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Take Your Job Search Out of This World

Photo: NASA/AFP/GETTY

The uncertainty of a job search can feel like diving into outer space. New things are constantly discovered and you don’t know what you are going to learn next. Every company and position you are interested in has their own unique qualities, much like every planet has its own atmosphere and gravitational force, but you can take some lessons from the final frontier by looking at how NASA scientists and others around the world are approaching their unknown.
Know What You’re Looking For – How to Live on Mars
When we first started exploring Mars with the Curiosity Rover no one knew exactly what to expect. But scientists set goals for the Rover to make the most of the mission. When you are heading in for an interview you might be distracted by the excitement of the new company and potential of a new position, but it is important to stay goal-focused. While the Curiosity is looking for signs of water and elements to the atmosphere, you can look for things that you know are important to you. Make a list of important elements like cultural fit, technology tools or languages, or the in-office perks that are becoming increasingly more important to job seekers and explore the possibilities through the questions you ask in the interview.
Pay Attention to the Details – Don’t Miss the Moons
Earlier this July, a new moon was found orbiting Neptune that scientists had never seen before. It was an unexpected but exciting new discovery despite Galileo’s discovery of it in 1612 and a visit by a NASA robotic emissary in 1989. Keep this new arrival in mind when researching a company. There could be small details that get overlooked in your enthusiasm. Plus, having critical thinking and problem solving skills, like what to name a new moon or where to look for the next discovery, are highly desirable to employers and could help you land the job.
Find The Company That’s Just Right – Remembering Pluto
Growing up you may remember having nine planets in our solar system. In 2006, scientists (some would say tragically) ruled Pluto out of the traditional planetary guidelines. Make sure that you know what your guidelines are before heading into a job interview. You need to find the planet, or company that is the right size and fit for your needs. NASA ruling out Pluto because it’s too small or its movement  is erratic,  might correlate to you taking a position off of your list because the company isn’t the right size or organization style you need to be successful.
Be Friendly – There is a Chance of Alien Life
When scientists recently decided to reach out to potential extra-terrestrial life in outer space they tried a variety of methods. They blasted the Beatles’ song: ‘Across the Universe’ and a group of extra-terrestrial enthusiasts are planning on projecting tweets to show that we are a friendly planet. From your perspective, give your potential employer your all when showing them what a fantastic, friendly candidate you are. Relate to them on common interests and work your non-verbal skills; like with alien-life, you may not be speaking the same language in terms of interests with your future employer, but you can still show your great attitude and interpersonal skills.
When you’re launching your first interview-spaceship into unknown territory keep these tips in mind to get the best results possible. Scientists have been studying outer space for hundreds of years and while they have uncovered many mysteries, there are always more to solve. A job search can be similar –though hopefully a much shorter study—you  may uncover all the information you think you need to know but you will always continue to learn, search and discover new knowledge. And don’t forget to smile: you never know when astronauts are taking a candid photo of earth from Saturn.