I would like to introduce you to Leanne who was a Cabin Crew Manager when I met her last summer.
“I want a new career, I don’t know what to do. I just know it has to be something different.All I’ve done is flown and made tea!”
Here’s Leanne’s story…….
After 5½ years flying (including being the youngest promotion to Cabin Crew Manager) I was tired of the 4am starts, I wanted to escape the inflexibility of my roster, spend more time with family and friends and live a more healthy life. I knew it was time to move on and I was seriously considering becoming a legal secretary for which I had a college diploma. I thought it was all that I had experience in. And with hindsight I would have hated it.
Today I have an amazing job doing something I love. I am an Events Coordinator in a business whose purpose is to Develop more Enlightened Leaders. And I am on a career path to becoming a Practitioner too.
During my first day with Ann I began to discover that I had a range of skills and experience that could be useful in many contexts in future.
• Yes, I had experience of building a team every time I flew, so I did have actual management and leadership skills!
• I completely took for granted that I was a capable decision maker; that’s just what I had to do!
• I had significant responsibility including passenger safety.
• I knew how to exude calm even when there was some kind of a panic – that made everyone’s life easier including mine!
• And yes I could build relationships with all kinds of people, from the nervous flyer to the impatient business person, from the embarrassed parent with a screaming child to the flirtatious, the list is endless.
Now here’s the nuts and bolts of my story……
I spent 2 whole days with Ann, one in June, the other a month later. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, I just trusted the person who recommended the idea.
Day One found me working through a series of exercises that included what I did and did not enjoy in my existing role, identifying the values that drive me and unearthing the skills I have. There was a gradual dawning and appreciation of who I am and what I might have to offer.
Day Two started with a focus on expanding possibilities by visioning my ideal future. We then moved into what kind of people I might want to work with, where I wanted to work and how much did I needed/wanted to earn. And, of course, what I was actually going to DO to find a new job.
I left with a research project that required significant time and effort. I identified my main supporters/network and how they might help me. I also spent a lot of time researching what businesses and organisations existed within a ?10 mile radius of my home.My favourite was an organisation that was in the business of identifying talent, optimising the performance of executive teams and developing senior leaders.
This sounded really interesting and I liked their website.
They were not advertising for staff but I decided to approach them anyway. (Ann had made it clear that a large percentage of jobs were never advertised.) So in August I made contact with the organisation, I went to meet them taking my CV with me. It was a good meeting but they had no jobs and didn’t expect to have any vacancies before April; 8 months away! There was no way I could wait that long! I left with a sense of the door having been slammed in my face. I really wanted to work with this company.
This was when one of my follow up support calls with Ann came in useful. After our discussion I decided to approach the organisation with a proposal to work for a few days with them as an intern over the winter months. (I could fit this between my flying days.) This way they could get to know me and I could see what it was like to work there. Within 2 weeks, and after careful consideration on their part, they wrote offering me an internship.
Just as I was due to start the internship in September I was contacted because they had a job for me! An unexpected vacancy had come about and I could start on Nov 1. (They have since admitted that I did pester them so they knew I wasn’t going to give up; there I was ready and waiting when the opportunity arose!)
I’ve been there 6 months now, I am enjoying the people, my work and I am only 7 miles from home!