Several years ago, an HR professional passed along a piece of wisdom warranting consideration by anyone who works: Lots of people claim twenty years experience, when what they really have is one year of experience, twenty times over.

Since that conversation, I’ve used her statement to gauge my career:

  • What new skills, capabilities, and accomplishments have I demonstrated in the past year?
  • Based on near term potential, what opportunities exist to gain new experience in the coming year?
  • What can I do specifically this year to increase the likelihood I’ll be developing additional valuable skills?

Ask yourself those same questions. If it looks like you’ve posted several years of the same experience, you owe it to yourself to take deliberate steps and correct the situation. Potential solutions?

If you haven’t done this self-assessment, do it now and get to work making sure your next twelve months are materially new and different. Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4 Responses to “How Many Years Experience Do You Have?”

  1. Mike, distinguishing between twenty years experience and one year of
    experience, twenty times over is important. However, you really have to work
    hard at restricting yourself to the same experience for years due to the rapid
    pace of technological change that impacts every job. The good news is that most
    people are developing new skills whether they want to or not.



    • Mike Brown says:

      That’s a good point about technological change as an underlying factor, Diana. There can be a lot of change going on around some people, however, without them ever really learning from it. Part of it is technical learning and the resulting change, but people can resist learning and change with their status quo attitudes even if the steps they perform in their jobs change.


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