I look back and have determined that sometimes we get to choose our paths and sometimes they are chosen for us. I chose to join the Air Force in 1998. I chose to be an Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems Mechanic…although I didn’t know the first thing about electricity…except if you touch an electric fence with a blade of grass it will shock you. Then I chose to be an Instructor, although I had a fear of public speaking and had never taught anything in a formal class setting to that point. Then I was selected to be an Aircraft Maintenance Officer and my choices got slimmer. Now, I suddenly had to become an instant leader, flight commander, officer-in-charge, Human Resource Manager at the Air Force Personnel Center (didn’t have that on my dream sheet) and finished off as a Squadron Commander.
I tell you all of that because for the most part I didn’t receive training before I went into each of those positions. Sure there was a school for some…but you didn’t really learn the job until you started to do it. All of that started to prepare me for my transition when I retired. I “thought” I knew what type of job I would get into…something production related with some project management mixed in. Got turned down for quite a few jobs…even got into a great conversation with an HR person at an automobile manufacturer as to why I wasn’t a great candidate because I had never worked with automobiles. I explained that if she took the wings and sophisticated avionics off my “automobiles” I’m sure I could adapt and overcome.
Well, end of the day I don’t work at that company but work as a Scrum Manager in software development…who saw that coming?? I know I didn’t, but guess what?? You adapt and overcome! Someone puts their faith in you and you come to work everyday, dig your heels in and go for it! YOU can do whatever you want to do, and if someone gives you a shot, give them everything you’ve got…adapt and overcome!!