade-off with office time either, they are the ones who would do an all-night work session without a second thought.

So this leads me to wonder if I want someone with experience or not when I recruit for a new job. How many years’ experience? And do I want bumbler speed experience or blitz speed? The blitz group are likely to have worked 80 hour weeks, have juggled multiple projects and always have their eye on the next big thing. So 10 years bumbler experience could easily match 5 years Blitzer experience.

The Blitzer also makes mistakes, probably lots of them as they push their boundaries and challenge themselves. I like people who make lots of mistakes because it means they learn something. We definitely need bumblers too, they make up most of the workforce and keep the balance. Without them not much would get done. But left to them alone the world and your business will stagnate. The Blitz crew, well blitz, they move things forward, they change things.

Skills can be gained, taught and trained. Attitude, experience and approach to life cannot. Some people do live fast; they have hit the milestones of adult life faster and earlier and learned from them. Some people suffer more adversity in their lives and turn that into positive experience that cannot be taught. Some of the worlds’ most successful people had the most devastating start.

So who do you need in your workforce?

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