Experience essential! But is this really the case?

I walk by another sign in the window of a pub.

‘Bar staff wanted. Experience essential.’

This always seems odd to me, because of all the things that are essential behind a bar, experience isn’t one of them.

Honesty is essential, as is a positive attitude to work, a capacity to learn and an ability to get on with people.

But experience?

I’ve met people with years of experience in their field… but who haven’t learned anything.

They haven’t had twenty years experience; they’ve had one year’s experience twenty times.

It’s not the same at all.

Experience is a rich gift to bring to an organisation if we are learning from it, growing through it.

But this is always not the case. If we cannot learn from events – if we cannot alter our unhelpful attitudes, cannot adapt our behaviour – then we can have one hundred years experience, and still be the same as when we started.

For this reason, I’d always employ on potential over experience.

‘Bar staff wanted. Ability to learn and grow essential.’