We all are beginners in our careers at some point. Some of us even do so multiple times. We are not entirely green a second time. However, we may be new to organizations or environments many times throughout our journey. While they can be a burden, there are also upsides of entry-level workers. Let’s look at a few of the benefits they bring with them.
They Have Not Settled In
A knock against veteran workers is that they tend to get too comfortable in their jobs. They have done what they need to do many times and thus can almost work on auto-pilot. True this situation can be highly productive. On the other hand, it can fall behind the times and be less than it could be. When we stop getting better, we get worse. That is the nature of the modern world and maybe humanity’s existence as a whole.
Learning and Questions
The “new guy” is much more likely to ask questions. They have things to learn, and questions are an excellent mechanism for doing so. That helps the inquisitor learn something new, and it can spark understanding in others. When we are asked to present an idea we usually take for granted, it can cause us to re-examine that topic. Simple questions like, “why do you do it that way?” can start us down a path to no learning and epiphany. It is not much different from polishing silver that has been laying around a while. You do not always notice how far you have settled into mediocrity until you are asked to examine where you came from.
Use Resources Responsibly
There is a long list of upsides of entry-level workers that occur when you put the right people in the right place. Every team has different needs, and the members fill in those gaps based on their skills. When a team works best, each person is in a place that is most effective for their skills and experience. That includes situations where you have a mix of senior staff, juniors, and many points between. Therefore, we have tasks most teams need to complete that are ideally suited for entry-level staff.
Grunt work is an example. However, new staff members are often better at testing and documentation. These are tasks that can be biased or impeded by “knowing” too much. It is not different from blind and double-blind experiments.
Episode Challenge: When was your last mentor experience? Did you thank them for it?