“More than 5 years now.” I quickly answered after a small calculation. But the next question was surprising.
“How can you measure your experience in terms of years?”
Dumbfounded. I had no idea where this conversation was heading towards. So I smiled waiting for an explanation.
“Your experience cannot be measured in years or any other unit of time for that matter. After all its ‘experience’, in inverted commas. Let me ask you this, what was your experience of this training, would your answer be 5 days?”
I knew that was a rhetorical one and it did led me into thinking about it.
When a 63 year old man with immense experience of delivering World class projects for four decades tells you that the number of years is not how you calculate experience, you are ought to give it another thought. Can your work experience really be quantified by just the number of years you have been working?
From job interviews and resume perspective, of course, experience = number of years you have been working.
But to think of it, would two people with 10 years of experience have the same knowledge, possess the same skills and be equally professional? Absolutely not!
The first person could be working in the same industry delivering similar projects while the other could be working in different domains delivering projects unknown to each other. Won’t the latter’s 10 years of experience be much more enriching? Don’t you think there’s a difference between 10 years of experience and 1 year of experience repeated 10 times? You decide.
Nevertheless, I will cite the same example I was given by the mentor – Climbing mount Everest thrice is great. But climbing Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga once each, is far greater!
So now, what is your total work experience? It is definitely much, much more than any digit could ever justify.