Do Years Always Equal Experience?

Recently I read a tweet, “Wait, ur biz is paying 2 learn from someone w/ less than 2 years of experience. Isn’t that called an intern, at best an associate?”

Interesting point, however experience comes in all kinds of forms. Life experience, people experience, job experience, and many skills cross over from industry to industry.

So I guess it would depend on all the experience that a person has compiled over years of life, and what exactly you are talking about. I mean if you are talking about a surgeon then, YES I certainly care that they have less than 2 years of job experience! When I chose a doctor to do my Lasik surgery back in 1999 the surgery was so new and there were a lot of people who were having problems with less experienced doctors. I ended up getting the guy who helped pioneer the technique in Canada and had done thousands and thousands of these procedures already. People who had problems with surgery from others came to him to fix them.

But my guess is this tweet wasn’t about surgeons, given the source it most likely has something to do with social media and marketing. And fair enough, some people sign up for a facebook account, a twitter account, start a blog and then call themselves an expert, a guru, or any number of superlative words. They think the word should allow them to charge gobs of money to set up social media accounts. But there are others out there that really have taken to social media like a fish to water.

I was teaching scuba diving within a year of learning how to do it myself. My specialty was dealing with frightened newbie divers because I was a scared diver when I first started. I knew what it felt like to not be comfortable breathing underwater. Because I knew what they were experiencing, I could connect with people immediately. It was easy to identify with their problem and help them work themselves through the fear toward the enjoyment of diving.

I think there are a lot of people who have dived right into the social media ocean and have found their comfort zone. They have also found the ability to take others from uncertainty and fear to making Social Media work for their businesses. Does this mean they shouldn’t get paid for helping someone develop a plan of their own? Some of us are natural teachers; once we learn something we can make it easy for others. This doesn’t necessarily take years, it takes understanding.

If there’s a need for a service and you have the knowledge to provide that service why should it matter how long it took you to learn it? And with something like social media it changes on a daily basis. If you have the ability to stay on top of these changes and fine tune a plan, there is a call for that kind of assistance. I look at it this way, if it is going to take hours of my time to figure it out and you know it like the back of your hand, you may be an option to do some work for me. And in some cases implementation. Choosing someone to help create or implement a plan in social media depends on trust and confidence in an individual’s abilities and not necessarily how long they’ve been doing it.

I think a lot of different life experiences can give someone the experience to teach and consult. What would be your criteria for hiring a Social Media consultant?