I recently heard an interesting saying about career success, “Attitude, more than aptitude, determines altitude.” It was used to illustrate how important having a positive attitude is.
How true those words are! It’s all about attitude. How well we do in our careers is determined by our attitude more than any other factor. If you think about it, you’ve probably witnessed examples of this within your own company.
I bumped into my former boss Gary Frederickson at an IA conference last month. Gary recently retired and has had a successful career in aircraft maintenance, and I respect him as a professional. I asked him, “What advice would you give to someone starting out as an aircraft mechanic?” One of the things he shared with me was, “Don’t be afraid to take on additional responsibilities!” The mechanics that excel are the ones who take on new tasks and responsibilities. It may be presenting a technical seminar or getting involved in a new safety initiative for example. Whatever it might be, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. By taking steps outside your comfort zone, you realize it can be done, and your comfort zone gets bigger, little by little. A positive, can-do attitude can get you far.
Gary shared a story to illustrate different career ascents. Two guys started working as mechanics at the same time. Quite a few years later, both of them were ready to retire from the company, one as a vice president of quality, the other as a mechanic on the shop floor. The mechanic on the shop floor asked his buddy, “How is it that you were so successful in your career? We both have the same amount of time with the company, and I am just as smart and qualified as you. Why have I been stuck in the hangar while you were on the fast track up the career ladder?” His friend replied, “The only difference is that over the years, you have worked for the paycheck. I have worked for the company.”
I discussed this topic last month on AMTonline.com in my blog posting “Tips for Career Success.” If you haven’t had a chance to read it, be sure to check it out. I have more on my conversation with Gary and his musings on career success. Be sure to check the web site on a daily basis, as I will frequently add new blog postings. And please submit comments to the blog postings or suggest new topics for discussion. This new online feature will be as successful as we all make it.
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