This year I’ve worked on becoming more numerate. One of the ways I’ve done it was to use LinkedIn data, which in and of itself, is really not that interesting.
While I already knew I was an anomaly as the only American staff for the company I work for in Shanghai, and only Chinese American English report editor on the global team (discounting the translation team), the statistical likelihood of me being hired was further illuminated as being an absolute fluke when accounting for the school I went to, MSU.
On LinkedIn, in case you are unaware, if you pay for premium you can see company insights to see number of staff, turnover, headcount growth or shrinkage, average tenure and how staff count breaks down across role types. You can also click on a job description for roles that are open at a company if you want to see where companies hire from, aka you can identify hiring biases you can try to address. With 601 staff listed according to LinkedIn premium, I was the lone wolf who went to MSU. As a percent point that’s 0.16%. Pretty low.
Which brings me to today’s topic. I’ve been trying the conventional approach to career planning and I would say sure, I learned a lot. Yes, this is probably a great way to validate research findings but in terms of personal effectiveness in personal or career growth I would say it’s an approach that might be an interesting reality check but it reeks of a scarcity mindset. So, as I’ve written in my last career related LinkedIn post, I’m not going to drink the career Kool Aid.
You never know what can happen if you analyze for probability. Instead, what if you emulated history’s great thinkers? Like Einstein?
A quote I read from him from maybe a year and half ago that stuck was:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
I’d rather be a 0.16% and make it by being open to possibility than to focus on historic data. Wouldn’t you? Instead of lumping yourself into that horrid term outlier, what if you just maintained the open-mindedness of your pre 25 year-old self that you will always be an individual first and foremost. That you’re here to explore, and see what happens? Do or die, sink or swim. In it to win it? That’s where personal innovation is found.