What The Space Jump Can Teach Us About Looking For A Job

One week ago today, we sat in front of our computer and watched history be made. Felix Baumgartner jumped out of his balloon-lifted capsule from over 24 miles up in the air.

It took only around eight minutes for the professional skydiver and daredevil to reach the ground. But just as exciting for me was the fact that it took two and a half hours to ascend to the edge of space (not to mention the months and months of planning leading up to that).

As Baumgartner approached the jump height, retired United States Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger went through their checklist. Kittinger, now the previous record holder, was the only one from mission control that spoke to Baumgartner. Some of the items in the checklist seemed basic, but they still went through each item.

Item 29, release the seat belt.

Item 32, disconnect chest chord umbilical.

Before the jump, Kittinger said, "Release the helmet tie down strap. Start the cameras. And our guardian angel will take care of ya."

Before he stepped out of the capsule, Baumgartner said, "I know the whole world is watching now. I wish they could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to get up really high to see how small you are. I'm coming home now."

And with that, he fell toward earth.

And what can this amazing feat remind us about looking for a job?

  • Practice makes perfect. Before Baumgartner made the record breaking jump, he made several practice jumps. Before you are interviewed, ask a friend to ask you questions that may come up in the interview.
  • Have a mentor. Baumgartner worked closely with Kittinger, whose free-fall and height record have stood since 1960. During the ascent and prior to the jump, he was the only one in the Baumgartner's earpiece. Have a large support network, but having one mentor can help clear the distraction of hearing too many voices.
  • Have a checklist. If it's important, write it down and use it. For instance, before an interview, make sure you have a copy of your resume (although you will likely not need to give it to anyone), a pen and paper (again, you will likely not need them), the address where you're going and who you are meeting with - on a piece of paper, and other things you might need.
  • Don't rest. Once you've had success, pat yourself on the back, thank those that helped you and go out and find the next challenge to conquer.

For more information, and some videos from last Sunday, check out these links: