Space is no longer the final frontier thanks to the global private sector leading the way. Where the public sector failed us dismally, billionaire visionaries like Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are making headlines that read like science-fiction novels. The race to commercialise space travel and tourism is on – with the first ticket already sold to Yusaku Maezawa as early as 2023.
So as you read this, I ask that before going about your earthly day, perhaps take a moment to look up at the sky. Then remind yourself that your future career might just be in the stars sooner than you think. While NASA slowly but surely catches up, perhaps it’s time for us to consider the possibility of a space career seriously.
Our current roles and positions are becoming less and less abundant in the new world of work. It’s time to ask, “What are our everyday skills today that could be of value for space travel to everyday brands such as Amazon, Virgin and now, SpaceX?”
And the skills are definitely NOT what you may think…
Leadership & Followership
Unlike at the office grind (working a 9-5), space is going to throw some incredible curve balls at us; not just some, but ALL of the time! This means that for every situation that arises onboard a spaceship, it demands a different leader; each with a different skill to lead a different team. Our earthly leadership models are already broken and simply won’t work on a 7 month trip to MARS. Therefore, our ability to flex into either a leadership or followship role on demand is key.
So if you are a leader and you think you have what it takes… think again because you are going to be doing a WHOLE lot more following as well. If you are more of a follower, it’s time to bite the bullet and find opportunities to lead; even if your role doesn’t call for it currently.
We have recently had the privilege of connecting with Josh Richards. He is not only one of the first 100 selected to colonise Mars, but also the author of Becoming Martian. After reading his book, two things became ferociously clear for me:
- Space travel SUCKS. If you don’t have a sense of humour and can’t keep yourself entertained, you are simply not going to make it. Space travel could take months, sometimes years, and it’ll take a toll on your mind, body and soul.
- While technical skills are important for certain roles, mainly why Josh was selected is because he is a natural comedian and entertainer.
So if you are a comedian, story teller or entertainer, don’t be surprised if you get a call from Virgin Galactic to join their crew. It’ll be to supplement their technical teams to combat the boredom and suckiness of space. And this will take the forms of more than the traditional channels.
So it’s time for us to expand our skills across multi-channels such as IRL (in-real-life), video, virtual reality, video gaming, simulations and augmented reality; because we are going to need more than a screen built into the chair in front of us.
Physical Fitness Coaches
Before you buy your ticket to the moon, something that you might not pick up in the fine-print is that in zero-gravity, your bones start to turn into liquid. If you don’t believe me, check out NASA’s website here for the full break-down.
The only way around this is to have a solid physical fitness plan beyond just the standard gym routine. This would demand the best fitness coaches earth has to offer. Those who are able to think out of the box and design innovative programmes both inside and outside normal work-out environments that are both enjoyable and effective. Because space travellers are going to be working out A LOT!
Space Chef & Nutritional Consultants
In space, food and water is a precious commodity once you have the oxygen sorted. Space will demand zero-waste meals for their high paying customers who are probably used to the finer foods in life. Space Chefs would need to collaborate with nutritional consultants to provide high quality, individualised meals to each customer’s dietary requirements with zero waste. Because you could literally die from a shit meal onboard a spaceship.
Mindset Coaches, Psychologists & Wellness Therapists
Being locked in a confined spaceship for months on end is certainly going to bring out the best and the worst of us as human beings. We haven’t found a solution yet to sleep the whole way there. So in the meantime, space travel is going to need those who specialise in the mind, spirit and soul.
Before you put your hand up for this, it’s important that as a mindset practitioner of any discipline/background, know that you are going to have to be actively working on your own mindset as much as you do on the crew and customers. So if your therapy style is sitting back and asking “How do you feel?”, this is not going to be the role for you. Space travel is going to demand a unlike what’s across social media nowadays. Space will NOT give you a stage for your ego to shine. So if you subscribe to the Tony Robbins model, you simply won’t make the cut.
Governance & Safety
Space will require our traditional OHS role to take a few steroids and possibly stimulants as well. If you get past the universal red tape, regulations, laws and training that comes with space travel, you will be working harder that anybody else on the space craft on a minute to minute basis. Policy is the easy part, because you will be coordinating with crew and customers alike literally all the time to ensure that we get to the our destination and back again.
I have left the MOST important skill to last. Space travel is NOT a cheap business with ticket prices estimated from anywhere between $200,000 to $5,000,000. Which means that your customers are going to expect their moneys worth in every aspect; from purchasing the ticket right through to returning back to earth.
And we are not talking call-centre level of service, but rather a personalised service for the millionaires who can afford it. That means showing up and attending to the whims of the wealthy day in and day out.
Good news is the entire brand of space tourism rests on this. Which means a role like this will also be well rewarded. However, you are going to have to out do and lead the human-like robots under-construction currently; as well provide something more than just a drink or a turbulence warning. So airplane cabin crew, start practising NOW and find ways to make the impossible possible on earth flights.
Need guidance on your skills to be space travel ready? Book a clarity session with Andrew Butow HERE.