Job Experience

The single most valued job qualification for hiring, promoting, and developing employees is job experience. The most commonly used dimension of job experience is Length of Job Experience.

The true value of job experience involves three levels of job experience, none of which are related to length of job experience. The simplest level of job experience is observation, being in an environment in which something happened (I watched someone do it). For example, attend a sales meeting to watch and listen as a committee develops a new incentive program.

The second level is Indirect Participation, exerting some influence on something (I helped to do it). For example, participate as a member of a committee charged with developing a new sales incentive program.

The third and most intense level of job experience is direct participation, being responsible or accountable for making the decision and the results of that decision (I did it or I managed those who did it). For example, assign a committee to develop a new sales incentive program, guide their progress, and approve the program for implementation.

Therefore, the true measure of job experience is not length of experience but rather the intensity and depth of exposure to each of these three levels of experience.

In conclusion, there is one qualification which is common to most successful employees—it is the quality, depth, relevance, and number of different types of experiences to which these individuals have been exposed. As Ebenezer Scrooge discovered, experience, the acquired knowledge, skill, or technique resulting from actually living through an event or events, is the ultimate teacher.