1. In the past 55 years, Bill Gates has held only two jobs. In the past 6 years, I’ve had 8 different jobs. And I’m not including my glory days at Pizza Pizza.
What this says:
Bill Gates is okay with stagnancy. He finds something he’s comfortable with, familiarises himself with it, and sticks with it. He doesn’t challenge himself to explore new areas of opportunity. Sure, being the founder of Microsoft can’t be easy, considering how they keep losing market share, are always playing catch-up with product releases, and have to rebrand from year to year. But is it easy working in a post-doc lab, where you complain about computer models and how they never give the results you want, no matter how much you tinker and tamper with the parameters, to working in a fast food joint, where you’re the most educated person and your all-male coworkers make penis jokes every time someone orders breadsticks? Is it easy working for an NGO one year, fighting to protect the wildlife and environment, to working for a corporation the next, trying to squeeze another nickel from your client in the guise of protecting the wildlife and environment?
Working in such polar settings requires a certain mental plasticity. It challenges you to keep growing, learning, and adapting. You learn various skills that allow you to look at the world from different angles. You learn to look at problems, at work or in your life, from different perspectives.
These are things you can’t learn by working at the same place, in the same field, day after day, year after year.
2. Bill Gates doesn’t have a summary on his LinkedIn profile. Half the words he uses are already in the “Experience” section. I’ve meticulously and artfully crafted a story meant to reel in my readers, tell them about my work history and professional pursuits, without making their eyes roll out of their sockets from boredom.
What this says:
Bill Gates is lazy. He doesn’t feel the need to detail his past accomplishments and future aspirations. He assumes titles like Co-chair and Chairman are enough to speak for themselves. To the average person, all this means is he sits in a chair and says ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ as other, smarter, and more hardworking people come up with ideas. On the other hand, my summary reveals more than the words themselves say: it shows my creativity, resolve, and forethought. My summary is an allegory for life and careers, and the paths they take us. It is not only a telling of my passion for writing and creativity, it is a showing of it as well.
My summary tells you something about me as a human being, not just someone looking for work.
What does Bill’s summary say about him?
3. Bill doesn’t detail responsibilities or duties for any of his jobs. I have a summary and bullet list for every job I’ve ever had.
What this says:
Bill is lazy, uninspired, and uninterested. He also assumes most people know what it means to be a Co-chair or Chairman of anything. He assumes most people in corporate USA are sitting at the top of the ladder, looking down, like him, because that’s the view he sees, when in reality most people are looking up from about a million rungs below. On the other hand, my profile is lined, coated, and painted with details about every job I’ve ever had. Just a quick skim and you’ll see I know how to work with special software, how to work outdoors, how to work with people, how to write, edit, teach, speak, be a team player, lone wolf, you name it, I’ve done it, or have the means to do it.
But if you need someone to chair a meeting. . .call Bill.
4. Skills. I have them. Bill doesn’t. Enough said.
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Say a potential employer was looking at our respective LinkedIn profiles. And that Bill Gates went by another name. And he had a different profile picture. And instead of ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,’ we inserted the name of some other, obscure company. Who would this employer hire for the job? Someone with a ton of experience in multiple scientific and creative fields, someone who’s worked with NGOs, the government, private companies, in multiple countries, someone who bleeds creativity when you cut him, or. . .John Smith, Co-founder and Co-chair of ABC Inc.? Yeah, I thought so.
But let’s get real. Bill isn’t looking for a job. He isn’t trying to impress a potential employer. He isn’t fighting to distinguish himself in a certain field. He isn’t struggling to catch the right person’s eye, to be acknowledged by his peers, or to make a name and a living for himself. I am. In truth, when it’s all said and done, our profiles only say one thing about each of us: Bill Gates’ accomplishments are so vast and penetrating, he doesn’t need to mention them. His name alone carries the weight of all his achievements, his skills, his experience, and his knowledge. I on the other hand am like a child. I jump, wave, and yell, as I litter my LinkedIn profile with my simple and small accomplishments, hoping to catch the right person’s eye. Hoping, and waiting.
When I bleed the bitterness from my veins, I’m left with only respect and admiration for BG. He will be known in history as one of biggest stars of the Information Age, and as father to one of the most successful and influential organizations ever created. And I’m not even talking about his IT company. I can only dream that one day I too can ride on the laurels of my name. That one day I too can have a sparse LinkedIn profile, with 4 million followers, and a LinkedIn Influencer logo on the corner. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds impressive.
Until such a time, I will continue to populate my LinkedIn profile with my simple and small accomplishments. Carry on, BG, carry on.
Next: Why I would be a better leader than President Barrack Obama of almost any country, other than the US, based solely on our tweets.