Navigating the aviation industry during a pandemic
I hope you are all well and safe during these unprecedented times. Although women aviators currently represent a very small percentage of our industry (about 5 percent), I’ve learned over the years that we all have unique and varied lived experiences getting to where we are now. With that in mind, how do we get to where we want to go?
My current reality is similar to so many humans, mothers, pilots, and aviation professionals today. I fill my day with remote education, buckets of coffee, figuring out currency, and lack of sleep! Despite that particular truth, I’ll endeavor to share with you what I am doing to stay connected in aviation during this global pandemic and the complete cultural shift we are experiencing in the world.
The tedious stuff:
I spend an hour a day on maintenance items. I am currently going through my entire logbook, checking for any errors. (Fun!) I keep my medical and my professional memberships current. I am ready to get called out on a contract.
I attend virtual conferences and leadership programs. Right now, with the constraints of Covid19, there are SO many free virtual professional conferences that used to cost buckets if you were not a student. I have been taking this time to learn from others!
Perspective, not just positivity - The deeper stuff:
Fill my bucket.
I find it challenging when I'm faced with a lot of uncertainty professionally (or personally!) to "be positive." How do I do that? What do I do with my positivity? For me, it's easier to quantify my perspective. I might not have the ability to hop into my favorite jet and do what I do well today, but I can expand my focus from what I can’t do to what I can do. And then I do that! Sometimes it’s rest, walk, meditate, watch trashy reality television, write, advocate, mentor. That gives me more in the tank to tackle the big stuff.
Get Unstuck: Action items.
If one of my passions is decelerated, I take action on my purpose. Big and Small. Aviation is currently being redesigned by YOU, remolded into something better; more diverse, and inclusive. I’ve not seen this in twenty years as a professional pilot. Because of this, things are shifting. So, I will be a catalyst for change! I'm speaking out about the need for better resources for women, minorities, and caregivers. I'm focusing my energy on moving the tide. I'm taking a bi-directional approach to cultural change. I can do that!
Connect instead of connections: Be of service.
As I’m sure you’ve figured out, I’m driven by connecting with people, NOT utilizing connections as currency. Being authentic has been of great service to me in my career. Every professional job I’ve accepted has been through someone I connected with and genuinely developed a relationship. That has served me in life and my career. During this time, I have reached out to many women that have come before me to hear about their world. That gives me both direction and courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Lastly, if you are wondering if you’ll ever fly again or get to that next step, you SO will. I’ve seen the world mourn and the industry regrow through 2001. I was a young professional pilot during the financial crisis of 2008, and am still here today in 2020.
I want to hear from you! What has your experience in aviation been like during this pandemic? If you have thoughts to share, and you’d like to contribute to this blog, I’d love to hear your perspective. And if you'd like more specific advice on how you can grow your career during this time, reach out!
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