I worked in a top-tier marketing agency. I was the youngest, least-experienced member of the team. To add, I was a trained journalist employed by a very different industry.
Unfamiliar with the duties, I shortly noticed something interesting: Upper-level employees, with years of experience and skill, all had moments when they didn't have the expertise to do the job. Throughout the office, you could often hear, "Google it." Yes, "Google" is an adjective in the lexicon.
From those moments, I realized that a lot about being a professional today — even at the highest levels — is based on how well we immerse ourselves into technology. That sounds pretty, right? But really, it's about how well we search for information on the web.
At the agency, we would scroll through pages — blogs from professionals and amateurs, through lists and YouTube videos — for any bits we could find to solve the problem. Years of job tenure and experience went out the window. It felt like we were conceding levels of experience and triumphing with the quality of experiences we could have.
Since then, I have long been hooked on this idea that the hiring process should change. Companies should take a different approach to this 100-year-old process that's based on the number of years in a job. They should also take a different view on how work experience itself is perceived. Instead of hiring in the entry-level to mid-level positions based on experience, the process should be based on understanding the job candidate's experiences — especially when it comes to millennials and Generation Z. These two generations are born and bred with technology. We live and breathe it. We are basically molested with information on a daily basis, including a range of world views and an endless index of how things work. It's not to far off when people joke about being learning how to be a doctor via search engine. Everything exists on the Internet.
An average entry-level employee in today's market is at least two times more capable than an entry-level employee 20 years ago. Graduates and GED-wielding workers have more access, more diversity in content and more information at our fingertips.
We are more capable because all we have to do is ask Google, "How do we do this job?" In an odd way, it turns out the information playing field is seemingly level in the professional world.
Should an entry-level outlook even exist?
I may have been a journalist in the marketing industry, but it didn't take me long to Google enough information on how to do the job. Was there really much difference with who could do the job? Not to me. That's just the way it works an if you don't agree, I challenge you to not Google something for a month. Ready, set, go.