How to over­come the ex­pe­ri­ence deficit

The Irish Times - Business - - WORLD OF WORK - ANDY MOLINSKY and JAKE NEW­FIELD Andy Molinsky is a pro­fes­sor of or­gan­i­sa­tional be­hav­iour at the Bran­deis In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness School. Jake New­field works in busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Cloud­era

Many young peo­ple en­ter­ing the work­force to­day face a cred­i­bil­ity para­dox: to be suc­cess­ful, they need to be seen as cred­i­ble be­fore they have had the op­por­tu­nity to build ex­per­tise from the ground up. For the young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced, it’s es­sen­tial to over­come this chal­lenge. But how?

In a new ini­tia­tive at Bran­deis Univer­sity’s Perl­mut­ter In­sti­tute for Global Busi­ness Lead­er­ship, we’re study­ing this ex­act prob­lem. Early find­ings sug­gest it may be less of a para­dox than we sus­pect.

Young peo­ple have more re­sources than they think to over­come their ex­pe­ri­ence deficit. And they can take di­rect ac­tions to com­pen­sate for and build the ex­per­tise they lack.

Here are five com­mon ac­tiv­i­ties for young pro­fes­sion­als hop­ing to jump-start their ca­reer:

1 Lever­age your re­search skills

If you’ve re­cently grad­u­ated from univer­sity, you have a set of re­search skills that you can put to im­me­di­ate use in a pro­fes­sional con­text. Find out what spe­cific types of knowl­edge peo­ple in your in­dus­try crave and build your area of ex­per­tise around it.

2 Iden­tify your spe­cific con­tri­bu­tion

Ask your­self some ba­sic ques­tions to iden­tify your strengths and where you might be able to con­trib­ute value. Use your an­swers to gen­er­ate strengths and re­sources.

Also con­sider your per­sonal back­ground. For in­stance, you may not have worked in the in­dus­try be­fore, but chances are you pos­sess use­ful in­sights sim­ply be­cause of your ge­o­graphic or de­mo­graphic back­ground. Us­ing this as a start­ing point can be an ef­fec­tive way to build ini­tial cred­i­bil­ity and pos­i­tive re­gard.

3 Vol­un­teer will­ingly

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of grit, de­ter­mi­na­tion and the will­ing­ness to take on un­en­vi­able as­sign­ments. Op­por­tu­ni­ties abound to prove your­self. Take ad­van­tage of them to make a quick im­pres­sion as a re­li­able and hard worker.

4 Man­age your work­load and com­mu­ni­cate proac­tively

You can im­me­di­ately es­tab­lish a rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity by man­ag­ing your com­mit­ments and work­load wisely. Know when you’re tak­ing on too much, and say no ju­di­ciously.

Also, be proac­tive with your com­mu­ni­ca­tion. If you an­tic­i­pate any dif­fi­culty in meet­ing a dead­line, dis­cuss it with your su­pe­rior as soon as pos­si­ble, and ask for guid­ance when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions and bring ev­ery sin­gle as­sign­ment to its con­clu­sion.

5 Work to build a net­work of close re­la­tion­ships Your goal over time will be to build a deep and var­ied net­work of trusted col­leagues who will pro­vide you with on­go­ing men­tor­ing, ad­vice and feed­back as you progress at your job and in your ca­reer. Cre­ate a net­work of friends and col­leagues. In­vite co-work­ers to lunch.

Iden­tify su­pe­ri­ors you ad­mire and get a feel for how to con­nect with them within the cul­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The key is to work hard at get­ting to know as many peo­ple as you can on a col­le­gial or even more per­sonal level. – Copy­right Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view 2017

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