In the fictional universe of Star Trek, there exists the no-win scenario known as the “Kobayashi Maru.” It is a situation in which every action is effectively countered by a force either seen or unseen. This training exercise is given to Starfleet cadets to test their leadership and command abilities. They receive a distress signal from the ship Kobayashi Maru and can either attempt to rescue it and be destroyed by enemy forces or leave it and let it be destroyed. James T. Kirk is the only person to have won the scenario – by reprogramming the simulator and essentially cheating.
While I do not recommend Kirk’s approach in the “real” world, many job seeking candidates that I encounter feel that they have a similar dilemma – stay out of work or pursue and accept a lower level position and salary. Much like Captain Kirk, I do not believe in the no win scenario. Although every situation is different and presents its own unique set of challenges, I feel that there are always options even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds and obstacles. The solution is not always easy to see or find, but it’s there. Much like a sculptor can see their finished work by looking at an unfinished block of stone, every job seeker must convince themselves that they WILL find a job.
You can spend your entire career learning and progressing in your given profession and then, through no fault of your own, lose your job and all that momentum. Especially in this difficult economic climate, the number of job openings are smaller and less appealing than at any other time in our lifetime. However, when we have families to support and bills to pay, there is no such concept as surrender. Never wave the white flag. Repeat after me:
• We will find a good job!
• We will feel wanted and needed!
• We are marketable and worthy!
• We can add value!
• We will get back to work soon!
These are not just cute expressions, treat them as gospel. The economy will change for the better and things will improve. In the meantime, we all have to do whatever it is to get back to work and make it from one day to the next. If we believe in the no win scenario, then we are beaten before we even start. In life there is infinite diversity in infinite combinations so keep every option on the table, and fate, optimism, luck and effort will guide us on the path of success and prosperity.