A Lesson from Star Trek concerning my future

Recently, my roommate has been playing Star Trek: The Next Generation on our projector as background noise. I’ve been drawn to it multiple times because the dialogue is so intriguing that I couldn’t possibly focus on anything else. One particular episode that we watched put Geordi in command of the Enterprise while Picard and Riker were trapped on a planet. At one point, Geordi has to make a tough decision that leads to splitting the saucer from the battle bridge and sending it off to safety. In the crosshairs of an invisible assailant, Deanna pulls him aside and points out that the Ensigns that are manning the helm for him are uncertain and liable to crack if they are not reassured. Geordi makes a point of vocally putting his confidence in them, helping to win a victory for the Enterprise and allowing the reclamation of the Chief Officers from the planet.

How, then, might this concern my future? I’m at a crossroads right now. I have a decision to make between two paths, one of which causes a great deal of anxiety in me, and the other, which is incredibly easy. They’re both GOOD paths. There’s nothing particularly wrong with either of them. But it isn’t true to my nature to choose something just because it’s easy, despite what my brain has been yelling in my ear. I am currently a contracted employee at Amazon. My contract ends on Tuesday and my two paths are taking an offered contract position for 5 months on one team, or following through on my current interview for a full time position (ie indefinite in length and not contracted). As I mentioned, both are good options and I would be happy with either. Now, I won’t bore you with the details of my pros and cons list, but the full time position does come out a little bit ahead.

Star Trek becomes relevant, because I’m one of the ensigns with shaky hands, doubting myself. The only reason I would go for the easy path is because I’m too anxious to try for the normal interview. I’ve been extremely impressed with my current managers, and my respect for Amazon’s leadership principles was just reinforced, as I received a response to an email I had sent to the hiring manager for the full time position I’m interviewing for. I had expressed to him my concerns and doubts, and asked his recommendation. While he didn’t do what Geordi did for those scared ensigns, he did point out that I had value by recommending we stay in touch either way. It’s eye opening to see that some managers don’t rule with an iron fist that they use to terrify you into work. Amazon is refreshing in that the managers would rather you be comfortable and confident, not terrified and paralyzed. His words in the email helped me realize that I was just being a slave to my anxiety and depression, effectively washing away the shroud that was being firmly stapled around me.

And now all I can think about is a quote from Dumbledore:

“…if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy…”

I think that time has come. It would be wrong of me not to pursue the more challenging course. Even if I fail, at least I tried.

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