Yeah, that was a really inspiring round! Our webinar in mid-October was all about courage. Host and moderator Michael Marchetti opened the evening with a quote from Irish writer David Whyte: "Courage comes from the French word coeur, heart. To be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made. " writes David Whyte. And further: "It is a measure of our heartfelt participation with life (...)To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything, except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply".
What a beautiful definition - courage always has to do with liveliness - and with standing by oneself!
Fanni Pajer, a factory pilot who crossed the Atlantic several times and flies piston airplanes all over the world as a single pilot, has something to say about this: Courage has to do with being honest with yourself. ", she says. On the job, she says, it's important for her to be well prepared: "That reduces anxiety."
And what if you're stuck in a life situation that's unsatisfying - be it professional or personal?
Wait and see? Definitely not an option for Fanni. And in our Linked In survey on dealing with professional dead ends, this option also received the least support. The vast majority voted for the option: try something new!
"I was a cabin crew and single mum for eight years. So for many reasons, I couldn't just wait and see what would happen." Pilots usually have a plan B and C when flying anyway, otherwise they are not well prepared, says Fanni.
It's interesting that things don't always work out that way outside the cockpit: Many pilots and flight attendants have actually never considered a career alternate, which they build up parallel to their career in the cockpit or cabin.
"We flight attendants have a wealth of knowledge that is very welcome outside aviation," says Sabine Zimmer. She was a team leader in Lufthansa's management, led 140 cabin crews for years and says of the subject: "I have always tried to be a role model. In principle, she believes that talking to your boss is a good option if you want to change. And addressed to airline executives, "If you just manage people instead of leading them, you'll lose them." Sabine changed jobs soon after the pandemic began and is now responsible for communications in a large German organization: "I miss flying, but not the world since March 2020, I miss the world before." About her career change, she says, "Once you've taken the first step, the hardest part is done." For her, there's no going back.
Also a highlight was the story of the Minister of Happiness of Bhutan, one of the speakers in the OneEightZero program. Tho Ha Vinh quit at 59 as a well-paid Red Cross worker in Geneva, not knowing what would happen next. What followed a few months later was - completely unexpectedly - a call as minister to the Kingdom of Bhutan - a highlight in his personal career that would have been unthinkable had he not listened to his heart beforehand.
The speakers on this evening agree: people who have dared to change cannot fail. They remain alive.
Martin Stork, a flight captain for Netjets and various airlines for decades, also changed careers (even before the pandemic): for him, additional training was the right solution: "I wanted to broaden my horizons, so I did my MBA." With that, he set out on his own and also showed a lot of courage when he said to himself, "Okay, burn the ships: I am gonna go, and I will find ways to make this work."
And then, in the context of uncertainty and fear of the future, he says a phrase that runs deep: "Not knowing (what will come) becomes interesting when you know who you are without uniform or stripes."
We at OneEightZero feel the same way.