Modern careers like Starfleet Officer

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by sljolt, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. sljolt

    sljolt Ensign Newbie

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    Hello Trek BBS. My first thread here is going to be an unapologetically goofy one.

    I fell in love with the Trek universe through The Next Generation. I discovered it around four years ago when I was a graduate student. After a short time watching it clicked that the most interesting part of Star Trek for me, and in particular TNG, is really about the philosophy. I loved the optimism the show expressed regarding humanity's future, our capacity for understanding, and the drive to solve ethical dilemmas.

    At the time, I was making a lot of considerations about my career. I connected deeply with the principles laid out in the show, and in just a few months I found myself consuming the every season of it like comfort food.

    I think Starfleet and the Federation in a lot of ways represent an ideal of what a career should be. The humanitarianism, the advancement of knowledge, the adventure. I've since become interested in what real world organisations best represent these principles, what jobs are most like a Starfleet officer, and all the different ways of approaching that question.

    A few months ago, a quick Google led me to this amazing thread: http://ask.metafilter.com/123775/Modern-career-like-Starfleet-officer

    People there made suggestions as diverse as working at McMurdo station in the Antarctic, to relief work, to forgein envoys for intelligence agencies. In case anyone is curious, I've ended up working in a very unglamorous I.T. and statistics related job at a hospital, but with a lot of hope to one day take on health related field research in developing countries.

    I'd be fascinated to know the take of the people at Trek BBS on this question. Any suggestions to me would be welcome, but I'd also love to know if Trek has influenced any of you in your real life career choices.
     
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  2. Paradise City

    Paradise City Commodore Commodore

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    Starfleet always seems too bureaucratic for me. 99% of them must be functionaries that don't get to shape the action and also they are more susceptible to a fatal case of the old redshirt syndrome. Certainly in a post-BOBW universe, the Federation is inclined to get embroiled in various hot wars from time to time with massive casualties thus further decreasing my chances of survival.

    I appreciate the accomplishments of our heroes but Starfleet isn't an institution that appeals to me, lol. Not that I'd necessarily eschew adventure but if my life is on the line, then it's going to be on decisions made by me. I'm not a natural soldier.
     
  3. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Commodore

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    I've always wondered if Starfleet needs accountants, what with the old replicator and post-scarcity society. Allocation of infinite resources, I guess? Preventing fraud, waste, and abuse?

    I like accounting's focus on organization and balance. It feels logical. I appreciate that. I think Vulcans would make good accountants. (And no, the Ferengi wouldn't because they're crooks, lol.)
     
  4. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    There's always the Coast Guard. Military structure, but search and rescue is a great deal of the work. Security is also important, as they're the only military branch authorized to use force domestically. They also take part in environmental cleanup and scientific research. I don't think it's possible to get closer on Earth to Starfleet than what the US Coast Guard does. There are books out there on what the Coast Guard's operations are like: I would recommend Rescue Warriors.
     
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  5. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd wager that the majority of Starfleet careers are really boring, like that guy who toiled away on the lowest deck of Voyager, or the guy vacuuming the rugs at the Academy.
     
  6. sljolt

    sljolt Ensign Newbie

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    Great point. This is something I was discussing with a friend a while ago. One of my favourite episodes of TNG is Tapestry, for a lot of the reasons I've mentioned:

    .

    It did occur to me while I was watching, though, that even Picard's mediocre future as a researcher is still exceptional. I mean, he's a scientist aboard the Enterprise. Maybe I'm just not leadership material, but I'd take travelling the universe and studying never before seen phenomena as my job any day.

    I suppose what Q says about seizing opportunity and having a purpose to your life rings true, regardless of what path you decide to take.
     
  7. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    As a former USCG Petty Officer, I've always believed this. I once wrote an article for a fanzine detailing how and why the USCG is like Starfleet, but that article was lost six computers ago.
     
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  8. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For me a loose criteria for this is where you believe in the work you're doing, you're contributing to a team, and continually trying to learn more in order to become better at your job. I could definitely see IT fitting the criteria. You can certainly employ Geordie or Picard-like qualities in a role like that.

    The cool tech in TNG did encourage me to study technology and science.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
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  9. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  10. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We're all looking to "... Make a Difference," are we not? What's interesting about that, at least to me, is that people who are in that position often do not recognise the opportunity for it, when it's present. Or, they think it's down the line, a couple years from now, maybe. So many others just sort of "fall into" a situation where they find themselves changing things. Like Ghandi, or Abraham Lincoln. They didn't start out in the same way that they ended up. Interestingly enough, both of them had been lawyers, in the beginning.

    Outside of entering local politics, it seems to me that the most direct course of action is -- quite honestly -- writing out cheques to organisations that do more than make eachother feel-good speeches, all the time. There are so many out there that want to - and are set up to - change the world and everything ... they just need the money. That's much more satisfying than the tedium of active volunteerism, where it's not easy to see the forest from the trees, doing grunt work, like taking surveys, or setting up booths, or stacking boxes of canned goods in a warehouse and things like that ...
     
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  11. wayoung

    wayoung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can always join NASA'S secret military space fleet. You have to join up with the US Air Force first though, and somehow sign up for their non - terrestrial officer program.
     
  12. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Take a look at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. They do science, exploration and engineering. Here's some info from their website:

    Aside from the scitech research, I've always found teaching abroad rich with the same sorts of psycho-socio-cultural- and linguistic challenges faced by TV explorers. Language and meaning provide a fascinating field for understanding.
     
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  13. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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  14. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd imagine that working in Starfleet Medical ain't all that much different than working in the Naval Medical Corp, barring the tech differences
     
  15. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Starfleet diplomactic corps = Working in the UN dealing with hostile nations that don't share your national values but you still need to trade with them and try not to blow them up
     
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  16. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    An aside, but Trek tends to be contemptuous of Admirals flying a desk, when in reality and in Trek it'll be their decisions that determine whether the right equipment/ships exists in 20 years time.
     
  17. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    ^To make the hero Captain look good, battling aliens and Starfleet Command. I would like to see a ST showe based ST HQ where the Captains are the idiots lol
     
  18. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That tends to be a TV trend. If a show is about one group, the guys above/below them are idiots with an iron grip on the case and mutual contempt. Nu Hawaii Five 0 is better about that than some shows.
     
  19. JDobbs

    JDobbs Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I'd imagine all the modern day jobs would still be necessary in the Star Trek era.

    The only thing I could see changing is perhaps the financial aspect of the modern workforce.

    You would still need IT people, Medical, Security, Military, Relief/Aid Workers, Cooks, Pilots, Janitors, Grounds Keepers, ect...

    As others have touched on, I think it's all in your mindset. I could just "fall into" the monotony of daily work but if you just change your perception of how you interact with others and making a change in someones life, no matter how small, or do a good deed that doesn't have to be noticed or recognized. I believe that is that foundation of Starfleet. Doing good for the mere sake of doing it.

    I've often tried to imagine my job in the context of a Star Trek episode. Believing that somehow my actions fit into the bigger picture of the story line. It makes the workday go by faster if you just use a little imagination. Make believe isn't something that we should stop doing as we grow older. It's always healthy to jog the mind a bit.

    Great topic! Thanks for the reminder to use a little imagination today!
     
  20. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Things on the cutting edge, opening new understanding. Jobs in exotic or dangerous locales.

    :)

    They do. But some of you may have a different opinion on Who is writing the story than I do.