Being Experienced OR Experiential?

It is surprising how many companies are still looking for 10 to 15 years of functional experience in their job descriptions. In a world where change has not only become the only constant but where speed of change is constantly increasing, how much value gives an experience made 10 years ago? And that experience made 5 years ago in company A, will it be helpful for company Z? Going one step further, are we living in times where too much and deeply engrained experience made in the past can actually be in the way of doing things better in the future?

While everyone can contemplate their own answers, I would advocate to move from “being experienced” to “being experiential”. As an experiential person I would see someone who is constantly challenging the status quo rather than resting in comfort; someone who not only adapts fast to change but is actually leading people through change; someone who is generally curious as well as open for the ideas and opinions of others; and most importantly, somehow who does regular self-assessments to honestly evaluate if the current skillset and knowledge base are still up-to-date. This includes identifying and erasing outdated knowledge & experiences and replacing them by being experiential with new insights & behaviours while cherishing evergreen life-lessons. Being experiential therefore also requires a high level of self-awareness, which sets the foundation in Daniel Goleman’s Five Elements of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). In line with the saying “Your IQ gets you the job, your EQ gets you promoted”, having made significant experiences in the past surely shaped us, while being experiential and emotionally aware in the presence will shape our future.

As the American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler says, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”.

Thus, I belief it is more about being interested rather than being interesting; it is more about being experiential. While our experience may have brought us here, our experiential mindset will bring us there – along an exciting journey to succeed in a world of change.

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