GRE Essay Topic 332 - Present your perspective on the issue below, "Sometimes imagination is a more valuable asset than experience. People who lack experience are free to imagine what is possible and thus can approach a task without constraints of established habits and attitudes."
Imagination vs Experience
While imagination can be a valuable asset, to say that it is more valuable because it allows people to approach tasks unconstrained is not a convincing argument. Imagination allows people to innovate, to think outside the box, and to solve problems creatively. However, without some level of experience in a given field, imagination can only get a person so far. Experience is not so much about establishing rigid habits and attitudes as it is about developing skills and an understanding of how things work. The value of experience should not be underestimated. Imagining what is possible will not get you very far if you do not have the experience to carry out your vision.
Consider some jobs that require a certain level of imagination and creativity. Musicians and artists question the status quo, dare to explore new ideas, and try to not let their work get stale and derivative. However, without experience in their crafts, they would not have the means to bring their visions into reality. Musician needs experience in playing their instrument or in perfecting their singing skills. To write new, imaginative music without knowing the basics of how to play an instrument or read music is an arduous task that most people cannot complete unless they are some kind of musical savant. Experience in this sense is not about calcifying one’s creativity; it is about establishing a basis from which imagination can take flight. Indeed, experience is not the constraint but rather the thing that frees the imagination because a person who possesses the necessary skills and tools does not have to worry about lacking the know-how to turn the subjects of their imagination into realities.
Another reason that imagination might not necessarily be more valuable than experience is that most jobs require experience and not imagination. A good imagination might give a potential job applicant an extra edge in the labor market, but not if that person is lacking experience. Take jobs in retail, health services, government administration, jobs that require manual labour, and so on. Employers in these fields, among others, are looking for employees with experience. This is not to say that these employers do not value imagination, but hiring someone without experience means that the person needs to be trained, will probably make some errors until he or she gets used to the job, and will be too busy trying to learn the necessary skills and rules to be putting his or her imagination to any use.
In conclusion, imagination can be a valuable asset, but not in lieu of experience. Employers value experience as do people in creative fields who rely on their years of built up knowledge and skill to bring to life the fruits of their imagination.
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