Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. What do I mean by that? Well, social media has enabled us the ability to network and communicate on a global scale! As you know, networking and communicating are essential tools that pilots need for a successful career! However, you must always be cognizant of your social media presence and always present yourself as a professional! Aviation is a small community and social media blunders can haunt you for the entirety of your career. On the other hand, this new age of communication is allowing opportunities to present themselves faster and more efficiently than they have in the past!
For example, if you just started that new side-hustle to help fund your flight training, you can now blast it out to the world immediately through Etsy, Ebay or other platforms and promote it in your network through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and any other platform where you can find your target audience!
Additionally, you can find mentors at the click of a button through Facebook groups such as BogiDope, The Pilot Network, Sisters of the Skies, Female Aviators Sticking Together, Lady Aviators, Aviation Career Mentorship, Future Women Military Aviators, Ladies in Flight Training, etc. In the past, finding a sponsor in a Guard or Reserve unit was very difficult. People had to know someone in the squadron or get lucky by showing up and trying to get an escort on base. Now, people can reach out via a Facebook group seeking a mentor from a specific squadron and, usually within 24-hours, they have found someone willing to chat with them and show them around. This is HUGE if you have that one squadron you are targeting specifically or if you are hoping to talk with people from various squadrons to help you determine which platforms and missions will best fit into your life and aspirations.
Likewise, LinkedIn is full of opportunities! Whether you are new to the industry and looking for a mentor, or you are more established and are trying to network with the right person who can pull the strings necessary to help you land the dream job at a major airline, LinkedIn is essential. Check out this article by fellow BogiDope coach, Jason Depew on how to set up and utilize your LinkedIn profile. Also, for the absolute best company to help you build a stellar LinkedIn profile contact Raven Career Development. They believe that “your LinkedIn profile is one of your most powerful online marketing tools. Aviation professionals and HR recruiters will view your profile as an extension of who you are as a professional, and those who stumble on your profile will be compelled to connect with you.”
21.Five Podcast and Raven Careers also have a great podcast about networking on LinkedIn here. I can attest to their service. They created my LinkedIn profile in January 2021. Since then, my network within the airline industry, military and charitable aviation organizations has skyrocketed. Additionally, I receive job offers and invitations to collaborate on projects on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. To view my LinkedIn profile created by Raven Careers click here.
Also, find and follow people in various stages of their career journey! You never know what inspiration, resources, opportunities or life-long friendships you might gain from a simple follow. Look for those people that are in the positions that you aspire to reach. Learn from them. Reach out to them and don’t be afraid to ask questions! However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you have connected with someone on social media it means that you are networking! More friends and followers does not equal a successful network because networking is more than connecting on a platform. It is communicating and forming meaningful relationships through mentorship, shared goals, ideas, etc. Aviation is small, so always be respectful and mindful of your audience. Form meaningful, mutually-beneficial relationships with your peers and people that you look up to. You never know where it can lead!
For additional information on how to avoid social media blunders and how to leverage social media for good read this BogiDope article.