Finding a Job is not for the Lazy: The Primary Intangible

By Robert Mark on January 24th, 2010

When I give talks around the country about social media, I always try to mention what I call the primary intangible about these new tools … the opportunity to connect with new people, folks who are often in a position to help a younger person find their way within any industry. I’ve met people both inside and outside of the aviation and marketing world that I would never in my wildest dreams ever had the opportunity to connect with if I had not started my new career a few years ago as a blogger, Tweeter and podcaster.

Art Ramsey jetwhine I’d like to introduce you to one young fellow I recently met through Facebook, my least well organized social media tool by the way.

Art Ramey’s, a junior at the University of Alabama. He’s an aviation junkie like so many of the rest of us, but he’s not planning on storing all his career eggs in a single basket. It took me much of my life to really understand the need for a career duality to make a living in aviation. Art apparently had the right mentor because he’s also focused on Operations Management and Global Business in Tuscaloosa.

Art tracked me down at work a few weeks ago because he was searching for a little career advice on how to break into the business side of aviation before he graduates next year. He was persistent too and mentioned he’d called a number of people he didn’t know for advice. That’s drive. Cold-calling is one of the hardest chasms to cross when you’re searching for the right opportunity. Most students avoid it like the plague, in fact.image

It didn’t take too long on the phone for me to realize that Art’s an atypical student. Despite the state of the aviation industry, Art wants in and is willing to do whatever it takes to get one of his shoes in the door. And he’s not going to take no for an answer. Most importantly, he’s not complaining about the industry is not at present, nor is he sitting around waiting for someone to deliver him the career he believes he wants.

He penned a small essay that I’d like to share with you because it speaks to the state of mind I think is needed, not simply to land a job in this or any economy, but to keep the job-hunt process in motion when a student hears the word “No. Art’s job-search vision should be a wake up call for many of us because he reminds us all to never stop trying. He’s also not a bad writer.

There are no Sissies in Aviation – by Art Ramey

Despite today’s economy, the aviation industry boasts many exciting opportunities and rewards unlike any other. All pilots alike will admit there is nothing like the sound of a turbine engine firing up, or the excitement of pushing those power levers forward for takeoff, or having that first flight out in the morning just in time for a gorgeous sunrise at FL 350.

However with all that excitement and passion comes a harsh reality, the aviation industry as we all know is intensely competitive. Only having been in the aviation arena for 2 years, I have already seen the barriers to entry become increasingly more intense. Jobs as a result of the struggling economy are getting fewer, resulting in unemployment and pilots losing their opportunity to do what they love. The answer to this problem is simple, it’s no longer sufficient to just fly the airplane!

Pilots for the “new” economy should strive to create competitive advantages both inside and outside the cockpit. We can achieve this through diversifying our educations moving forward. Reflect on how much time you spent this past year sitting in an FBO or pilot lounge waiting on an owner to return, or being on reserve. Now consider how that time was allocated, in order to be successful going forward we must utilize our downtime to further our educations in logistics, supply-chain management, marketing, operations, etc. No matter your age or current position, online courses, books, and so forth are readily available.

Another key point would be to see this turbulent economy as too good to waste! There is a new economy on the horizon and now is the time to add value to ourselves professionally to become more marketable for the future. This economic downturn is an opportunity for all of us to evaluate where we are, and create a vision for ourselves and our industry going forward.

We all know this industry is not for the weak, it’s aggressive and ever-changing. It takes a special commitment not just from us but our families and loved ones who support us. Pilots have to be smart, efficient, flexible and a list of other qualities to be successful.

I remember hearing about the old glory days where pilots were treated like celebrities due to their profession. Now is our chance to re-claim that image through innovation, creativity, and educational advancement. The future of aviation for the new economy lies in the decisions we make today about our future, and the future of this industry.

Let’s challenge ourselves to be the change we seek in our industry, and rise to the challenge!

Does this kind of an essay mean Art would be guaranteed a job in our company? Maybe. There are so many variables it’s always hard to know for sure until you sit across the table from someone.

But would I guarantee Art an interview based on what I know? Absolutely. I can train the right person if they’re short on experience. But I can’t instill the drive to succeed. You either have it or you don’t. Art Ramey does.

Before you fill an internship, connect with Art at ajramey@crimson.ua.edu.

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One Response to “Finding a Job is not for the Lazy: The Primary Intangible”

  1. Norman Says:

    Nice one Art, you will not be surprised to know that aviation has always been like this. The ‘self starter’ has always succeeded and those that give up or fall by the wayside have in fact ‘self selected’ themselves out. Flying does that.
    You are absolutely right about crew rooms too, whiling away hours telling war stories and drinking bad coffee has always been a tedious waste of time. Some might call it networking; but do you want to do that with… people who do that?

    Your approach is refreshing and will be appreciated by those you inevitably will sit next to on long sectors where you have plenty of time to drink bad coffee and listen to war stories as there isn’t much else to do… except prepare for the next great step.

    Enjoy Art, you and those like you deserve to succeed!

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