MonthSeptember 2015

What is the greatest question of all?

According to entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Yuri Milner, it is;

“Are we alone?”

He expanded on this during an interview at the recent TechCrunch ‘Disrupt’ conference.

This talk about space has come at a convenient time for me. I recently visited the Kennedy Space Centre whilst on holiday in America.

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The history of NASA and space exploration is incredible, seeing first hand some of the equipment and vehicles that have travelled into space and onto the moon was amazing. However, despite NASA ending its space shuttle program, the future of space exploration is perhaps at its most exciting time.

The time is right

In his interview, Yuri explains how our technology is now advanced enough to communicate across our galaxy and, soon, into the next! Meaning that if another planet is as advanced as our own, communication between them and us is possible, maybe in the not too distant future.

Space exploration is also now becoming a viable business option. The future of space vehicles and endeavours now lie with commercial companies including; Spacex, Virgin, Boeing and Amazon has recently announced their intentions to enter the adventure. As the number of firms involved increases, so should the number of advances.

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So what’s next?

The aims of those involved does vary. Elon Musk, CEO of Spacex, has expressed his interest to reach Mars, whilst Virgin wants to allow the average person to go on trips into space.

Whilst both these sound out of this world, pardon the pun, they are more feasible than people first think and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are achieved in my life time – that sounds like a big statement, but I have faith!

In the meantime, the commercialisation of space has allowed for the average Joe like myself to explore space NOW. My favourite way is with virtual reality – I will let this Kickstarter campaign speak for itself!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1035872323/spacevr-step-into-space

Thank God It’s Monday

Once again, I write this whilst 40,000 feet in the air.

This blog has been inspired by a single picture, sent to me recently by a friend.

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Loathing Monday is all too common. It is so common that people will loath it before they know why! “Monday is not the day to be back at the grindstone. Monday is the day to be back at your passion.”

Love Everyday

Monday isn’t a specific day that you should look forward to. Everyday should be exciting with new challenges to face. Everyday needs to be a day to work on your passion.

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs

If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you won’t do it to the best of your abilities. Want proof? Think about how your productivity at work fluctuates throughout the week. When you stop working for the weekend, every day is a chance to be your best. Once again, let’s turn to Steve Jobs….

What are your aspirations?

At the time of writing this, I am nearly 40,000 feet in the air and looking forward to a week of American sun, trying to not burn!

In this post, I want to do something a little different.

When I write, I try to reflect on something that has happened or on a belief of mine, today I want you to do that for yourself.

Aspirations

We are often asked what we want to be/do when we are older. We often reply with a job title or by saying “I don’t know”. This is not good enough. However often the problem also lies in the question.

Personally I’m not sure what specific job I want to do know when I’m older. However I can tell you the responsibility I want, I can tell you the lifestyle I want, I can tell you what sort of person I want to be and I can tell you personal goals, both inside and outside of work. Having these are hugely important, however people are rarely asked about them or even think about them, so here is it…

What do you aspire to be?
What do you want to accomplish?
How do you want to be known?

Answer these questions to yourself. They can change all the time, they can be vague or detailed. If they scare you, great.

Aspirations are incredibly important as they add a direction and purpose to work. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous your aspirations are, it is the journey that matters.

Work for Experience. Not Money.

Today marks the end of my summer work placement. Over the past six weeks I have worked on a number of tasks, testing my knowledge from university and helping me to think logically and creatively. Yes, this was a paid placement, however it is the value that the work has added to my skill set and knowledge that I believe to be most important.

I have a personal rule that I will never work just for money. I will only work if I believe the work will add value to me in some way. So far I have followed this rule and had plenty of work opportunities.

First, I must clarify, this is a personal rule. I don’t believe this is a ‘must follow’ rule for everybody. Whilst it is ideal, sometimes money is extremely important, or if you’ve spent the last few months completing unpaid work, a bit of work to earn some cash is probably a good idea.

Experience

work experience

 

These memes are everywhere at the moment. With unemployment increasing, companies are quite rightly being picky with the standard of people they recruit. With a bigger pool of candidates, they can set the bar higher in terms of experience and knowledge.

That’s great for an employer, but awful for young, unexperienced candidates. So how can this be solved? Simple – GET EXPERIENCE!

But when you’re at school, you want to make the most of holidays and you don’t want to work evenings. Well here is the BIG bonus for work experience and placements over normal work – They are usually shorter!

1-2 weeks work experience, 6 week summer placement. The times are set and you can plan around. There’s no waiting for your rota to come out before you can make plans.

What else is so great about work experience and placements? For me, they have been a great way to discover what I like and don’t like. I am exposing myself to possible areas to aim for and that allows me to decide if that area is for me.

Getting Experience

This is the hard part, right? Well, yes. But not as hard as people make it out to be.

Getting experience depends on two things:

  1. Actively looking
  2. Being willing to work for less or even no money

Experience doesn’t find you. You need to find it.

The main places to find experience are:

  • From family and friends
  • Formal placement schemes – usually advertised online (do the necessary research!)
  • School or university

The third was the most surprising for me. It came around as an accident that my college careers team learnt that I was looking for a summer placement. Once they knew, they found one for me. This placement is where I have returned to this summer!

Lots of work experience is unpaid. Sometimes you can be lucky and be offered payment, however don’t expect too much. This summer I have been paid less than most of my friends, however money hasn’t been my priority, for me it has been about finding the right work that will test and improve my knowledge.

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