We’ve all heard famous Yoda’s advice: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Certainly, approaching your job search with a positive attitude and determination to succeed will help when things get tough. But it turns out the movie series has even more sage wisdom to offer young job Jedis. Follow these tips gleaned from across the Star Wars universe to infuse your job hunt with new hope in 2016.
Find the right mentor.
Anakin and Luke had Obi-wan Kenobi. Luke also relied on the ancient wisdom of Yoda. We don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but The Force Awakens character, Rey, has a tough choice to make regarding an offer of mentorship.
Finding a mentor is important. But just because someone offers to help you doesn’t mean they have your best interests at heart. Sometimes you may even think you found a mentor, but you just don’t click with that person. Rely on local networking meetings, LinkedIn groups, and specialized career forums to find a mentor who understands your career goals and your talents, and will help you stay true to yourself while helping guide you to your dream role.
In Episode IV, A New Hope, Princess Leia used R2D2 to relay a crucial message to Obi-wan Kenobi, which Luke Skywalker received. (The rest, as they say, is history.) In The Force Awakens, BB-8 is entrusted with an important map.
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Don’t think about the odds.
Before navigating through a tricky asteroid field, C3PO tells Han Solo the odds of making it through safely. “Never tell me the odds!” declares Han Solo.
Even with unemployment rates down, let’s face it: Odds are against any single candidate being selected for a specific position. But don’t think about that during your interview, because you’ll only psyche yourself out. Instead, put your best foot forward, exude confidence, and, like Han Solo does to talk himself out of many sticky situations, use your natural charm to convince prospective employers you’re the best person for the job.
Don’t get cocky.
No doubt Han Solo knows how to work his swagger, yet in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, he advises young Luke Skywalker, “Don’t get cocky.” Han knew there’s a fine line between charm and cockiness. Make sure you use solid facts – and figures, if you have them available – to back up your career-related claims.
Don’t be a clone.
In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the clones are a group of soldiers with no families, no passions, and no outside interests. They are intensely loyal and live only to serve, with one advantage over the Droids they battled against – they can think creatively.
Loyalty and creative thinking are good traits to show future employers, but sharing what makes you unique may help you shine in an interview. Don’t be afraid to mention outside interests, especially if they involve travel, lifelong learning, charity, fitness endeavors or examples of leadership. These pursuits can also help fill gaps in your resume.
Embrace your own mythic job-hunting journey.
The entire Star Wars series is based on Joseph Campbell’s Mythic Structure. In a nutshell: A reluctant hero sets out on a journey, meets allies and adversaries along the way, faces challenges, and, ultimately, emerges changed forever. That’s kind of – maybe even exactly like – a job search! Embrace your own hero’s journey like a Star Wars character, with the right training, a strong support team, and belief in yourself, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what the galaxy offers up.
Now go, young Jedi. May the Force be with you on your next job interview.
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