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Tips for Networking?

Tips Networking jobs job

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#1 S9coldfire

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:49

I've read a bunch about how important it is to network in order to get hired somewhere, but what are some good ways to go about doing that? And as a student or instructor what do you say other than that you want a job (along with every other heli pilot they'll meet)? In other words, what are some things that they're looking for from you in a face to face meeting? And how do you make yourself stand out? Thanks in advance.

#2 eagle5

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 13:30

I've read a bunch about how important it is to network in order to get hired somewhere, but what are some good ways to go about doing that? And as a student or instructor what do you say other than that you want a job (along with every other heli pilot they'll meet)? In other words, what are some things that they're looking for from you in a face to face meeting? And how do you make yourself stand out? Thanks in advance.


Actually, you're not supposed to mention that you need a job! Somehow you're just supposed to converse with these people in a more un-official, just want to "shoot the sh*t" fashon? So far I haven't been real good at it myself, especially at these "official" networking events, but it sounds like you're almost better off just chatting up someone in a bar? Its not supposed to be about finding a job, but just making friends?

As for standing out, everyone tries to, so,...good luck!

#3 gary-mike

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 13:39

Its not supposed to be about finding a job, but just making friends?


That's the way I see it.

Who would you offer a job to, a freind that you know qualifies and would be a good fit, or someone you met once that mentioned they want a job?

Be professional, memorable, follow up, and keep in contact.
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#4 AS350 pilot

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 14:34

I have been very fortunate with my "networking" since becoming a helicopter pilot. As a student pilot, before I even started training, I went around to a few commercial operators during business hours and just started talking with pilots. I clearly wasn't looking for a job offer.....just wanted to ask them things like; what it's like to be a career aviator, how did they get their start, what is their job like, do they have any recommendations for me, etc. I was genuinely interested to talk with these guys. What I found was; they were all cool and could tell I was enthusiastic about what they did.

As a pilot moving up in the industry, I revisited some of the places I had gone as a student. I would see the same pilots and update them on my progress. Still, I wasn't looking for a job offer. The more time you spend in the industry, the more people you will meet and become friends with. I think this whole "networking" thing is a little superficial. Make friends along the way, and go out of your way to help other pilots and it will come back around. Also, keep in mind that when you are talking with these other more experienced pilots....you can talk about other things than helicopters! lol

It's also not just about super experienced and older pilots that will help you out. Some of my very close friends are at the same point as myself in the industry, and I can tell they are going to be Chief and lead pilots in the future. I'm more likely to call them up to go play golf than ask for a job....but if I ever need one, I'm sure they would go out of their way to help me out.
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#5 Kliss

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 18:35

I agree with with AS350.

While I definitely see the need and value to events like Helisuccess. (went this year and plan on going next year). I also think a lot of networking is the day to day flying. Or visiting places and just talking to the pilots there. And like you said, sometimes you dont even have to talk about helicopters.

Sometimes I think people get caught up in that you have to network with people that have more hours or are the hiring authorities in a company. Sometimes its just becoming good friends the people that you fly with now that are in the same boat as you. If they move on and for whatever reason you dont, maybe a little while down the road they might be able to help you get another job. A quote I heard and could have been from here:

"Be nice to your copilot now because he could be your chief pilot tomorrow"

Not sure who said it but so true.
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#6 JDHelicopterPilot

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 23:48

It is not networking, rather, making friends. I secured three of five jobs I have had as a result of having a friend who worked there and refered me.

Also. many of those you meet along the way may one day be in management. Should you ever leave a job always do so on good terms.

HeliExpo and HeliSuccess are both great way to meet friends and keep in touch with. Online forums like this are also good. Be proactive by going to Safety Seminars and events.
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#7 Goldy

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:53

Be proactive by going to Safety Seminars and events.


Especially the ones that JD puts together!

1.Actually FAAST events are great for networking with local pilots.
2. Join a regional helicopter group
3. Join HAI
4. Join AOPA
5. Go to Heli-Success
6. Go to Heli-Expo
7. Join a facebook pilot page. In Los Angeles we have our own that many of us locals chat on.....look up "Los Angeles basin pilots forum" on Fb. If there isn't one in your area....start one!
8. No matter how little helicopter time you have, there is someone out there that has even less. So you can help them get to where you are at. Whether it's explaining the FAR's, or just the process of how to get your certificate, or turning them on to VR!

Edited by Goldy, 20 November 2012 - 02:02.

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#8 gary-mike

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:05

It is not networking, rather, making friends. I secured three of five jobs I have had as a result of having a friend who worked there and refered me.

Also. many of those you meet along the way may one day be in management. Should you ever leave a job always do so on good terms.

HeliExpo and HeliSuccess are both great way to meet friends and keep in touch with. Online forums like this are also good. Be proactive by going to Safety Seminars and events.


I mentioned a lot of the same things, I think I may have come close to quoting a slide from Heli-Success without looking at my program.

You did a great job as MC at the safety seminar JD!

What I really mean is Heli-Success and all other seminars and expos are a huge waste of time and money. You are lucky if you can get a ticket to these over-crowded events as they sell out every year. Competition is high every year, (at least the last two I have attended), so it probably isn't worth the time to come out and add to the competition.... Sense any sarcasm yet?

My experience with networking events, Heli-success for this example, was: I wanted to go to meet people from this forum , I wanted to learn about different jobs, I wanted to know the state of the industry, I wanted to know the paths I should take, and I had heard that I should "network" to get into the industry. Guess what, it was better than I expected, the seminar offered everything I wanted and more.

If you noticed, my first thing was to meet people from this forum, I felt that I had made friends online and wanted to meet them and have a face recognition and be real friends. (this is what I believe to be real networking) I have gained multiple well respected mentors through this site and the events that I have attended. One very special VR member helped me significantly and ensured I made a good impression not only last year, but also inspired what turned out to be a great impression this year.

Thanks Dean!

Good luck, I better stop before I give away too much ... I finally Applied to the program I've been waiting for for almost three years now :D

Edited by gary-mike, 20 November 2012 - 09:28.


#9 gary-mike

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:34

Careful Goldy,

Don't give too many secrets away... save some in the bag for me!

#10 TXFirefly

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 19:18

I agree with the "making friends" attitude. I struck up a conversation with someone at an airport as I was passing thru on a ferry flight. He had a small tour business. We kept in touch and a few years later when he was expanding his business and looking for pilots guess who got the job. : )

Also, for you guys just starting out... make sure you keep in touch with your flight instructors and other students at your school. You never know who is going to be in a position to help you out down the line. It's a small world and an even smaller industry.
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#11 S9coldfire

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 13:00

Thanks for all the great advice! Just making friends sounds a lot easier and more fun than trying to find the exact right words and impression to give in order to "network".

I don't have a ton of time between lessons, family and a full time job, but I always try to spend a little time talking with whoever is around at the hangar. Not even just to network but because I find it fascinating to hear some of the stories people have and how they got to where they are now.





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