Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kobayashi Maru and the Job Search

Okay, so what does a Star Trek reference have to do with your job search?

In the first series of Star Trek films (from 1979 on, as well as in novels and video games spun off from the films), Captain James T. Kirk faces a test at Starfleet Academy. All aspiring officers must face this test, to have at least a simulacrum of the emotionally wrenching decisions they may have to face.

The test uses a fictional ship named the Kobayashi Maru. Its captain (the aspiring officer in Starfleet Academy) must decide whether to abandon the ship and its crew to destruction, or rescue the crew--by entering treaty-regulated space, and likely starting an all-out war with the Klingons which will result in the deaths of millions.

Kirk is the only one to pass the test, which is clearly rigged as a lose-lose situation. How? He reprograms the computer administering the test!

The moral of the story for your job hunt? When given an "either/or" proposition, choose "both." Or more generally, think outside the box.

That was also the message of this recent post in Psychology Today. Fourteen teams of students were given $5 and 2 hours. They were instructed to make as much of profit as possible. Some of the teams made $600 or more! How? They applied the principles of the Kobayashi Maru test! Read more here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativityrulz/200908/the-5-challenge

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