It’s up to you to take control of your career and achieve whatever goals you have for yourself. So how do you do it? Here are a few strategies to follow.
Set goals for yourself
If you don’t know what you want, take some time to analyze what you do want and figure out how to get there. Set timelines so you can monitor your progress. Look at what the company goals are and see how you can contribute, making it a win-win proposition. And set new goals when appropriate.Keep moving forward.
Ask for more
If you want to do more, volunteer to do more. Show that you have the desire and interest to do more than your current position requires. Asking for additional work indicates a desire to help your department and company to succeed, a valuable trait in these days of limited resources.
Another way to improve your career is to volunteer your time in the industry. Get involved in industry associations. It’ll expose you to what’s going on in aviation as well as helping you build your reputation as being dedicated to the industry. And the more people you come in contact with, the better your chances of finding new opportunities as soon as they become available or finding the best fit for your talents.
Another way to increase your visibility as a valuable employee is to volunteer in your community. In addition to increasing your exposure as a valuable asset, you’ll learn how to improve your skills by completing tasks while on a team, become a better public speaker, learn how to better manage your time, and increase your confidence.
Don’t stop learning
With the way the industry is changing, keeping up with all the new technology requires extra training to develop the skills necessary. And if you can’t devote your time during work hours several organizations and colleges offer online courses to fit your schedule.
Eastern New Mexico University Roswell (ENMUR) offers an online degree program especially for aircraft maintenance professionals with an associate’s degree in applied science. And it offers credit hours for an A&P certificate. (www.roswell.enmu.edu)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) offers college credits for mechanics who have their A&P. Online courses and degrees are also available. (www.erau.edu)
LeTourneau University provides online degree programs in business administration and business management. It also offers credit for work experience and assesses each student to meet your needs. (www.letu.edu)
AMTSociety is expanding its educational series by offering additional IA renewal programs starting this fall to be held at various locations around the country. AMT already offers online IA renewal programs at www.amtonline.com.
If time isn’t the only challenge, several organizations offer scholarships for further education. They include Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), AMTSociety, Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), and Women in Aviation International (WAI). Also check to see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement.
Develop a special skill
To help set yourself apart from others develop a special skill. This can be something you do as a hobby or something that interests you that could translate into new job opportunities with a little additional training. Areas include photography, writing (helping with a maintenance or safety manual), welding, or painting.
Be positive. People like to be around positive energy. Take the time to communicate with the people you work with and others in the industry. If you make time for people, they’ll make time for you and consider your needs which may open the door to advancement.
If you want to move ahead, you have to let people know what you can do, what training you have, where you have worked, etc. Like a tool being advertised, you have to promote your features and benefits.
Be willing to relocate
Sometimes the best job isn’t where you are now. Consider a new location. Changing jobs could increase your value as an employee if you have expertise in an area that is in high demand. And being in a growth area allows for more opportunities, more choices in your career path.
To advance in any career you have to have a plan, hone your skills, and communicate your goals to those around you so that as opportunities become available you are considered for the next move up the ladder.