In an interview, Indian entrepreneur Kunal Shah said that he was much likely to attempt the impossible in the earlier stages of his career than he is today. The reason being, at the beginning of his career he did not know what was not possible. Therefore, he was more likely to chase it and eventually achieve it. I have of course paraphrased his words. This stayed in my mind and branched into multiple thoughts.
Working as an intern I applied this thought further. I theorize that people who do not have experience are underutilized in corporations. I am not just talking about interns, but also other employees who might be coming from other organizations or fields. They do not yet know what is not possible. It is a mindset game; they are operating with the point of view that something is possible. They will figure out a way to reach a certain outcome. A person who has been in the working space for a longer period relies on their experience. They know what happened the last time.
From a survival point of view, we have learnt to value our experience. It prevents us from making the same mistakes again, saving us time and resources and in some cases, even saving our life. However, we no longer live in a world surrounded by the same dangers. Some instances are mislabeled as mistakes, they might be isolated events. Since we did not repeat our actions, we do not have enough data to arrive at the conclusion that our ‘mistake’ was simply an outlier. Only if we try to do the same thing again, and then succeed will we negate our initial experience.
It is sometimes the notions we hold onto which make it harder for us to try certain things. To provide a far stretched example, if we did not know the dangers associated with sky diving, we would never be scared to go sky diving. It is the information that we have that scares us. On the other hand, a professional skydiver has done it multiple times. From their experience, they believe that their next jump will also be fine. We need to carefully analyze when relying on our experience is benefitting us, and when it is forcing us to stick to the mediocre. The sky diving analogy might not be the best fit in this case; however, I think I have made my point. We pride ourselves in our experience, however, sometimes it is precisely this which holds us back.