Redundancy. It’s a word that many of us in the aviation industry hear all too often. Over the last few years, here in the UK alone, thousands of aviation workers have lost their jobs following the collapses of Monarch, Thomas Cook, Flybe and Primera Air – to name just a few.
And now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s something we all are having to face head on, as the realities of how this virus is crippling our industry hits home.
Working in aviation is more than just a job. It’s a lifestyle choice and the thought of having that taken away from us is hard to deal with.
But being made redundant does not mean it’s the end of your flying career nor does it mean that you won’t get another job.
Here at Confessions of a Trolley Dolly we’ve come up with a helpful tips to help if the worst does happen.
What To Do First
So the worst has happened and you’ve just been made redundant.
First up take a deep breath and try to remain calm, not easy I know. This is uncharted territory for many, but you are not alone and it is important that you are looking after your mental well being whilst all this is going on.
Take stock of how you are feeling. Loosing a job is a huge adjustment. You may feel shock, anger, resentment, relief and much more in a short period of time. Take time to express these feelings. meet up with your aviation family and sit and put the world to rights.
Redundancy is a long and drawn out process so even if you find out you are being made redundant, chances are you will still be paid from your employer for a time as consultation meetings take place and notice periods are worked. Therefore use this time wisely to figure out a plan and if possible get your finances in order. If you’re not sure where to start the Money Advice Service can really help.
When the time does come and you receive your final settlement then its important to make sure you have been given all the money that you are entitled:
- Have I received all the redundancy pay I am entitled to? For more information on this click here.
- Have I received my final wages/salary?
- Is there any outstanding holiday pay i’m entitled to.
- Do I have any outstanding bonuses, commission payments or expenses?
It’s also important that you know your rights. You can only be chosen for redundancy fairly – never based on your age, gender, disability or mental health status – if this is something you have disclosed to your employer. If you are legally classed as an employee and have over two years service you have rights related to redundancy and unfair dismissal. for more information click here.
Make A Plan
For many, working in aviation is a dream come true, a life-long career. There simply isn’t a plan B.
However, we must face facts that the aviation industry could take a LONG time to recover. Indeed some estimates suggest that passenger demand may not recover until 2024.
So, for now at least, our wings may have to be temporarily clipped.
The industry WILL bounce back, it has so many times before and as jobs become available one of the best places to find the latest aviation careers is aviation jobs.me. You can also find plenty of interview and assessment advice for a variety of different airlines at cabincrewwings.com
Take some time out and let yourself adjust to the change. If you can afford to then don’t just rush in to any old job as a replacement. Find another job to do that you love. Follow your passions. Life is too short to do a job you hate!
Here are just a few job roles that are well suited to ex-aviation workers:
Writing a CV
I haven’t had to write a CV for a LONG time and I’m sure many are in the same position.
So where the hell do I start?
Well, one of the best things about working in aviation is that we pick up a wealth of ‘transferable skills’ that can be used in a host of other job roles, a key selling point to put in your CV. It is this diverse skill set that will set us apart from other applicants.
Here are some of the most important for you to include:
The job market has never been more competitive than it is now and companies want employees who can diversify and complete multiple tasks. Working in aviation makes us excellent at both. We adapt to different passenger profiles and deal with unusual passenger requests daily. We deal with irregular working patterns and hours, delays, technical issues, working on different aircraft types, we adapt to rosters that can change at the last minute, all with calm and patience (well, most of the time, but a potential employer doesn’t need to know that). Travelling the world means we have to adapt to new environments and cultures quickly. We are, by nature, exceptionally versatile and able to try our hand at most things.
As we all know communication is key within the aviation industry and we are exceptional at it. There are so many different groups of people that have to work together to get just one flight off the ground. From pilots to fuelers, cabin crew to caterers, engineers to airport crew, we all communicate in a range of different languages and under different circumstances. Yet we are able to do this in a way that’s polite, welcoming and personable, all whilst being clear, diplomatic, tactful and occasionally assertive.
Along with communication one of the main parts of working in aviation is working as part of a team. Even on smaller aircraft where there may only be one flight attendant, or at smaller airports where staff numbers are minimal, we still work together as part of one team to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers.
Leadership is increasingly becoming a highly sought after quality in younger professionals, especially for those businesses that want leaders to both manage teams and guide business processes, as well as provide subject matter expertise. And you don’t have to be a ‘Manager’ in aviation to be able to gain leadership skills. We all lead people in different ways so think about how you individually may have led passengers or colleagues in the past.
Working Under Pressure
The combination of long hours, irregular schedules, dealing with the general public and working in stressful and confined spaces (I mean being locked in a metal tube with up to 500 people is enough to tip anyone over the edge to be fair) means aviation is a very pressurised place to work. Despite this, aviation workers manage to conduct ourselves calmly and have learned how to deal with even the most stressful of situations.
This is an essential skill for professionals at any level within an organisation and one that aviation workers deal with on a daily basis. We face many unforeseen circumstances and have to deal with these issues quickly and safely.
Again you don’t have to be a manager to have good people management skills. Working as a team, as we do in aviation, will have already developed those skills and of course dealing with the general public as we do means you are more than qualified to manage people.
Working in aviation means that we are representing our airline or airport to the upmost of standards at all time when we’re in that uniform. And it’s not just about wearing a uniform, it also boils down to the presentation of ourselves and our airlines products. Presentation must always be upheld, even under trying circumstances.
As the aviation industry is already quite competitive, more and more airlines introduce paid on board service and duty-free sales. In some areas staff have sales targets to meet as their salary is influenced by how much they sell.
Even if you have survived redundancy this time round or you still haven’t found out there really is no harm in taking time out to update your CV.
Citizens Advice Bureau has some great information on redundancy and your entitlements for those of us in the UK: Citizens Advice Bureau
AviationJobs is THE place to find vacancies in the aviation industry around the world, the website that brings together recruiters and job seekers: AviationJobs.me
LiveCareer.co.uk is a great place to go for help and advice to build your own CV.
Our INCREDIBLE NHS is always crying out for new recruits with many of the transferable skills we already have – we didn’t do all those hours of first aid training for nothing dollies! To see their latest vacancies click here.
There are also hundreds of recruitment websites including:
Whether expected or sudden, redundancy can cause huge uncertainty, stress and anxiety. Life is pretty daunting at the moment and it’s ok to feel a bit lost. But things will get better.
© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air