I wonder if experience comes with age or with exposure to a certain subject. Let me give you a scenario; you are 60 years old, and you have worked all your life, say as the Chief Accountant, in the same office doing the same old job for 35 years.
People around you call you very experienced at what you do. Then a new 31 year- old employee arrives and has worked in at least five different jobs handling very different types of accounting styles in very different types of working environments.
The debate could go on forever over who is more experienced here. However, in many places the 60 year-old is worshipped as an accounting guru; I mean he has been at it for 35 years while the 31 year-old is referred to as work in progress.
This is not always the case, in majority of cases. It might seem unfair that a senior who is 35 years older gets easy access and stays on the job while new blood holding only eight years of experience are given a second look.
Perhaps the senior worker doesn’t really have 35 years of experience; it could be only 35 years working, but zeroed down to only years experience.
Bosses love to play the age card when blocking a staff member from rising up the ranks. Try feeling ready to tackle the next challenge, you will be told you are too young.
If not careful, you might be too young all your working life.
This is the innocence of age. You are too young to move forward, too young to progress, too young to ask for a pay raise, too young to be promoted, too young to handle more responsibility.
However, time flies so fast in a speed of a second, you will be branded too old before you realize. And, you probably wonder how it all happened so fast.
You are never too young to succeed. If age is holding you back, probably it is a good time to go on your own. Try the entrepreneur route.
You will be able to travel at your own pace, and nobody will tell you that you are still a toddler.
One is never too old to start all over again. You actually never start from scratch, life is such a combination of lessons learnt that when you “start all over again” what you are doing is just choosing a new road with all the experience from the past.
If you are 70, don’t think that you know it all. If you are 17, don’t think that the 70 year old didn’t go through what you went through.
You don’t have to experience every bump on the road, that 70 year old might be just what you need to experience life in a better way.
Emmanuel Nyagapfizi is a regular contributor to The New Times.