The fastest way to gain experience is to live. By my estimation it will take approximately 3 years to gain approximately 3 years of experience. You can make the process shorter by using someone else’s experience, not your own. But really, nothing beats your personal experience when it comes to making decisions and taking action.
Years ago I wanted to develop a sales course focused on cold calling. I read a lot about it and that got me a fair understanding of the process involved. But as a speaker, relating someone else’s experience can’t hold a candle to sharing your own personal experiences. So I took a part time sales job in an industry where the sales people had to be fierce cold callers. I got beat up, I got beat down, but I learned. I learned first hand what worked and what didn’t. The experiences I was able to talk about while teaching that class were my own and it gave me a ton of credibility.
Experience will do the same for you.
The fact is, gaining experience is crucial for personal and professional growth. You can learn new skills, gain knowledge, and boost your confidence in different areas of life. To gain experience, there really are no shortcuts. However, there is a process to follow so that gaining 3 years of experience doesn’t take longer than 3 years and may take less.
So here it is:
• Determine what areas you want to gain experience in. Whether it’s related to your career, hobbies, personal development, or other interests, having clear goals is essential.
• Start by researching the field or subject you want to gain experience in. Read books, articles, watch videos, and take online courses to build a foundational understanding.
• Connect with people who are experienced in your chosen field. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to meet professionals and experts. Networking can provide opportunities for mentorship and collaboration.
• Volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience while giving back to your community or a cause you care about. Nonprofit organizations, charities, and local community groups often need volunteers for various roles.
• Look for internships or apprenticeship programs related to your field of interest. These opportunities provide hands-on experience and may lead to full-time positions.
• Consider part-time jobs or entry-level positions in your chosen field. These positions may not pay as well initially, but they can provide valuable on-the-job experience. That experience could one day prove priceless.
• If applicable, offer your services as a freelancer or consultant in your area of expertise. Freelancing allows you to gain experience, build a portfolio, and potentially earn income.
• Start personal projects or side ventures related to your interests or career goals. These projects allow you to apply your knowledge and skills in a practical way.
• Be open to feedback from mentors, colleagues, or supervisors. Constructive criticism can help you improve and grow in your chosen field.
• Stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and developments in your field. Continuous learning ensures that your experience remains relevant.
• Keep a record of your experiences, achievements, and skills gained. This can be useful when updating your resume or portfolio.
• Periodically reflect on your experiences and assess how they align with your goals. Adjust your approach if needed to ensure you’re gaining the right kind of experience.
• Gaining experience takes time, and you may encounter setbacks along the way. Stay patient, persistent, and committed to your goals.
• Don’t be discouraged by failures or setbacks. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
• Once you have more experience, you can share what you know by teaching, writing, or mentoring. This can further deepen your understanding and expertise.
• Gaining experience is an ongoing process. You, no matter how hard you try, you cannot create experience, you must undergo it. It’s important to stay motivated, adaptable, and open to new opportunities as you work toward your goals. As you gain experience, you will become more successful in your chosen field.
And here is one of the most interesting things about experience. One day you’ll look around and determine that you may be the most experienced person in the room. That may lead you to believe that at last you have enough experience. But if the experience you’ve acquired over the years is the right experience, that belief won’t last long. You’ll quickly realize that there is no such thing as “enough” experience.
So keep living, life is teaching everyday and if you’re paying attention you’ll never stop gaining valuable experience.