Ever considered being an Aviation Engineer? This interview will take you down the career path, including what it takes to land the job and explain how important it is to have confidence in any job search. You can find other career stories, like an interview with a Civil Engineer at EngineeringJobs.org.
I currently work as an airworthiness engineer in the aviation manufacturing industry. I started at my current employer after spending five months in the oil field. Tired of long days, short nights, and no social life outside of my coworkers, I had decided it was time to change gears. Unfortunately, I did so without a backup plan and spent a month scrambling to keep my head above water. After I got my head screwed back on straight (with a little “help” from Dad), I developed a plan to acquire a new job. Using some good books on career searches, I generated a solid, two-page resume and had a solid approach. I was fortunate enough to have a few friends from college that already worked in the field, which made my job search a little easier. In fact, it was through one of these contacts I landed the job I have now, and, believe me, a tough day here is far and away better than any decent day I had in the oil field. So, after a month of floundering, another month of hard work, and two months waiting for my new employer to finish their prep work, the total time I spent between the oil business and aviation was about four months.
Rebuilding Confidence Was Huge
The biggest takeaway I had from my experience in searching for a job was to always have faith in myself. Yeah, that sounds cliché, but it’s the honest truth. My two biggest struggles were to understand my own value – I really was a prime candidate for any job I would chase – and feeling overwhelmed by the job search process. In going through that process, I “discovered” (perhaps “remembered” is a better word) all of my accomplishments and everything I had to offer a potential employer. This newfound attitude carried through all phases of the search and even into my initial start at the company. Only when I fixed my attitude and self-image was I able to effectively chase after the work I wanted.
The first place I started was where all of the problems came from: me. As I mentioned before, I had found some really good material on how to create a proper resume. I supplemented that with input from friends and loved ones to make sure I captured everything that could possibly go in there and then trim it down so it showed my very best. By digging down (and really beating my resume to death) I found qualities about myself I had forgotten. This had the unexpected consequence of a confidence boost, something I really needed right then. And, along the way, I got a darn good resume out of it.
The second thing that helped me in my job search was to start big and work my way down. The whole thing seemed daunting, but by breaking it up into smaller chunks, it made things far easier to manage. In creating a big list of potential jobs, I gave myself a wide range of possibilities. Everything but the kitchen sink went into this list; if it sparked even the tiniest bit of interest, I threw it in there. I then pared down the list, keeping the really appealing ones and tossing out those that weren’t. I still kept some of them as a backup list in case none of my favorites panned out. From there, I prioritized the list by picking a group of five as top favorites and ranking each one of those five. The parameters I used in my decision-making included projected salary, job location, opportunities for travel, skills required (both what I already had and what I wanted to learn), and potential for career growth.
The last thing I made sure to do was prepare. And I mean beyond just finding companies and writing letters and resumes. Knowing the details of the companies I approached, the type of work they offered, and, most importantly, the kind of people they employed became my objectives. I read everything on the companies’ websites, scanned news articles from industry publications about them, and hit up any personal connections I could find. Doing this accomplished two things. First, it told me whether or not they would be a good fit for me as well as if I would be a good fit for them. Secondly, by arming myself with this information, it allowed me to really show these employers what I could do and how I could best fit their needs.
Finally, after all the hard work of developing my resume, breaking down the work into manageable pieces, and learning everything I could about my potential employers, it all paid off. I landed not one, but two interviews on the same day in two different departments of the company. Offers were extended for both, and I chose the one I’m still in now, five years later. And I enjoy the work to this very day.
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