Complete continuing education
My accounting profession demands this type of training. It allows me to explore subjects that I was or am not familiar with that are applicable to our company. Courses have included budgeting, software training, corporation taxation, and Internet software training. Continuing education may not be applicable to your current position, but when given the opportunity take it.
Rather than risk offending any of the industry's associations by not mentioning them by name, let's just say that the associations I am most familiar with offer excellent seminars on a variety of subjects.
Seminars of interest can also occur outside of our industry. For example, our company is wrestling with the subject of employee benefits. Rather than have a knee jerk reaction, we decided to learn as much about the subject in general so we would make an informed decision. A one-day seminar did not answer all of our questions, but it did answer many of them and pointed us in the right direction. Additionally it kept our time commitment to a minimum while allowing us to focus on our company's primary objectives.
One of the best seminars I ever attended did not seem to have a direct benefit to my job. Sponsored by a trade association for its committee chairmen, the seminar focused on how people receive, process, and communicate information differently. I use what I learned from that seminar every day as I work with people both within our company and those in the industry.
Attend trade show forums
If you're lucky enough to attend trade shows, the exhibit hall is not the only source of information. Normally seminars are taking place at the same time. For a small investment of time, you can gain a great deal of information. And if you review the schedules carefully enough, you will notice interesting subjects that cover more than just technical issues.
Visit other organizations
Visit organizations in and out of aviation. Chances are you are not the first person that has encountered your problems. Networking is extremely important. Learn how your peers have handled certain situations and issues. Because you work in the industry it may be difficult to get the chance to visit a competitor and for good reason, but you may have the opportunity to visit operators that are peripheral to our industry or are completely different.
Visiting maintenance facilities has been one of the greatest sources of knowledge as it relates to my career.
Visit other managers
The courses that I teach are a great networking forum for managers. While course content is important, the interaction between attendees is just as important. Maintenance managers gain a great deal from visiting with their peers. If you can't visit you can certainly pick up the phone and talk about various issues.
Food for thought
Use these ideas as they are intended, as food for thought as you consider your next training session. Remember this about training: It can come in a variety of formats and it should occur frequently. It is applicable to the new manager as well as the experienced one. It is necessary because it helps you help your organization cope with an ever-changing environment and to apply its limited resources efficiently and effectively. Enjoy that next opportunity; you will probably learn something interesting!
Get Ahead By Going Online Advancing your career may be one click away by Louis B. Tharp, Ph.D. August 2000 The surest path to career success is learning. This fact becomes more...
Does Your Training System Need an Overhaul? By Al Krusz April 2000 Al Krusz is the Maintenance Training Plans Manager for FlightSafety International. How does your operation decide how...
One student's thoughts on how the FAASTeam can benefit your career.
Learning Never Stops A reminder to keep striving By Bill de Decker August 2000 Bill de Decker is a Partner with Conklin & de Decker Associates, publishers of aircraft operating...