The Mr. Spock Test: Are You Making Illogical Career Choices?


A short time ago, Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock on “Star Trek,” died at age 83. Millions of fans turned to social media to express their grief and appreciation. After all, the actor accomplished the greatest mission in the known galaxy:

He lived long and prospered.

We can only hope we do the same… which, for many of us, means carving out a successful professional life. Yet too often we make career choices that Nimoy, or at least Mr. Spock, would say are “illogical.”

Avoid these 16 poor career choices… and boldly go where too few have gone before!

Job Search

1. Tell, don’t show, employers you’re a “hard worker” and “successful”

– Oh, really? Provide proof.

2. Begin a cover letter with “Hi, my name is…”

– Nope. Go with a memorable short story and turn heads.

3. Fail to quantify your success on a resume

– How much? How many? Otherwise, you sell yourself short.

4. Label a resume as “myresume.docx”

– Yea, you and 250 other people. Include your full name and the job you want.

5. Do everything via email

– Take a deep breath. Pick up the phone. Make stuff happen.

Job Interviews

6. Assume you can dress casually because so many offices skip the “suit and tie” routine

– Dress better than you have to. Fight for the job you want.

7. Neglect to bring copies of your resume or work samples

– “Umm, I can just email them to you later if that’s OK”…said the person who won’t land the job

8. Have no questions prepared for the interviewer (like these gems)

– “Nope! I think you answered everything already”…said the person who DEFINITELY won’t land the job

9. Never send a thank-you note after the interview

– Write one within 24 hours and handwritten is even more impressive.

10. Respond slowly to emails throughout the interview process

– Be on your game… All. The. Time.


11. Go on and on about yourself and never ask about others

– Instead, use the six most important words in networking.

12. Throw out the stack of business cards you collect at the end of the night

– Go back to your desk, send an email and continue the conversation (template here).

13. Decide not to reach out to key people because you don’t want to “bother them”

– It’s cool. Your career will take off on its own. Not!

14. Fail to appreciate the people who help you along the way

– Right, people love it when they extend themselves and you never say “Thanks.” (template here)

15. Do all your networking online

– Shake some hands, make eye contact and GET OUT THERE

And the Most Illogical Decision:

16. WAIT for good things to happen

– Take initiative all day, every day. It’s the only logical choice.

What did Mr. Spock teach you about making logical career choices? Share below!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!


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Danny Rubin headshotAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.


Image courtesy of  JD Hancock (Flickr). Thank you!



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