Everything I Needed to Know About My Career, I Learned from Star Trek.

Last week, we ran a blog from our partners at Vault about Melinda Snodgrass’s journey from law school to being a writer on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I confess that I was the one who selected that for publication. As my colleague Natty said: “Extremely on brand for JMD.” Fair enough, I’m a huge Trekker. Trekkie? Whatever you call it, I’m it.

In fact, I’ve spent a lot of my time in quarantine watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. A lot of it. Asides from being entertaining and aspirational, it realized it also contains some wonderful moments of career advice. Let me share some of my favorites.

1. Set Expectations
In Scotty’s case, it’s definitely “under promise and over deliver.”

2. Embrace Your Colleagues’s Differences (And Your Own)
As someone who suffered from severe social anxiety as a child (and to a lesser extent today), Lt. Barclay was always a favorite character of mine. Despite his anxiety and social quirks, the crews of the Enterprise and Voyager learned to value him as one of their most trusted colleagues – and he learned to be open and honest with his crew mates.

3. When You Find Your Place – Seize the Moment
Hopefully, at some point in your career, you will find the job for you. Despite Captain Kirk’s wording here, I’m not suggesting you never seek out a promotion, but be sure to hold on to what love about your job, as even as you advance.

4. Risk is the Name of the Game
“Risk is what we do”, Captain Kirk famously said, but I like how the clip below illustrates how Captain Picard’s life would have been different if he had always played it safe.

Live long and prosper 🖖

By J. Michael DeAngelis
J. Michael DeAngelis Senior Digital Resources Manager, co-host CS Radio