Article: How to bridge the gap between education and experience

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How to bridge the gap between education and experience

Experience vs Education is often discussed across boards when a job description is detailed. Which of the two is more important in a work situation?
How to bridge the gap between education and experience

Experience vs Education is often discussed across boards when a job description is detailed. The desired candidate is an ideal fit if he/she has the best of both. Today’s job scenario requires that a fresh recruit fits into the job role instantaneously. 

Quick and logical thinking is an innate qualification required for any role, which cannot be taught either in classrooms or by an organization. It comes along in a package called “Experience”. Logical Thinking is the catchword that job applicants have to be endowed with.

Why is Experience required?

  • Experience is the reality barometer

    Working life is all about change and is the accepted norm. Education most often is confined to classrooms. Students need to gear themselves to work in dynamic environments during their academic years by joining NGOs that execute Corporate Social Responsibilities, or join a fast food chain that imparts sales and delivery experiences.

  • Minimizes training and supervision

    Employers are prepared for marginal risks and look forward to high returns. Hence, candidates with relevant experience assure results. When it comes to a choice between experience and education, the 80/20 rule is applied. This approach is generally applied to a change of role-from sales person to the stock keeper in a department store.

  • Reveals commitment 

    One needs to gather experience very early to reach a coveted position. This takes time and a candidate who has persistently been serious in gathering skills, commitment, logical thinking, integrity, enthusiasm, and problem-solving skills is considered to be very committed for a job.

  • Rapport building

    Rapport building is an art. New connections at workplace and exchange of ideas are the outcome of the practical experience. It reveals behavior at work and work pressure. Classrooms may emulate a condition, but cannot extend reality. Age difference and generation gap also need to be given a thought. Start early in small measures and become worldly wise. 
     

How important is education?

Education is the stepping stone to be an entrepreneur or for a corporate career. Every role has a minimum set of qualification for the aspirants to qualify. The basics of being a team player, social skills and networking, extracurricular activities, analysis and systematic approach to work is rendered in classrooms to be applied in real situations. Educating oneself is an ongoing process. 

What do new applicants and existing employees require to make their profiles visible?  

Experience and qualifications are the twin blades of a pair of scissors. Therefore, it is The X Factor that one needs to recognize within oneself, build and showcase. 

Such employees are High Potential Employees or HiPos having three qualities:

  1. HiPos outperform their peers.

  2. HiPos constantly and passionately exhibit and execute their company culture and values.

  3. HiPos exceed in their job roles.

Entrants’ attributes to be a HiPo:

  • The referrals are important 

    Aspirants need to build this network on various social networking platforms and more importantly, need to start early on real work assignments. This could be in the form of project works undertaken, joining a club committed to social causes and welfare or, you may have hobbies like photography, writing articles which are published or may be good at organizing events at the college. Referrals will step in confidently by giving a clear and positive opinion about your skills being an asset for the organization you are hired.

  • Learning new skills 

    Never miss an opportunity to learn out of syllabi. Software engineers are accepted more for their experience and it is advisable to take up small part-time jobs to implement what you learn. It helps to bring out creativity. Showcase this skill in your resume. Mark Zuckerberg is an outstanding example. 

  • Be a goal setter and achiever

    Setting goals for yourself to achieve is challenging your own capabilities. Be a catalyst and channel your ideas and thoughts to achieving simple short-term achievable goals.

    Achieving such goals helps one to develop problem-solving skills, overcome fear, take up new ventures and think out of the box. This helps you to describe yourself eloquently in your resume or when you face interviews.

  • Walk the Talk

    The road you choose to travel upon leads you to your destination. Walk the talk! Don’t abandon midway! It is indeed worth mentioning about Kaveri Lalchand. Passionate about clothing, but unable to find her comfort fit, she started to sew dresses from curtains and fabrics available at home and soon started her fashion studio called K Clothing.

    This spurred her into a young entrepreneur moving to complete the full cycle of sourcing, stitching and exhibiting her prized collection across many states of India. She never let her passion die and combined it with creativity, hard work, and intelligence. 

How do experienced employees enter the HiPos’ bastion?

HiPo employees are great contributors to the future. Experienced employees’ net worth is the totality of their contributions, results that they generate and their behavior at work. They build and maintain the following X-Factors:

  • Being proactive

    HiPos not just excel in their work, they deliver results. So, isn’t everyone result-driven? HiPo aspirants think one level above their peers, ask questions which may be found annoying and balance the irritation with high-end results.

    A young nurse on her first day at work noticed that the surgeon whom she was assisting, had removed only eleven sponges when they had used twelve!! The doctor emphatically denied and she refused to assist the doctor. The doctor was happy. He was testing her integrity and lifted his foot to reveal the twelfth bandage.

  • Catalytic learning ability

    A HiPo leaves the comfort zone and possesses an innovative acumen. Being goal-centric and aligned with the company’s goal, absorb what is taught at work and introduce improvised systems that help to offload unnecessary overhead stimulants procedures.

  • Being aware of others’ perception

    Very early in their career, HiPo’s really care about what others think of them and take everyone along. This skill helps them to minimize animosity and resentment when they put their ideas across.

  • Believe in inclusivity

    Most often we would love to take on work assignments within our ability and finish it single handed. This indeed is the normal expectation from our peers. But, a HiPo rises above the normal, e.g., lead a team in the audit of books of accounts or organize a sales promotional event. They believe in inclusivity.

  • The final word

    Organizations do not handhold their employees to execute tasks. In the case of new college graduates, the oft-repeated remark is, “You don’t have enough experience!” On the other hand, experienced employees are reverted with “You are not qualified”. The best approach to bridge the gap between education and experience is to be a HiPo entrant and remain a HiPo employee. So, be sure to start any day any time.

Topics: Education, HIPO, Diversity, Employee Relations, Skilling

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