While standing beside a lead-pilot as he worked on a schedule that was hopefully going to have me on it, I had an "out of body" experience earlier this year. It was one of those epiphanies.
I wish I had more of them.
I saw myself standing there, next to this manager, and wondered how - in his mind - I measured up.
Then I looked at myself from outside and took my own measure.
We go through life individually doing our best. We want to take care of our families and make a living. We grind it out. We have a talent that we sell for money. And the people who decide whether or not to select us for a job, project, or shift compare us to other members of the group when making that decision.
When I hear about people who don't get their way at work, and are angry, or upset, I wonder if they have thought to ask themselves - honestly - why this has happened. It's easy to blame outside factors for an adverse outcome, and much more difficult to look in the mirror and acknowledge that the reason I was not favored is...
A friend told me about a paramedic who was shocked and disappointed that he was not going to be selected for a position, and I wondered aloud, "how on earth could he not have known?" This fellow complained constantly. He waited until the last minute to accomplish his assigned tasks - forcing regular reminders. He called in sick as soon as he had time accrued. He worked multiple jobs and was unhappy at all of them.
Maybe he thought that because he had been a flight medic for years he was entitled to cause problems. Sure, longevity matters, but only if it is coupled with consistently reliable, satisfactory performance. Twenty years on the job doesn't mean that one can stop doing it, and our supervisors compare us to our peers each and every day. Why is it then that when we don't measure up we get angry and resentful?
Once, a flight-nurse was a candidate who competed against people outside the company for a management position. She came to the interview unprepared, unkempt, and with a negative demeanor. What was she thinking? And how little was her understanding of human nature? People expect you to come to an interview dressing and acting the part. The interviewers may make a joke about you being overdressed - but if you are under-dressed they will say nothing and think the worst.
As for us, we should strive to be the guy or gal who came to the interview, every day until our last with the firm. When you can no longer be that person, do yourself a favor; go find something else to do that challenges and rewards you. If you think the company is terrible, and you are confident that you aren't part of the problem, do yourself a favor. Move on. Life is too short and special to waste it being miserable.
When people have to make a decision about you, remember that they are going to run all the memories of your interactions through their mind. If you have been a source of frustration, anger, anxiety, or disappointment, you are going to get this in return.
We have to be at least as good as the outsider off the street... every day.
Or we may find ourselves on the street instead.
We have to pay attention to our personal "brand," and the details of our job, and our relationships at work.
If you don't believe it you are in line for disappointment. HEMS is a small industry and reputation matters. You can do yourself incalculable damage if you don't monitor your own performance, and the sad thing is that in the end, you will pay the price.
There is no such thing as a "forever-job" anymore. Change and transition are constant. And during those transitions; from one owner to another, or one operating-model to another, some people get left behind.
Don't let it be you...