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Transitioning During a Pandemic

Posted 3 years 117 days ago ago by Admin

So, you’re transitioning during a pandemic that has upended our entire way of life? Have no fear, with some preparation and patience, you will be just as successful as those who transitioned during ‘normal’ times. The good news is that much of the helicopter industry is still hiring.

As with any transition, preparation and flexibility are key to your success. Many parts of the networking and hiring process will be different.

Unfortunately, the annual Heli-Expo was cancelled, but you still have plenty of networking options! Identify Linked-In contacts who have previously transitioned and reach out to them. Ask if they would be amenable for a video call in order to ask for some advice and direction. See if they know anyone else whom they could introduce you to during another video call. Just like meeting up in person for coffee or drinks, but in this case you have to be a bit more creative and proactive.

Expect the hiring process to be almost entirely virtual. With the exception of a request for a flight interview, the start of the hiring process will not be in person.

Despite the newness of this approach, don’t dismiss the benefits of a video interview. Instead of being in an office or conference room, you have an opportunity to approach this interview with some personal touches that would be lost in a corporate setting.

Pick a spot in your house that reduces distractions, especially if you have children or partners who are also learning and working from home. Ask your partner to take the kids and dog for a walk during your interview time. This will reduce distractions as well as free up bandwidth so you have enough juice to get through the interview. If this isn’t possible, don’t worry. Everyone understands the complexities and chaos this year has brought, and if the interviewer can’t have a chuckle at your 4-year-old barging in to ask what you’re doing, perhaps that’s not a company you want to work for anyway.

Put some thought into your background. Diplomas, awards, photos, and memorabilia are all great choices to add a little personal flair to the setting, just make sure it looks professional. Set yourself up with a computer at a table. Slouching on the sofa or walking around the house while holding your cell phone will not project an image that you care about the process. Don’t forget the lighting. Do a practice run with the technology of choice with a friend or family member. Make sure the video and audio are clear and working properly.

Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview. This includes pants! Don’t give into the temptation to wear your business attire on top and your pandemic loungewear of choice on the bottom. Not only will being entirely dressed  make you feel more put together and professional, it will eliminate the possibility that a mishap will allow the interviewers to see the PJ bottoms your mom gave you for your birthday.

Think Innovatively
There are a few other things to keep in mind. If your job locations of choice were based off of your partner’s career, there may now be more flexibility. With more and more companies pivoting to work-from-home models, your partner may be able to take their job anywhere. This could potentially open up your prospects in parts of the country you previously thought were not possible.

Consider your personal acceptance of risk. Helicopter pilots cannot work from home and inherently have more possible exposure during the pandemic. While vaccinations are increasing and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you have to personally evaluate how much risk you and your family are willing to assume. Do you have a partner or child who is high risk? Are you or your partner caring for an aging parent? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and discuss with your family in order to make the best decision.

As with any transition, patience is a virtue, and this year has truly tested that.