So British actor Patrick Stewart — who's either best known for being Captain Picard or Professor X, depending on how old you are — disclosed some Legitimately Big News while attending a Star Trek convention earlier this week. Who knew that Patrick Stewart still goes to Star Trek conventions, by the way? Isn't he more or less the only former cast member who's cool enough to not have to put up with that nonsense?
At any rate, the Big P said that a) not only is there a Star Trek: The Next Generation reboot in the works, but b) he himself will participate, taking up the mantle of his most iconic role once more. Does he need the work or, perhaps more to the point, the paychecks? Probably not. His acting career, unlike those of more or less all of his series costars, has continued to boldy go through more than the occasional guest role.
This seems like a good moment to reflect that Patrick Stewart is one of the few actors who pretty much nails whatever he's doing wherever he turns up. Because he's the greatest actor who ever lived? That's at least an open question, but perhaps more importantly it's because Patrick Stewart knows what his strengths are and plays to them. He rarely shows up in any context where it's simply impossible for him to blend in.
It's an admirable trait that works well for actors, but has application outside of show business. No matter what you are professionally, it's helpful to know what your strengths are and stay within yourself. That doesn't mean that you can't ever change things up, or expand your bag of tricks. In 2015, Patrick Stewart played a murderous Nazi thug in the punk rock survival thriller Green Room. It's not what you'd expect, to say the least.
Even in that role, however, Stewart's against-the-grain casting works in part because he maintains his characteristic controlled dignity and resoluteness of purpose. In the IT world, pay attention to your successes. Especially on the soft skills side of things, you can consistently flourish by recognizing what you do well and polishing those skills. We can't all be good at everything, but playing to your strengths is usually a winning strategy.
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