Thursday, 12 April 2012

Knowledge Vs. Experience

Many people I know choose to work for a few months upon graduation from high school, whilst still waiting for SPM result to be released. Both my elder and younger sisters did, at least. Nevertheless I chose to stay at home for the next 5 months after SPM, remained oblivious towards what was going on around the society. According to my younger sister and cousin during the conversation yesterday after movie at 11.15pm while waiting for KTM train, they chose to come out and work after SPM, with little knowledge, just to gain experiences and to know how the society works!

I wasn't feeling comfortable about this statement as I endorse the significance of knowledge so much more than purely experience with little knowledge. According to them, the society is NOT that simplistic as every working place is inevitably full with internal politics and stuffs. An undergraduate degree holder would be of disadvantage should he/she came out without any working experience. For no apparent reason, someone from other departments (or in some extreme cases, from the same department) can hate and rebuke you, when you are just another nice average worker like everyone else. Internal politics are so chaotic with a myriad of twisting strategies, that's the reason why you need working experiences to gain the know-how-to-deal-with-this-situation strategy.

I beg to differ, however. I prefer to spend my precious time reading good books, to gain more and more insights and knowledge from various good authors on my preference topics particularly in financial realm, economics and scientific world. I think working for a few months wouldn't help you much except one irrefutable fact, for its financial reward. What I did for a few months after SPM wasn't what I thought I would have done though. I was surfing through ReCom, a Malaysian student forum, and digging out old threads just to find out more and more about tertiary education and scholarships. I spent few hundred hours just to check out about all sorts of Pre-U programmes and the course that I was intending to pursue since Form 4, Actuarial Science. I didn't like reading as I thought reading was boring, until I discovered reading is so much fun when you're reading materials of your preferences.

What most people do after SPM are taking driving licence, working for a few months, starting their preferred Pre-U courses at private colleges, or simply rotting at home. I took driving licence, passed it and just few days ago got my CDL licence upon expiration of my P licence. Time is, in my opinion, very very precious and I don't have enough time for everything. I wish I had time to finish reading all the books that I bought. Even if you don't have any book to read, you can surf Internet and conduct self-learning on your interests. I learnt some maths topics during this period too, for instance, Poisson Distribution and number theory. But what I wanted to ask here is, does working for a few months worth the time?

You might say it worths the time, as you were clueless of what you should do to 'kill' your time. You were probably having some financial problems, so you were desperate for money. You might be under influence of peer pressure. Believe me, peer pressure can be very overwhelming at this moment when you could not find anything productive to do. But whatever reason it could be, I still uphold my principle that time shall not be wasted just like that, although you can always find internship during your break in your undergraduate degree. Your wage indicates the net worth of your contributions towards the company, and I believe the wage should be the product of both combined knowledge and experiences. Both are equally important, and without the presence of either one component, your wage would not go any higher than average.

These are the reasons I chose not to work at this moment, or post-SPM period. I believe there's no point for me to work purely to gain experiences but low salary. I might be devoid of working experiences and strategies to deal with internal politics, but I do not fancy those now. In my opinion, those things will come naturally once you started working upon graduation from your degree. You have plenty of time to think about internal politics (if you chose to think about it, of course) and do many other things when you start working. You have around 30-40 years more to work, if you chose to be an employee for the rest of your life, depending on your retirement age. If you were doing business, you have the rest of your life to work it out. Why bother to rush working when you have an option to study?

I prefer studying over working. I like the feeling of receiving income but I also like studying. I believe knowledge is above everything else, and without knowledge, you would not be able to go far in life, proceed further in the corporate ladder. Experiences are always there, and time is a factor for you to gain it. But knowledge is different in the sense that it is of accumulation basis. Knowledge is limitless. The faster you gain a certain knowledge, the higher the probability of you gaining even more knowledge as time passes. In other word, experience is of constant gradient with time being the determinant, and knowledge is of exponential graph with increasing gradient, provided that you practice lifelong learning.

So be wise in choosing how you spend your time. I believe you all know how precious time is and learn how to appreciate it! =)

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