Life After an Airline Career (V)

Welcome Back! I have made the arbitrary decision that Article V shall be the final episode in my weekly series on life after the airlines. I will miss writing on this topic but I will hope that I have shared enough examples of all the excitement, the enormous challenges of airport operations and all of the highs and lows that anyone in the airline industry can surely relate to past, present or future. I also had a great epiphany that you must read this entire article to learn about!

The goal of my 5-part series was intended to impart on a very personal level, how much I enjoyed and thrived on my 27-year career at Jazz Aviation. The translation of that statement really means the gratitude I have for all of the people that I worked with who helped shape me into the person I am today. Besides, I have a whole new series percolating in my head that I am very excited to start writing next week, I hope you will read keep reading.

Before I get started today, I want to share with you how surprised and delighted I was to receive so many positive comments on my 4 previous articles. Many of you have said you found hope and inspiration in my messages, that I made you laugh when recalling memories of our crazy days and I helped you to remember how many of us grew up together as a family. Yes, we were a dysfunctional family at times to be sure but we were also very close and we cared about each other.

Some of you also said that my articles have encouraged you to revive your own 'imagination' and to think about making some new 'choices ' about what you really want in your life and in your work. I always thought I had to swim 10k, run a marathon, cycle 140k and work 60 hours a week in order to impress people. Finding out that I can help you by simply sharing my personal experiences has been a wonderful reward I did not expect when I embarked on Article 1.

Today's article is intended to summarize Articles 1-4 by re-stating some of the strategies I used to contribute, persevere and finish my long service airline career. Here are my Top Ten Strategies: Be aware of the image you portray in whatever position you hold and make sure it is your best image at any given time.( Even at the local grocery store !)Promote your strengths and recognize your short-comings. There will be many people who can help you along the way, isn't that right Marnie King and Laura Nadin-Young ?

Be open, interested, patient, and always be respectful of others. Remember to thank your customers and solve their problems. Be a caring and inspirational leader and be an advocate for your team, your co-workers, your bosses and your company.You will have some very difficult days but don't 'ever' give up, not even for a minute. Use any and all of the resources your company offers that will help you work through your personal, health or professional challenges. Many of us, myself included thought it was a sign of weakness to ask for help. I am here to tell you now, it is not!

Above all else, listen to your head and your heart when it is time to go. Staying at a job that is causing you burnout and frustration is only going to result in making you feel resentful and bitter. Don't let that be the last thing that people remember about you. Try instead to think about how you can leave your organization at the top of your game. Make your exit plan such that it will allow you to leave with your integrity, your honour and your reputation intact.

Now about my epiphany! One of the reasons I decided to write these articles was to find a way to bring closure to my airline life and to say good-bye to all those people with whom I formed and enjoyed such long standing and great relationships with. I was a bit stuck in thinking I couldn't move forward without putting the last 27 years to rest in some far recess of my mind.

It has taken me several months to realize I don't want to do that at all. I have figured out that it is not necessary for me to draw a line of separation between who I was and who I want to be. You have all been an integral part of my life and I want to take you with me. Who better to share all of my latest and greatest adventures, foibles and successes at JLT Image Consulting than the very people who have supported and cared about me for all these years. I hope you will come with me, I promise you it will be a fun filled ride. Please say that you will, I am depending on you!

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