Many organizations ask for “relevant work experience” when they hire people for open positions. In many cases any other work experience that is not relevant to the current position is ignored. In my opinion, “irrelavant work experience” is important on two fronts:
- To bring in serendipity and foster innovation
- To build leadership in the organization
Whether one waited tables at a restaurant or volunteered to clean up the neighbourhood, what really matters is the metamorphosis that happens in the process. In many cases, it is in these so called “irrelevant” circumstances that personal transformation occurs. These are the moments of truth which shape our value system. The situtations we encounter, the people that we meet, the trials and tribulations add new dimensions to what we are as individuals. But does all of this matter when you hire a “Developer” or a “Bank Teller” and so on? It doesn’t as long as you consider people to be another cog in the wheel. If you are serious about innovation in the workplace and building leadership in your organization you need to bring back emotion to the center of your hiring process and your business.