Life After an Airline Career (II)
Today I am pleased to post my 2nd weekly article about Life After an Airline Career. In my last article I touched on the transition I have been making from a 27 year airline career to becoming an entrepreneur and owner of JLT Image Consulting.
This week, I would like to share some of my reflections on what my life was like over the span of my 27 year management career with Jazz Aviation. Before you read any further please know that I loved my job at Jazz and I think Jazz is one of the best airlines ever. That being said, my work life was extremely busy and there was a great deal of stress associated with my job. I was 'connected' 7 days a week and I was more often anticipating the next moment of crisis over living in the present. I am sure many of my front line employees and colleagues who are still in the industry can relate.
Airline work is very dynamic and exciting and it is very easy to become addicted to the adrenaline rush that happens when you are working in such a fast paced, ever changing environment. I dare anyone who works in the airline industry to say that it isn't so.
I think one of the greatest skills I learned over my 27 years was how to shift gears from one fleeting thought and task to another in just a matter of milliseconds. Yes I did plan my work days and I did make priority lists of all what I needed to accomplish. On any given day however , I had to change gears at light speed from what I had planned to accomplish to deal with more urgent issues staring me in the face.
My priority was my employees ! I cared about them very much and I wanted to be the manager that helped them overcome whatever challenges, issues, frustrations and problems they might be having at any given moment. Some of the issues were operational or customer service in nature and other issues were employee related as in the co-worker sitting next to them. There was never a dull moment and there was plenty of drama. My employees never ceased to amaze me, if I changed gears quickly, they did it even faster. Being a front line airline employee is not an easy job, these people are very special.
And then there were the hundreds of emails that arrived in my Inbox in the evenings and over the weekends. Every one of those emails needed some kind of response, advice, guidance, decision and or further direction from me. Like many of my colleagues and bosses, I felt compelled to answer 'all' of my emails as soon as possible and so I did. It was not until I was nearing my 27th year that I realized my need to be admired and appreciated for my timely responses and caring management style were actually taking a toll on my mental and physical health.
Too little too late you might ask ? I will keep you hanging until next week's article when I will share some of the tips and strategies that I used to get through the goal posts.
Thank you for reading today's article and I welcome your comments.