Fuck What You Know About Experience
What if I told you everything you were taught about “real world experience” was a lie?
What if there was no such thing as “3–5 years of experience necessary” for any job?
What if interviews didn’t really matter?
You might think I’m completely out of my mind. This probably sounds like some warped alternate reality, but for those of you still in school, this is actually the way the world works.
No matter what anyone tells you, no one has any idea what the fuck he or she is actually doing.
I don’t care if you talking to your teacher, your parents, or Beyoncé. None of them are completely confident in what they’re currently doing.
As humans, that’s just the way the world works.
I have no idea who got to make all of the rules, but they aren’t doing anybody any favors. Actually, they’re making things infinitely worse for all of us.
They have imposed this expectation that experience is neat, tidy, and only something you can come by after years of grinding away. Thanks to them, we have the following vicious circle:
• Look for a new job
• Notice it requires 3–5 years of experience
• Realize you don’t have it
• Look for a new job
I want you to do yourself a favor and, from now on, whenever you read the word “experience,” I want you to replace it with “productive fumbling.”
Once you do this, you’ll quickly notice a drastic shift in your expectations. That job application won’t be so intimidating and that interview won’t be as terrifying.
It’s easy to forget, but success is never guaranteed and no one has all of the answers or experience necessary. If they claim to, then they’re full of shit and probably trying to sell you something you don’t need.
Stay away from them.
Instead, choose your own path, buckle up, and start your productive fumbling as soon as possible.
Your destination doesn’t have to be final. In fact, it will change along the way, evolving as you learn more about the world around you.
The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll know what you don’t know. After all, the main goal of productive fumbling is to not make the same mistakes twice.
When someone says they want a junior designer with 3–5 years of experience, what they’re really saying is that they want someone who knows how to properly organize their design files, knows how to distinguish which color settings to use for web and print, and knows how to use their own process in order to meet deadlines.
These things don’t take 3–5 years to learn. They just take a little initiative and a willingness to ask for help.