Every day, plenty of people are looking up into the sky, watching another passing by aircraft and thinks: What should I do to be a part of that? In this post, I will introduce you to basic rules which should help you to find a way to fulfill your dreams and get a job in aviation.
For a good start, I decided to work on this subject because I feel that I owe this to the world. So You know…It should always look like this if you ever get help in your life – it is essential to give something back in the future.
Remember, for someone who is in a similar position as you were in the past, every advice can be crucial and significant. I hope that this post would be a good response to the help which I received in the past.
As far as I remember I was always treating aviation like something unreachable. For a guy from a small town like mine was, it was rather abstractive to have a dream to work in aviation. Nearest Regional Airport was 35 km far from my home and as a teenager, I was never there (as my family never traveled this way). I rather observed aircraft on TV or up in the sky. They always whipped up a huge admiration inside myself but that was all. I was always assuming that only chosen people, can work in aviation.
And then it happened…I have met a real pilot! He was a friend of my girlfriend’s sister. We had a great evening, talking all the time. I pelt him with questions about aviation and he was very patient in responding to me. Today I remember only two things which he told me that night and I will share them with you.
First was a sentence:
If you once get a job in aviation, you don’t want to work anywhere else. Because of this “closed” community, because of the very nice people working there and because it is one of the most interesting industries.
The second was even simpler:
Go for it!
That evening had changed something in my mind. As fast as I finished high school, I’ve started looking for a job in aviation. I was very eager to feel this atmosphere about which I’ve heard so many good things. I was lucky that the summer season had just started and GDN Airport was on-demand for ground services staff. After sending my application, it took less than one month and I was running through the GDN Airport apron. That beginnings of my story helped me to construct some rules which should help you in getting a job in aviation.
Rule number 1: Be open-minded
Don’t calculate and go for it! Surround yourself by inspiring people and use their experience and stories to help yourself. Obviously, later on, give this help back.
Excuse me…I don’t want to sound like a coach or something. I am far away from all those beautiful motivational sentences. But in this case, it works like this. It’s a simple, basic rule. Before start talking about all the rest.
Rule number 2: Choose your own path
Remember – aviation it’s not only pilots or cabin crew. There are plenty of opportunities waiting for you. Air Traffic Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Ground Services, Safety & Security, Authorities, Sales, Catering, Cargo – all those branches are on huge demand and they need your passion to run this huge machine. And you can be sure, all of them are connected with themselves by two basic skills without which, there is “no go” in aviation.
Rule number 3: Language and Communication Skills
The easy and precise flow of information is fundamental in this business. You have to be able to quickly process received data and deliver it further if required. Despite that usually at the airports, you can meet people from all over the world – the main aviation language is English. All operational and maintenance documents are provided in English and in most countries’ communication in this language is expected from you.
Rule number 4: Get a proper education
For simple airport jobs (for example Luggage Handler) you don’t need a specific educational level, but for more ambitious positions you need particular training/school. Pilots obviously have to finish their training for the license. With mechanics and air traffic controllers is the same. Now is the tricky part, be aware that to get those licenses you have to get experience.
Don’t worry airlines and all other aviation organizations are looking as well for people without any experience to allow them to get practice. Dependable on which continent you are living, requirements for different professions are changing. Do research. Find interesting schools, training centers – write them an email. Don’t be afraid to ask. Be kind and they will for sure guide you to achieve your ambitions.
Rule number 5: Be active
Show initiative. Contact non-revenue organizations, different types of associations for appropriate professions. Visit Air Shows or aviation expo’s – those events are full of insiders. Contact people directly – through social media or company websites. Jacob Morris, ex-Delta Airlines Manager wrote in one of his articles that he really appreciate people, who were enough ambitious to find a way to contact him somehow. Introduce themselves, not through HR. Prepare an interesting cover letter and CV and distribute them cleverly. Approach each company individually. Don’t use the copy/paste method. Be yourself, don’t pretend to be a skilled person if you are not – sometimes you can win more, saying that you are eager to learn new things. Go through websites like www.aviationjobsearch.com; www.jobsinaviation.com; www.aviationcv.com; Use them as a tool to analyzing current trends, requirements, and needs.
I believe that these 3 rules will help everyone to find their place in aviation. Building your position in the aviation industry can take time, but if that is what you really want – it’s totally worth it. Be patient and persistent.
In the future, I plan to have separate articles about aviation professions which could be in some way a supplement to this post. Let me know if there is something that would be interesting for you and I will do my best to bring you closer to this subject.