How to prepare for work in the aviation industry, post the Coronavirus pandemic?
The current climate has been hard and will continue to be turbulent for some time. However when this ends (which it will), pilots will be at the forefront to support the recovery of airline operations. While there is light on the horizon, many of our professionals have asked for advice, for both their present situation and how to prepare for work in the aviation industry post the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether you’re a contract worker or not, many aviation professionals are in the same position when it comes to their current employment status. As borders started shutting many aviation professionals were (and still are) scattered across the globe, some thousands of miles from their home country.
However, the specialists at AeroProfessional have provided responses and tips for your frequently asked questions around what you can do as a contract/perm worker, from wherever you may be in world…
I’m a contract worker, what is your immediate advice for me?
Firstly, stay positive, we are here to support you and you will get through this. Here are some tips for you as a contract worker during the current environment:
- Government/authority support – Make sure you check with your local government/authority to see if help is available for you as a contractor/self-employed person. Most governments are providing some sort of support to people who fall in this category and are suffering due to COVID-19.
- Type ratings currency – If possible, try to stay as flexible as possible when considering self-investment of part funding to renew currency on any type ratings which have recently expired. Consider if you’re prepared to, or able to, part funding required training in exchange for secured employment – it could give you access to more opportunities. For example, if you were recently operating an A330, but had previously held a B747 type rating, there are great advantages to getting this back on your license – especially due to increased demand in air cargo. Keep an ear to the ground in the coming weeks as some simulators may be opening in May!
Review your current situation and applicant profile!
First and foremost, you should start prepping for when opportunities arise, and the borders start opening. Many people have lost their jobs, so now more than ever you need to make yourself stand out as you definitely won’t be the only person looking for a job.
- Review and updated your CV – Often we hear ‘I haven’t updated my CV in years’, well now is the time. When recruitment starts, airlines will likely have immediate requirements, so they won’t wait for you to update your CV. We recommend 2 pages maximum plus a cover letter, and don’t forget AeroProfessional can offer advice for CV writing and tips to write a cover letter!
- Obtain references – Contact your last two employers to try and obtain written references, as having up to date references can increase your chances to stand out when applying for a competitive role.
- Join LinkedIn – The aviation industry is small, so make sure you create a LinkedIn profile and start building your network. You will likely hear about new opportunities and networking events here first!
- Create an all-star profile – If you’re already on LinkedIn then great work, it’s clear you’re already networking with the industry – but don’t stop there. Follow LinkedIn’s tips to get an all-star profile and you can also read AeroProfessional’s tips to improve your LinkedIn profile. We also suggest trying to obtain recommendations and keeping your career history as up to date as possible. Don’t forget to include important information such as current type ratings. This makes it super easy for recruiters to find you and asses your suitability for upcoming roles.
- Get your admin in order – we know it’s a time-consuming task to ensure all your documents are updated, but when airlines start recruiting in the aviation industry post the coronavirus pandemic, you will need to move fast – so having your admin in order will put you in good stead. It’s time to finally update your logbook and have all crucial documents saved and ready to send in a clear format. So, if you don’t know where your high school diploma is, now is the perfect time to find it!
- Stay updated – You’ve likely come across this blog because you were looking to stay updated with industry news, this is a great start! We would also recommend staying up to date with training (EWIS, FTS, HF, airline SOP’s, scenario/competency-based questions), regulatory updates and membership news bulletins – stick to credible news sources too!
What are your priorities?
It is really important (if not most important) to understand what it is that you’re looking for in your next role. Do asses your priorities such as work/life balance and career progression, while being realistic about the current climate.
- Review your priorities – Asses what is important to you in your next role. We suggest taking time to write out what it is that you’re looking for in your next role and then prioritising them. This could include factors such as;
- Renumeration Package
- Contract Type (perm or contract – duration of contract)
- Roster Patterns
- Work/life balance
- Bonds (or similar)
Considering these factors means that you know what factors you’re more likely to compromise on and which factors are non-negotiable. Not only is it time consuming, it is frustrating for clients and recruiters when candidates drop out last minute because they have decided they can’t compromise on aspects they thought they could. It’s perfectly fine to have factors which you won’t compromise on, but it’s just important that you express these at the start! By doing this simple task you’ll be raring to go and in the best possible position to accept an offer and get started quickly and efficiently.
- Locations / Companies – Locations you’re willing to work in may come up in your list of priorities, as well as the types of companies you’d like to work for. It’s important to create a list of ‘wish list’ locations/companies, as well as a ‘no thank you’ list. It’s important that you and your recruiter are aligned on these matters, you should be able to update this on your profile or just call your AeroProfessional contact. This allows your dedicated recruiter to work more efficiently, bringing you roles that he/she knows you will be interested in.
Looking to go the extra mile?
Lastly, if you’ve completed the above, but are looking to stand out and secure yourself a position, then we recommend some key characteristics to adopt and demonstrate!
- Remain open-minded – It will likely be a highly competitive market when aviation enters recovery, so it’s important to align your expectations to the current environment. Stay open-minded and conscious as to what is most important. If accepting a short term position that you might otherwise not have considered is the difference between having and not having employment, it could get you back into work and relieve the pressure while you seek out a more preferable, longer term opportunity.
- Being proactive is key – As with your initial training, you’ll need to reignite your ‘can-do’ attitude (if you’ve lost it). Make sure your AeroProfessional recruitment profile is up to date and keep in-touch where possible about new opportunities. If you don’t have a profile registered, that’s okay, you can register a profile now!
- Be entrepreneurial – AeroProfessional are always on the lookout for people who have a strong aviation network and are open to working with us to help extend our client reach . So, show some entrepreneurial flare and who knows where it could land you.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to prepare for work in the aviation industry post the coronavirus pandemic. This is an exceedingly difficult time for our industry and while the current environment is filled with crisis, fear and panic, this certainly won’t last forever.
In a testing time we absolutely need to do what we can to protect and survive, but beyond this our industry will continue to grow with the positive changes and initiatives that it had set out to achieve. It is critical that we remind ourselves that the industry is built on a foundation of skilled and passionate people and those people must not be forgotten.
We are a robust and skilled workforce that will move through this difficult time together. Feel free to share this article with your aviation network to help others prepare to work in the aviation industry post the coronavirus pandemic landscape.