In an article in the Daily News (1/31/08) about the presidential race, Robert Dallek writes: “Obama’s lack of experience shouldn’t be a liability … judgment trumps experience, almost every time.”
But wait a minute. When you vote for a political candidate … or hire a new employee … or select a vendor to provide printing, Web design, or other services … don’t you look for someone with long experience in her field?
I know I do. I mean, if you needed brain surgery, who would you prefer — the doctor who had performed 1,000 successful operations or the resident doing his very first brain operation ever?
Today, the world seems not to value experience to the degree it did in the late 1970s, when I started out in the business world.
Back then, gray hairs were respected and viewed as having superior knowledge accumulated during decades of experience in the industry. Young managers like me in our 20’s were viewed as green behind the ears and fairly useless until we got a year or two of experience under our belts.
Today, now that I have gray haired, experience and age are NOT valued; youth is. Older workers are routinely discriminated against in the hiring process. Youth is worshipped in a tech society where a 20-something became a billionaire by inventing Facebook, something many people in my generation have never even seen, let alone comprehend.
In my experience, experience doesn’t count the way it once did. But that’s my opinion. What’s your experience?