Jobs and Career
Explaining the ‘experience’ dilemma
Posted Friday, March 22 2013 at 02:00
Given the chance to choose, many employers would not mind a resourceful worker straight out of school as long as they are teachable and do their work on time.
When employers post job adverts in the media with that word, ‘experience,’ most, if not all fresh graduates and other young persons will rather not send in their curriculum vitae because they lack what it takes.
To make matters worse, the experience required is often a minimum of two years.
However, according to some employers, experience should not be a scare to those seeking job opportunities in companies.
According to Mr Gideon Badagawa, executive director Uganda Private Sector Foundation, said it is the progressive work you have done that will be considered as experience.
“Having worked in a position for more than 20 years, does not squarely mean you have experience of 20. How much work have you been able to progressively do in the field?” said Mr Badagawa in an interview with the Jobs and Career.
The expert says, in the private sector, profit is paramount. The employers will always want to have trained manpower, but the dynamic worker is more desirable.
“The problem in Uganda is that many people do not want to ‘multisource’ skills yet the market today requires dynamic and compressed manpower that can change from time to time,” said Mr Badagawa. ‘Multisourcing’ is an approach in which work is contracted to a number of vendors, in this case, someone who wants to build a professional profile for later employability.
Mr Badagawa’s argument is that people like Bill Gates did not have decades of experience to develop sophisticated systems that are benefiting the world today.
“It was through proper nurturing of their skills and modeling them that they were able to be successful,” he added.
Lust for progress
Similarly, Mr Jason Suh, director at Hwan Sung, a Korean company operating in Ugnda, said he would not mind having inexperienced manpower for as long as they are dynamic and have unlimited lust for progress.
“I would take that person who demonstrates good work ethics and offer them practical on-the-job training,” he says. “However, one with an international understanding of operations is more desirable.”
Mr Suh says the reason why employers often say they want a six or 10 years experience is to screen off those without cross-field insight.
He says since building a good name for a company is very difficult in the market, anyone seeking an opportunity with such companies, should demonstrate an open heart to learning and a cross-field insight, which are very vital in the digital age.
Both experts said the remedy to the increasing inexperience among job seekers, was to change attitudes and instill practical institutional level trainings.
“We need to look at internship and industrial attachments and emphasise the ultimate goal for such trainings,” said Mr Badagawa.
While it is possible for anyone to learn on mere observations, Mr Suh said, “on-field experience is most valuable.”
According Michael R. Neece, CEO Interview Mastery, an online software that offers various skills for job seekers, volunteer experience often does wonders to many job seekers.