By Lilian Wamaitha
When I was looking for a job, I remember seeing jobs that I knew I could do yet I dared not apply because I didn’t have what I thought was the ‘required experience’. You might be going through the same thing now.
When you turn eighteen, you can apply for an ID card and be in a position to cast a vote and even drive.
I would rather listen to that eighteen year old who has studied policies of every politician on the ballot to make my decision on who to vote for than a fifty year old who just votes for the sake of it.
When you think about it, we all would trust that young person than the 50 year old but are blinded by the idea that experience in terms of age is more important.
Then if it’s not about the years of experience, what determines one’s ability?
Imagine that you are an employer. You are conducting an interview and in front of you are two prospective employees.
One of them is young (a millennial even), but seems to have overcome quite a number of challenges. They are also driven, determined and demonstrate skills and a good knowledge of the industry, yet they haven’t worked for that long.
The other one is more than ten years older and they have spent decades working on the same job but lack everything else.
What I think is that most of us will go with the younger candidate. But that is not what happens, is it?
We live in a society where it seems age above everything else determines what position you occupy in a company. It is the old who seem to be holding all the high end positions even when there is someone younger out there who can do that job better than they can.
Regardless, here is why succeeding in life has nothing to do with age.
1. Age is just a measurement of time lived and not things achieved
Let us consider Eugene Mbugua, small framed, soft spoken and a tattooed self-made millionaire who is the creator and director of Young Rich Television Limited. His passion for production saw him start his business while still in campus.
Had he waited to join a production house and gain the necessary experience, he would not have achieved half of what he has achieved now.
He wanted to be an accountant when he was growing up but admits that he would have made a miserable one. It was not until he played an extra on Inspeka Mwala that he fell in love with production and content creation.
He would later on write a script which he sent to all media stations with no response. However, his persistence landed him a spot on K24 and that was how his journey started.
He has had to face rejection but he wouldn’t be where he is now if he had given up.
Likewise, age is not a determinant of how much you have achieved and the challenges you have overcome. There are fifty year olds who are yet to achieve the kind of success that Eugene has and may never even achieve it in their lifetime.
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2. We are all prodigies of the challenges we have faced not how long we have lived
A majority of us live our lives fearing that we can never be good enough like so and so. We measure our success sadly based on what those before us have done.
Some will measure their success for instance with the likes of Chris Kirubi or Bob Collymore. While there is nothing wrong with this, you need to change how you define your own success.
Don’t hold yourself back because you don’t think you have the experience of those successful business people.
If you want to start a business, best believe you can do it. Block that little voice in your head telling you that you can only achieve success in business if you attain a certain age.
3. Success is about being open to making mistakes
Being a top performer has more to do with being open to making mistakes rather than the years you have lived.
Doing something and failing at it is a hundred times better than not doing something at all.
Every success story has an element of failure but don’t allow yourself to reach that point of “what if.”
4. Deep down, you don’t grow in years but in accepting yourself for who you are
We are so caught up in pleasing others and being seen as something else that we forget ourselves.
Run your own race and don’t let someone drag you down with their timeline.
The media has a way of painting pictures of all these people who seem successful and we end up questioning what we are doing with our own lives.
If for instance, if you are still looking for a job yet there are all these people you know who have good careers at a young age or have successful businesses, there is something out there for you too. Just don’t stop looking for it!
You cannot live your whole life scared to make a move because society makes you believe you don’t have the experience it takes to do something. As you have seen, age has nothing to do with your success but the challenges you have overcome are what shapes you to the person you want to be.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya. Do you agree with the article? Share your opinion below.