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Use Your Unfair Advantages To Advance Your Career
Why you must find and use your unfair advantages in your career
“It’s very important to bear in mind which ideas you have unfair advantages in.” – Ash Ali
Almost everyone has an unfair advantage. But not many realise it. Sadly you can’t use what you don’t know, and you can’t tap into a talent or resources you have no clue exist in your life.
These unfair advantages have magically set me up for certain success I do not deserve, and sometimes this is what truly sets me apart.
» Make sure you read till the end »
#1. Career Coach
“Just as with the ‘magic of compound interest’ which, when started early, leads to massive success over time, similarly unfair advantages and early success lead to stronger unfair advantages, and that success begets more success.”
– Ash Ali, Hasan Kubba
I love career development.
I was never into this field until 2019, when I picked up a book to read about interviewing.
Suddenly, I found myself reading more and more books about career development.
I started getting a few career books from my local library. I started reading many resources on resume writing, interview preparation, cover letter writing, LinkedIn and job search strategies.
I love the field so much that I am considering taking a short course in Career Psychology to expand my knowledge as a career coach.
Because of this, I have also been able to pour tons of content on my Substack newsletter every week.
Beyond reading and writing newsletters, I have realised that these skills are so valuable that they help me write better resumes and prepare better for job interviews.
Because I consume so much content, I have been able to harness the true power of being a data scientist and a career coach simultaneously. I can put myself in a recruiter’s perfective during interviews and provide good responses to interview questions.
These two skills combined assist me in having a better return on applications.
This skill is probably the most unfair advantage I have.
“Every disadvantage can have a corresponding advantage, and vice versa. Your circumstances and unfair advantages, whether apparently positive or negative, can be double-edged swords.”
– Ash Ali
I didn’t like writing in my early days.
Ask me to write a piece of content, and I will fail you. The longer the content, the more scared I am.
I started writing on Medium, Substack about career development and programming. I have become so used to writing that I do it daily. I find it easy to write new content.
These skills have helped me write better resumes and cover letters for data science positions.
I have also developed in my role as a Data Scientist as I can communicate my findings in a way my audience understands. As a data scientist, it’s not sufficient to solve problems. You will also need to share your findings with your audience.
If you ever need to develop as a data scientist, you should build your writing skills.
When you have good writing skills, you be a better writer. You will be able to write a concise resume and cover letter. Your writing skills will also help you communicate better with your audience when you eventually land the role.
#3. Passion for Continuous Learning
“We all have creativity in us, and we can all develop our creativity ‒ it is a skill we can consciously work on”
– Ash Ali
Since learning data programming a couple of years ago, I have loved this field. I consume almost any R and Python programming content and am always eager to learn more.
I enjoy watching YouTube videos and reading technical documentation on programming, leading to my incredible data science career in recent years.
I probably wouldn’t have been in this career if I wasn’t interested in programming.
If you want an edge in your career, you must create time for continuous development and be intentional with your learning.
But why all this story, Banji?
I will tell you…
Find Your Unfair Advantages
“An Unfair Advantage is a condition, asset or circumstance that puts you in a favourable business position.”
― Ash Ali
We live in a world of unfair advantages.
You have to find yours and use it to your advantage.
Those extra skills you think do not matter or can’t sell might be your saving grace in your career.
Those things you do outside of work without much stress can be the skills that will make you tons of money and promote your career. That extra knowledge you pick up outside your work or education might be the icing on your cake.
This world is competitive. Even though I hate to admit it, I have realised that everyone is trying to edge over one another to land a role. The winner is the person who has unfair advantages.
Recruiters have to decide between multiple candidates.
Ultimately, it’s not the best person and possibly the person with the unfair advantage that wins.
The winner is the person with more skills and can prove themselves above and beyond others.
You Are Not Cheating
Sometimes I think I am cheating as a combined Data Scientist and Career Advisor. But I am come to realise I’m not cheating in any way.
The career development skills I picked up are a result of spending my free time studying and reading about career development and how to prepare for quality job applications. It takes discipline to develop these additional skills.
In the end, the people with the unfair advantage will have a higher chance of winning. They know it’s a bit more work, but they are always committed to investing time and resources to become better humans.
Remember, you aren’t cheating. You are just using what you have to your advantage.
“It seems that the more successful people are, the more willing they are to admit that factors other than simple hard work played into their success.”– Ash Ali
Everyone has an unfair advantage. The people who are aware of it are the ones who use it to their advantage.
We live in a world where competition exists, and the person who wins is the right person with unfair advantages. Find your unfair advantages and use them.
Being average might no longer produce the results you want. I believe we have most things we need to succeed as individuals. The internet, for example, is full of free resources that can help you become a better person through active study, learning, and practice.
Take the time to invest in yourself. It will be one of the most investments you have ever made in yourself.
I am glad I have been able to use my unfair advantages as a career coach to advance my data science career.
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