There is no substitute for on-the-job experience, and it is not my intent to convince you otherwise. However, as you are climbing the career ladder, be careful to respect every step in the process along the way. Whether you advance an inch or a mile, progress is still progress, and the best way to grow is to bloom where you are planted.
In a similar vein, work experience is only worth the value you provide to your team while employed. Your salary is merely a price an organization is willing to pay for your services, but that should not determine the extent of the value you supply, or lack thereof. To quote Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
A commitment to adding value should remain at the forefront of your career goals. This will prove to be a pivotal factor when competing with other candidates for job opportunities. With that in mind and all things being equal, the tie-breaker then becomes: Who can add the most value?
Furthermore, it’s one thing for former supervisors to describe “the what” with regard to your employment stint, but that is the purpose of your resume. Thus, “the how,” as relayed by your career champions regarding your performance, will prove to be the difference-maker.
In short, experience does not always equal excellence, but if you are consistent, it will become habitual and synonymous with your personal brand. Aristotle described it best when he stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” You may achieve this attribute by remembering this simple equation: “Ensure every experience emits enthusiasm, enables execution, and exemplifies excellence.” –W.B.
After all, how you practice is how you will perform.
For more information on relationship building, be sure to check out The Blueprint for a Successful Career on Amazon.
Will Baggett, Strategic Brand Management–IMG-CLC,is an honor graduate of both the University of Mississippi (2012) as well as Baylor University (2014). He began his career as a graduate assistant with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and later completed an internship with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He is the author of The Blueprint for a Successful Careerand recently founded The Executive Image, a professional presence and strategic communication training program. A self-proclaimed “high school has-been” basketball player, Will resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
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