What a Decade of Productive Fumbling Has Taught Me About Life…

(Or, The Real Value Behind a Decade of Experience)

I’m talking about the kind of experience you’re forced to cram onto the one, tidy page of your resumé.

For those of us that have lived a least a few years in the “real world,” we know that this isn’t what matters.

In theory, you can write whatever the hell you want on your resumé or LinkedIn page (it’s essentially the same thing).

These laundry lists of internships and jobs may look impressive but, in reality, employers don’t give a flying fuck about them. At least, they shouldn’t.

Your resumé isn’t what matters. It’s a static piece of paper or a screen that usually fails to capture your life experience.

What really matters is the impact you’ve created in the actual world.

In other words:

Labels and titles don’t matter. Results do.

No one cares that you were a Social Media Manager for a year. That doesn’t actually tell anyone anything, plus, half of everyone our age has this “job” on their resumé.

Instead, the fact that you’ve helped several medium-sized businesses increase their income by roughly 20% (tens of thousands of dollars) thanks to content marketing (i.e. creating and sharing social media campaigns and blog posts) is what really matters.

Think about it.

Employers aren’t looking to fill a specific role. They’re looking for a specific outcome.

What an employer says: “We need a junior designer!”

What an employer means: “Our clients want websites that bring in more customers and we don’t have the budget to pay someone!”

You may be thinking, “That’s great, but I’m not a web designer.”

I’m going to assume that what you actually mean is, “I didn’t go to school for web design.”

Newsflash: Like many professions these days, you don’t need a college degree in order to be a professional.

All you need to do take yourself through the following steps:

  1. Learn the bare minimum.
  2. Apply what you learn (ideally while getting paid).
  3. Study and share the results.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

And there you have it. These simple steps to productively fumbling forward can help you gain experience, especially when getting started.

The more times you take yourself through this cycle, the quicker you’ll learn, whether it’s on your own dime or someone else’s.

And this, my friends, is what really matters.

William Frazier is a designer, writer, and founder who blogs about making ideas happen at The Imperfectionist. For helpful tidbits on making your own ideas happen, join his newsletter and follow him on Twitter.

I’m a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile. https://www.billyfrazier.is/

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