The catch-22 of needing experience to get experience is not a conundrum.
It’s not a puzzle designed to frustrate new entrants or test for the most plucky or driven.
It’s a signal.
It’s a signal that points to the truth that “it’s not what you know, it is who you know.” If you knew the “right” people, you wouldn’t ask the wrong question.
It’s a signal that outs a system not based on merit or effort, but on connection, legacy, or lineage.
It’s a signal that you are not one of them.
I…received my experience because one of them…two of them actually, believed in merit. They accepted my markers of education, and speech, and dress as signals that maybe I could perform. They did not need me to play family or boost egos. They needed me to work, so I got my experience. I got my experience despite them that didn’t want to work with another person like me. Despite them that didn’t think I could learn.
I got tired of proving my belonging though. Tired of demonstrating how them I could be.
And then, one day, tiredness became my experience.