Last week I had an opportunity to attend a special event at the Polytechnic campus for first-year aviation students. The six panelists were seasoned professionals with a minimum of 20 years’ experience each in the aviation industry. They shared their experiences, career paths and lessons learned. Their words of wisdom can be applied to any career path. Even though you may already know these tips, it’s always good to be reminded of them.
Careers don’t necessarily follow a straight line
Change is constant and you need to adapt to the curve balls that come your way. Unexpected life events such as 9/11, company mergers, industry regulations, technological advances or family dynamics may impact your personal and professional plans. When one door closes, another one opens. Be open and receptive to people and possibilities that cross your path. Be flexible and see this as an opportunity to grow.
Have and demonstrate your passion
Never lose sight of your passion. If you have a goal, continue to pursue that goal, no matter what obstacles you may encounter. As you proceed, your defined goal will probably be altered over time. You may not have the answers today or the day after, but there’s always next week or next month. You could meet someone who has a different perspective on how you can reach your goal.
Great communication skills
One of the most important skills you can bring to a job is your ability to communicate with others. Get along and respect your co-workers. In addition, have a good work ethic, be on time and be honest, especially with yourself. If you have these skills, you can be taught the skills needed to succeed in the job.
Participate in internships
There is no such thing as a right time for an internship. If possible, complete an internship as early as you can.
The most important lesson shared by all the panelists was they had no regrets for the paths their careers had taken them. I’m sure if you reflect on the life experiences you hadn’t expected, you would probably come to the same conclusion.
Betty Boza is a Career Development Specialist for the Fulton Schools Career Center. Her primary responsibility is assisting online, graduate and doctoral students with all aspects of career development including résumé preparation, professional network expansion, effective job search strategies and mock interviews.