The road to pursuing a dream can be rocky, unpaved, full of bumps and hurdles. Sometimes it can be incredibly tough to keep going and be optimistic for the outcome of all your hard work put towards a goal.
Here’s a quick list of things that help me keep on keeping on. What’s on your list?
1. Create a Network
Networking can be great for connections and potential jobs, but even more than that it can be a huge motivator. Having people to call and talk to along the way can be everything when you feel like you’re not reaching your potential, or that maybe it would be easier to give up. Having a support system that is in the industry will keep you looking forward, and will make the road a little less lonely.
2. Love and Appreciate the Journey
It sounds cliché, but all the quirky adventures along the way are sometimes what makes it all worthwhile. Write it down, take photos, document it. Your story is unique and worth remembering.
3. Learn Constantly
Sometimes it’s hard to see all the opportunities around that help us learn and grow. In every job, there are people you can reach out to and learn from- even if their work isn’t directly related to yours. Having a varied background can help build a big foundation to your repertoire and might become useful in the most unexpected ways. Not only does this show that you’re a team player, willing to help others and work outside of your job description, but it will also make you more well rounded.
4. Take Care
It can be so easy to wear yourself down, or kick yourself for not performing the way you know you can. It’s easy to forgive other people and look past their faults, but sometimes it is a lot harder to do when we are reflecting on ourselves. Trust the path you’re on, and trust what you’re capable of. Self forgiveness is huge, and will put your mind at ease and help focus on the important things. Whether it’s doing yoga, taking afternoon naps, or getting into a Netflix show or social media; finding a way to relax and centre yourself is a big part of making a routine that works with you.
Living light can be hard, especially when life can get so so heavy. Sometimes when we get caught up, it is easy (and almost natural) to accumulate, accumulate, and accumulate some more.
At the time, picking up little things along the way makes me feel more prepared. It’s almost a stress relief, knowing that when an unexpected trip comes up, you’ll have just what you need. After all, prior preparation prevents piss poor performance… until you find yourself suffocating and stressed. Clothes for cold weather, clothes for warm weather, clothes for going out, clothes for staying in, clothes that were gifted to us that we can’t part with just yet, coffee from that little town along the way. Where does one even begin?
The past few months have been a busy blur. With some help of Isabelle, Paige and Frankie, I packed up my house in the city and moved larger furniture to my parents house down south. The remainder of my belongings and what I would need for the rest of 2017 was shoved into my 2001 VW Golf; right down to the spaces between the back seat cushions. I moved into a closet-sized room in the company crew house in a town that is not that much bigger. After working
With a little breathing room in between jobs at base, i’ve averted my attention from Jetranger manuals and cargo net repairs to some much needed self love and TLC. After working for 3 hard months, I haven’t had a lot of time to organize and rejuvenate. With 2 days off, it’s time to address some underlying stress, and purge.
The past few days I have been going through my closet, trying to edit out what doesn’t belong with me anymore. Those winter tires for my ’98 VW Golf will have to go- they won’t fit on the car i’ve got with me. Old t-shirts that just don’t fit quite the way I want them to, make-up that I will honestly never wear, almost empty bottles of product–hasta la vista.
Do you have any tips on purging, making tough calls on what stays and what goes, or ways to manage dealing with clutter stress? I’d love to hear about it!
Today, it’s tough to get jobs. Employees in select industries are becoming more and more dispensable, and for each entry level employee, there’s at least 5 applicants that would love to take the job off your hands. Being a low time pilot, multiply that competition exponentially. I’ve worked reception jobs where people have called, literally looking to take my position, and it’s my job to pass along the resumes. Tough, right?
It’s not easy getting into some industries, and a lot of your opportunities weigh on how your superiors see you. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that still discriminate- sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it. There are a lot of people that aren’t shy to share discriminatory views in the workplace, no matter how inappropriate.
In a job that you want, need, and are so replaceable in, how do you voice your opinion when it opposes that of someone who has a say in the opportunities you’ll receive? Where does your voice and values stand against what you’ll do to be successful and get ahead in your career? Sometimes all it takes is standing up for what you believe in to be labelled as having a “bad attitude” and taken off the job. You could say that it’s just a job, but if you’ve lost it, then you’ve also lost the opportunity to change the workplace environment once you’ve gained some seniority.
I’ve reasoned with myself that I should take whatever is thrown at me with nods and smiles, and one day, when I have some seniority, I will take it all back by making sure that the work place is 100% inclusive to all genders, sexualities, sexes, races, religions, etc.
What do you think? Add a comment below or message me directly, i’d love to hear your thoughts!
This photo (taken back in 2014) is of the helicopter I trained on situated underneath an Erickson Air Crane. The Air Crane was at a hangar next to ours for maintenance, and we wondered if the little Robinson 22 could fit clear underneath. It did!
As you can probably tell from the photo, it was a bad weather day and we couldn’t fly. The whole month had been like this, and there’s only so much ground school you can do until you’ve gotta get outside!
When you’re heading out to camp (particularly if it is in a remote place that you need to drive or take a small plane to), having too much baggage can make you stand out right off the bat. There’s only so much room for everyones belongings, and if you take up more than your allotted space, you’ll probably regret it. The good news is, the most worthwhile things you can bring are usually very small. Don’t bother cutting your toothbrush in half, save space by leaving the extra pillow at home and pack these instead:
In particular; robax, advil, and pepto. A case of the day 14’s will have you wishing there was something you could do for your back. Robax will be your friend, and will help you make friends if you’re willing to share! Advil because the days are long. Pepto because no matter how good the camp food is, it’s never that good.
2.Extra Shoe Laces
There’s nothing worse than having an early and groggy morning, putting on dirty and cold clothes, getting to the site, pulling on your laces to tighten your boots and all of a sudden- your slowly deteriorating laces snap. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. A day of cursing ensued after I zipped my hiking boots together with zap straps. An extra set of laces are so small, and can make the world of difference.
3. Ear Plugs
It only takes one persons nasal cavities to ruin your night.
4. Deerskin Gloves
I thought my mum was being overkill when she came home with deerskin gloves before I headed out to camp. Turns out, they kept my hands smooth as a babies bottom compared to some of the callused, blistered and bleeding palms of my friends.
5. Hard Candy
This one might be particular to fire fighting, but hard candy is a good way to keep the taste of ash out of your mouth.
6. Flip Flops
When you return home, take with you good memories, photos, maybe a suntan? Shower floors are great for spreading bacteria, so leave the warts at camp.
7. Yoga Towel
Yoga towels are great! They are quick dry and pack up small, so you can guarantee your towel will be dry for your next shower.
See point #1. Camp food is good, but it’s not that good.
Towards the end of 2016 I started journaling some of the experiences I have had as a way to reflect and have some perspective when I make it (one day) to being an experienced helicopter pilot. Recently however, I have noticed that the issue with documenting only on paper is that it fails to initiate a larger conversation with people going through similar struggles in establishing themselves in an industry.
These Working Hands will serve as an honest recollection, and I hope will promote discussion amongst the young and passionate starting out in their career paths.