My call centre job is one that pays decently well, so I’ve known for a long time that whenever I ended up getting a job in the aviation industry, it was going to be a pay cut, and a fairly massive one. Which is scary, with a lot of debt, but I’m very grateful that my Dad is in a position to help me out so I’m not afraid my husband and I will end up on the street or anything while I transition to a completely new industry.
So it’s scary, leaving my decent wage job for something minimum wage, and I wanted to wait until I’d passed all my tests before starting to search. Which I’ve done now.
Most pilots don’t get their first job in the industry flying. Usually they start by getting their foot in the door with a company by taking a job on the ground, typically either working the ramp, loading cargo, fueling planes, etc, or dispatching.
Apparently I interview well. Most of the time, if I an get an interview, I get the job. I was taught basic manners and stuff and that goes over well.
I put out a bunch of resume’s and after all of a week of searching, a friend passed my resume on to management at a local Medevac company, and they called me in for an interview for a position dispatching.
Now, at least in this setting, the dispatcher is kind of the central nervous system of the company, responsible for knowing where all the planes are at a given time, receiving estimated arrival times and passing them on to parties who need them, relaying details of trips to pilots and medics to send them on their way to pick up patients. A lot of responsibility for an entry level position.
I remember years ago, I was working back at EDS, another call centre, and a call came out for applications for a position within the project called “Incident Problem Management”. My manager suggested I apply.
I hadn’t even considered it. It didn’t sound like anything I was qualified to do, though I really didn’t have any clue what was involved. I was just a phone monkey – in no way whatsoever, did I think I had a chance at getting that position; for sure there was someone more qualified than me.
But they interviewed me and gave me the position. Now, in my head, they sat down in a room and went, “You know what? I think we should take a shot on Lindsay – give her a chance, what do you think?”
My friends, who have worked with me in the past told me the conversation likely went more like “Lindsay’s demonstrated she’s competent and doesn’t slack off, we want her.”
My duties turned out to be monitoring ticket queues and acting on patterns I saw that could indicate a major problem, and facilitating communication between departments in order resolve issues in the company’s IT environment as they arose.
I did do well, and when the company lost the project to a lower bidder and the position disappeared, I soon got a supervisor position in another project within the company based on my performance in the IPM position.
Fast forward to now, interviewing for the dispatcher position, which is a job with huge responsibility, despite being an entry level position. But I listened to the description of the job and realized, I can totally do this. In fact, I’m literally their ideal candidate, and when I described by previous job experience, I got the sense the manager interviewing me realized that too.
So I was offered the job on the spot, and now I’m dispatching for Sky North.