Job search lessons from Star Trek
Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock are back on the big screen in Star Trek Beyond, and we’ve learned a lot from the Enterprise’s latest foray into the final frontier: Sulu is gay (in honour of George Takei, the first actor to play the role); Beastie Boys music works well in a space setting; and Simon Pegg can do no wrong.From a management and team building point of view, Star Trek has always been a source of inspiration and ideas. But what about for people looking to jump start their careers? It’s not too shabby either, as it turns out.
Here are some job search lessons from Star Trek:
“I’m a doctor, not a brick-layer!”
That was the first use of Dr. Leonard McCoy’s catchphrase, and it would become a mainstay of the series. We now, in fact, have a list of all the things the good doctor is not, including:
- A moon-shuttle conductor
- An officer of the line
- A psychiatrist
- A scientist
- A physicist
- An escalator
There are more, but you get the idea. No one puts Baby in the corner, and no one can get Dr. McCoy out of his comfort zone.
But what about you? What is your dream job? Do you want to continue in your field? Do you want more responsibility? Less? If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, these are questions you should be asking yourself. This is the time to take stock of everything you’ve done; to think big and boldly go where you haven’t gone before.
Once you have a better sense of what you’re looking for, you can then figure out how to get there. To help, here are some effective job search strategies.
Explore new worlds
Your heart may be in Montreal, but is it holding your career back? This can be a difficult question to answer, but sometimes, moving to a new city or province can make the difference between finding your dream job and settling for second best.
Being willing to move for a good job can also put you at something of an advantage: only 38% of Canadians are willing to relocate for work. Be flexible and open-minded. You might just find your dream job in a different postal code.
Lean on technology
From universal translators to tablet computers, Star Trek has been a technological inspiration since day one. The lesson here is to take full advantage of all the technology available to you.
You can start by posting your resume on Workopolis today to increase your chances at being discovered by an employer. If you’d like to analyze your resume, try dropping it into a cloud generator to see if you’ve effectively matched skills with the keywords in the job description. If you’re missing something, think about a rewrite.
But don’t stop there: when sending an application via email, you can also use an app like Yesware that has email tracking capabilities to see if your application has been read.
Never stop learning
Right from the early days, Captain Kirk has always been something of a space-age MacGyver, creating cannons out of bamboo and gunpowder from scratch. You might be tempted to say that this was just fueled by the power of Shatner, but it really had to do with Captain Kirk’s street smarts and life experiences. The dude’s been around and he’s learned a few things.
What’s the lesson here? It’s never too late to learn something new – you never know when it can come in handy. Seek out skills training opportunities and certifications. Sign up for webinars, seminars, and round tables. Yes, you’re tired and free time is at a premium, but the more you learn, the more confident you’ll feel when applying for new career opportunities. Plus, you never know if you’ll need to create a cannon out of bamboo.
Set phasers to stun
Feeling confident is one thing, but how do you look? Sometimes the most powerful message is conveyed non-verbally. Work on your posture and body language, and aim to give off a confident, friendly vibe.
But don’t stop there. Spend some time looking at your wardrobe. Ever hear the expression, “dress for the job you want?” You might feel most comfortable in a Misfits t-shirt and torn jeans, but if you’re looking to become a senior VP at an office with a strict dress code, what message are you conveying about your professionalism and judgement?
Give her all she’s got
Star Trek’s Montgomery “Scotty” Scott is often asked to push things to the very maximum. Yes, he seems exasperated by the constant demand for extreme action, but can you really argue with results?
When it comes to your job search, there’s nothing stopping you from getting your dream job…except you. Set your goals, no matter how ambitious, and then give her all she’s got. Research companies that you think will be a good fit, seek out openings and relevant contacts, and tailor resumes and applications to that audience. No one ever got anywhere by half-assing it. After all, you can’t ask Scotty to beam you up; you need to get there yourself, and you can do it.
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