The power of asking for what you want. Who knows your work like you do? Your co-workers, your friends, your supervisors, or boss perhaps. Does the head of the company know who you are? Establish regular meetings and communications with those that have decision making authority with you. The more you get to know them, and understand what they are looking for when the next promotion or opportunity comes up, you’ll be ready for it. Also, many directors don’t like surprises. So, if you are reporting to these individuals, keep regular communications with them, so, when there is a crisis, make sure they understand how you are handling and solving the crisis, through the entire duration. If there is not regular communication already established with your supervisors, ask for it. Be prepared with a list of objectives and be sensitive of the time you are asking for. Sometimes even thirty minutes once a week, or every two weeks will be sufficient for regular communications. So, go on and start preparing to ask for the tools you need to be successful!
Mentoring; early on or start now. Most of my mentors did not find me. I sought them out. In my first role, I asked to speak with the AirportDirector to help me plot out a course of how I wanted to reach my goals to get to the C-Suite. I couldn’t believe he made time for me then, and we’ve stayed connected over the years I’ve received mentorship from him throughout my management role, even still to this day.
Another time, I knew a female manager who absolutely knew how to command a room. I called her up one day after years of watching her craft and told her how much I admired her presence and asked to be mentored by her.
Find people who inspire you, and don’t be afraid to ask for some advice and guidance. I have never been told no. Most people are willing to mentor when you are genuine about your ambitions and/or discussions of challenges. It’s always good to have “cheerleaders” in your corner.
Always network. We always say the aviation industry is a small industry, but, really, you can create global connections with the right networking. Earlier in my career, I never made time for networking. I found it too difficult with a rigorous work-schedule, and therefore, found it hard to network with individuals in and outside of the aviation network. Though I realized, many people are going through similar challenges, or some others have already gone through challenges, and could help understand what things look like on the other side. Even when networking with different industries and businesses, I have always been able to form, deep and meaningful connections and relationships. These connections and relationships always provided valuable growth and learning opportunities for me. Many times, my networking has led to incredible job opportunities. So, make the time, whether it’s a phone call on the way into the office, or, a late night call after work, or even while eating lunch on the call together, you need to make the time to branch out and meet others in and out of the aviation industry.