( This is in response to the same questions on another blog )
I've forced myself to contradict myself and unlearn it all repeatedly. The market is more diverse than ever. We are sponges. Fill us up and wring us out again. Following that analogy, eventually a sponge ends up in murky, dirty-dish water, growing mold and finally, tossed because it doesn't absorb soap and water and isn't rough enough to polish those dishes ( ideas ). I think the most difficult part is remaining receptive (soap) and objective (water). Sagacity kicks in sooner or later. Experience is relevant to the agency hiring you and their client roster. Unless our name is on the door, it might be best to assume we're all still sponges. We don't know a thing. We'll make old pots look brand new with whatever soap is necessary. Hopefully our creative fiber doesn't break down to quickly. I think talent remains consistent if one has it initially, the perfection of skill comes when you've become a sponge, no longer a paper towel, but not a brillo pad either. I almost believe the only relevant experience for an Ad person is in their ability to mentor and cultivate, as is with any human being. I say, I'm ignorant and foolish, I have to be in order to remain active. Give me the theories associated with your market. I'll in-turn, go explore it myself for some practical experience. I would love to do nothing more than remain in my ivory white tower at times, but I know (1) I haven't earned it, and (2) I wouldn't be much use to an agency if I wasn't experiencing the market first hand. Which also means mentoring, hopefully remaining contemporary.