The Value of Experience | #MyFridayStory No. 74

The Value of Experience | #MyFridayStory No. 74

“How can I get experience, if no one will give me a job, unless I have experience?”

I’m sure you must have heard this from young adults after they graduate from high school or college. Maybe you experienced the same frustration once. Entering the job market for the first time is a daunting experience for most of us. Very little is taught to prepare you for the real working world – at either schools or colleges. You are left to your own devices to figure it out, either by asking for advice or observing how others have done it before you.

I am the father, uncle and friend, of young adults. Their ages range from late teens to early 30s. Being near them over the years, I’ve heard and seen first-hand, how they have tried to tackle life after graduation. What I have observed, more often than not, they are ill-equipped to confront the working world. Regardless of their qualifications, or their chosen field of study, and unless they were lined up with a cushy job, they floundered at first.

I don’t want to cast aspersions about young adults, that is not my intention. But what I am suggesting, is that neither society nor our education system, has done any good at preparing our children for the real world. Children of parents that know and understand the challenges, have a head start over those that don’t. Unless they have a mentor or someone who can assist them early in their career, young adult graduates struggle to find their feet.

I first went to college to study civil engineering. I dropped out after four years, and later completed a marketing certificate. There I discovered my passion for marketing, and it has never left me. I was fortunate to find out what I love doing so early in my life.

My love for marketing ran deep.

I attended marketing seminars, and went to talks from the marketing gurus of the day, I consumed volumes of books and publications, both local and international, on marketing trends, insights and opinions.

I have never not been a marketer. If I look back at my career, marketing has always been at the heart of what I was busy doing. Even when I was doing civil engineering, making burgers and selling shoes. No matter what business I was working with at the time, I was always in ‘marketing mode.’

Being that passionate about something, learning becomes fun. I was like a sponge soaking up everything marketing related with glee. I’ve been immersed in my passion like this for 30 years. At the age of 50, I received my post-graduate marketing diploma. And I’m not done learning everyday. This has meant:

I’ve never had to ‘work’ one day


Every day has been fun.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to have worked with great people and great brands. I have built strong relationships, friendships actually, with a great network of experts and professionals in their particular fields. Legendary designers, talented copywriters, funky events planners, public relations geniuses, social media gurus, website wizards, and a host of other highly experienced creative types. With these folk, we have created memorable brands, occasions, events, experiences and moments, for many happy clients.

This, is the Value of Experience.

We all suffer from The Dunning Kruger Effect at some point in our lives. That’s when people of low ability, grossly overvalue their ability. The explanation for the effect is that when we’re not good at a task, we don’t know enough to accurately assess our ability. So, inexperience casts the illusion of expertise.

I came across a company run by young adults, posing as experienced marketers. They had managed to convince a few unsuspecting clients of their expertise. Without having the necessary skills or experience, they floundered, wasting the clients time and money. Young adults as advised to be aware of the Dunning Kruger Effect, and how it affects their cognition.

The bias makes you look foolish.

* (You are welcome to drop me a mail frans@leap1st.com I’d love to hear from you.)

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