The value of work experience

Early in my career, I admired several experienced colleagues that I worked with.

They would have answers to my questions, and keep calm in situations where I thought panic was the appropriate response. Surprises would not unsettle them, nor would an overnight crisis cause them to miss a step. Thanks to their experience, they seemed to have everything figured out.

Now, having worked for about 10 years, I have a similar amount of work experience as some of these colleagues. Sure enough, I am able to better handle surprises and uncertainty compared to 10 years back.

Yet, I don’t have anything figured out. The world of work changes faster than ever. Assumptions we made yesterday are no longer valid. Global events influence everybody and the complexities of our problems increase in step with our ability to perceive them and keep up with them.

Years of experience does not give you all the answers. It merely helps you accept that the questions will never go away.

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