Averages and statistics

A friend who is in the market for a home recently shared how averages and statistics have little predictive value. While they might give you a sense of the likely range of outcomes, your unique preferences may land you well above or below these numbers. You are, after all, a data point.

I’ve observed that the same is true for the other challenging activity that many of us go through – job searching. When we’re out there looking for the next gig, it is tempting to get caught in the “average and statistics” zone by asking “do I stand a chance based on people like me who’ve been through the process before?” 

While it is important to know these numbers and use them to not spend all our time on unlikely events, the flip side holds as well. We are just one data point. If we’re focused and thoughtful about how we approach our search, averages and statistics can matter lesser than we think.

Understand them, then learn to ignore them.