Attitude over Experience – Where Diversity Differs

Expertise is Not Always Gained via Experience

The environment and conditions that an employee works with can have a broad variety, from the day to day deliverables to performance guidelines and opportunities for advancement.  If an employee joins a larger organization, they might have a defined position, limiting the exposure and work deliverables.  Some very popular employers are known for their extremely secretive environments therefore preventing you from expanding your knowledge beyond your division or line of work.

However, the opportunities to interact and work with other organizations, divisions and leaders across a corporate setting are often broad and can possibly lead to a lifetime career track and supporting mentors.  In large corporations, there are often career tracks and paths of advancement across disciplines and divisions and leaders are measured by the team’s success.

On the contrary, the startup and smaller companies are often provide a faster deeper dive of experience and training for an individual.  You are literally thrown into the action, expected to swim upstream with the variety of opportunities and expectations that come your way and always succeed.  The work is less structured, often with minimal budget and resources compared to a larger company, as well as the expectations and future outlook for the business.

Aligned with the size of the organization, the compensation associated with working in the startup world is usually smaller.  However with the higher risk and exposure, there is the opportunity for higher rewards.  The immediate tradeoff is the professional experience and expertise you can build in the organization in a short timeframe, and the long term tradeoff is the possibility to build your personal wealth via your equity in the company.

All Businesses go Through a Variety of Phases

From initial build and launch, to sell, grow and style as the maturity phase approaches and competition drives evolution in the company.  Some organizations are strictly looking for those to execute and analyze.  They do not want strategists, those with new ideas or best practices from before.  As a result, they will often prefer to hire the less experienced over those with more mature and diverse viewpoints.

This diversity of experience can expand well beyond the area of study, sex or cultural origin.  After working for just a few years, the average employee has likely faced the unexpected, responded to change and taken an alternate path to go forward.  This can range from the financial decision used in business, to the choice of Job A over B and priorities and preferences required based on the demands in their own living situation.

Ask Yourself – What are you Looking For in your Career Path? 

Do you thrive with the unknown and ambiguity in your everyday work and communications or do you prefer a clearly planned, defined action plan that everyone will follow in alignment?  The specialist vs. generalist roles are always presented in the job market, across the many industries, and promote the experiences differently depending on the preferences and background in the leadership of the business.

The smaller the organization, the more specific and unique the staffing and recruiting process might be.  Quality of your experience and work will matter more than quantity of years or budget or scope that you might have managed.

In the fast paced world with ongoing innovation and change, attitude is likely to have significant weight with your experience and knowledge, sometimes being the final decision point in a hire/no hire decision.

Wherever you are in your career path –education, exploration or evolution phase, consider the variation and changes of everything around you and stay flexible to evolve with the global markets of today.

This post was originally published on HourlyNerd

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