Crew Lounge HomeAdvice from Founder: Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude
Advice from Founder: Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude
BJJ Crew
BJJ Crew

At, we speak with job-seeking pilots every day. The common theme we've noticed among those who get the job they want isn't fancy type ratings, advanced degrees, or "the exact right" past experience. It's their proactive, positive attitude that makes the difference, every time. was founded over 20 years ago by Rick Koubsky, a corporate pilot based out of Omaha, NE. Today, is known around the globe for its seasoned, discerning pilots who want the best when it comes to their career choices, and for being "the corporate pilot advocate." According to Rick, "the pilots who end up landing their dream pilot job are proactive, friendly, remember important details and take every opportunity to sell their strengths when networking with those in the industry." Here are some concrete ways our most successful pilots tell us they use to connect with their prospective or current employer and elevate their career - and more advice from Rick.

Reiterate your strengths. Who's going to sing your praises but you ... (and maybe your Mom)? Whatever your strengths are pertaining to your job of interest, make sure you proactively reiterate them:

  • in your email to a prospective employer
  • during a phone call
  • when you apply for a job through
  • when you interview
  • to all of your industry contacts when you’re on the road

Mom's not going to help you out now, so learn to sing your own praises, get your point across, and make sure people remember you for what you bring to the table. For example, let’s say you love flying internationally. If a company is saying, “we need international experience,” they may get multiple applicants who list this qualification on their resume. But if you’re the one who puts emphasis on your international experience and talks about how much you love it, the hiring manager hears that you want to keep flying internationally. You’re then seen as the logical choice for the job, and more importantly, the position is the right job for you. Everyone wins.

Network for your dream job.

Before you roll your eyes about "networking," remember that in today's digital world, in-person contact has become doubly important. Network with corporate flight departments where you want to work. Here are a few ways successful Pilots network: "Email, call, and drop in every couple of months. Even if you feel odd about 'selling' yourself, remember that each corporate flight department has its own personality. Find the flight department the matches your personality and skills. Some departments will use contract pilots until they find the perfect fit." Treat contract trips like an actual job interview, and an opportunity to network some more. Use them to make a great impression, and to make sure the company is right for you, because who knows? They might become your #1 client (some pilots make a living on contract work!), or offer you a full-time gig.

When the going gets rough ... persistence pays off.

"No matter how hard it is, not matter how hard it gets, decide that you're going to find your dream job! Persistence is one of the key characteristics that any employer is looking for in a corporate pilot. This character trait ensures you will show up on time every day, are ready for any challenge, won't give up when the going gets rough and will always have a good attitude despite the circumstances." Treat the corporate aviation application and job interview process as an opportunity to learn. Know that the more you do something, the better you get at it. No one said rejection would be easy, but getting through those hard times are what makes great and admirable people of character. Ask many of our successful pilots: it's definitely possible to live your dream.

Positive attitude = job offers. 

Job searching can be a tough and emotional process, especially in corporate aviation. Rick says: "Don't let the naysayers get you down! No matter how 'difficult' people say it is, corporate flight departments are always looking to hire the best person for the job. Don’t let yourself fall behind just because you’re not working. See this time as your opportunity to get ahead by learning more about the corporate aviation industry. Talk to people, network and use BizJetJobs to dive deeper into who's hiring, what aircraft they own and who they've hired in the past. This way you will be confident and ahead of your competition when it comes time to interview." When talking on the phone, concentrate on the skills and knowledge you have, talk about what you bring to the table and all the positive things you can contribute at this corporate flight department. If you can stay consistently positive, things will change. Being a pilot is one of the best jobs in the world, and if you're like most pilots, you wanted to fly from a young age. If the person interviewing you is also a pilot, you likely have that in common. If not, your employer will still undoubtedly respect your passion for and love of flying because everyone wants to do more of what they love. Let that passion and positivity come across in your interview.

Stay grateful.

Positive "vibes" in phone conversations and interviews matter. A discouraging job search can make it easy to slip into a negative mindset. In order to stay positive, it helps to list off the things you're grateful for. Start with the obvious; your family, friends, health, or home. Then, stretch your gratitude further. See if you can train your brain to see the blessing in everything, even this job search. Once you're working, you won't have this time to do the research, meet new people, learn the lay of the land and figure out your ideal niche. It's been scientifically proven that the more things you can list off, the better you'll feel, and the more uplifting of a perspective you'll have.

Every “no” is one step closer to a “yes. 

You will most likely have some hard times in the process of searching for your dream job. Remember this is all part of it and every "no" helps you get closer to your goal. Applying for aviation jobs, networking as an aviation professional and interviewing is all part of the numbers game. Consider this example from the world of sales. Let’s assume you're a car salesman. After some experience doing the job, you find that for every 10 prospective customers that walk through the showroom door, statistically, one will be converted into a sale. That being the case, as a car salesman you can expect to get a "no" from nine people before you close a deal. So as you get one "no" after another, there is no need for you to get depressed, anxious or angry. You don't need to take it personally, get discouraged or demoralized by interpreting it as a failure on your part. You don't need to perceive the "no" as a setback or an obstacle. You simply need to remind yourself that it’s all part of the plan; that it’s all part of the law of averages; that every time you get a "no", you should actually be celebrating, because it brings you closer to the statistical number that equates to a "yes". Oftentimes, we get frustrated by things not happening on our timetable. Rather than seeing each “no” as one step closer to our goal, we interpret the “no” as a delay holding back our success. There is a right way for all of us, regardless of what goals we have set for ourselves. We will not find that "right way" if we get derailed by perceived setbacks, obstacles, rejections, delays and outright failures. It's better to make peace with every "no", seeing each as a positive. It's better to stay true to our vision. It's better to stay confident and positive, flexible and open to alternatives, treating every "no" as one step closer to a "yes".

Have a vision.

Most things we tell ourselves we “must” do like goals or ambitions (to get a promotion, to make more money, to work out every morning) aren’t very inspiring. We have to push ourselves to do them, and achieving these goals takes all our force of will. More compelling is to ask ourselves, what will I create? For example, you can create:

  • A satisfying work life
  • An amazing relationship with your family
  • A strong, healthy body full of vitality
  • Financial abundance
  • An energizing morning ritual

Your vision is the pull that excites you, gets you up in the morning and keeps you following through. It engages your emotions and energizes you. Challenge your fears! Go after your dream job. To go higher in life you will have to get out of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with positive people and winners. If your attitude is not right, change it.

Know your "why".

When the inevitable challenges arise – the economy is stagnant, you’re tired and unmotivated, you get passed over for a position you really, really wanted – you will need reasons strong enough to follow through on your vision. This is where you can use discipline - not to beat yourself up, but to show up for yourself and your dream. It’s in these challenging moments that your vision for a better life will carry you though. Do you have a compelling “why” for the changes you want to make in your life? Take the vision that absolutely excites and inspires you and create sound, compelling reasons to follow through on this vision. For example:

  • How would you feel if in one year you had achieved your vision?
  • How would you feel about yourself?
  • How would you feel about your life?

It is so important to create strong enough reasons.

Having a powerful enough “why” will provide you with the necessary “how”.

Knowing why you want to work for ______ , might make all the hard work and effort not that big of a deal. Know "why" you are a pilot and "why" you love to fly will get you through the hard times. Knowing your "why" will help you overcome any difficulty and help you overcome any hurdle. Knowing your "why" might make all the difference for your attitude. To get to the next level you will have to make some changes. Attack your dream job with everything you have. Out work your competition for your dream job - it does matter! How much time are you spending on your dream?

Post your profile on and use our Directory. Update your BJJ profile with your professional photo and recent training dates. Use the Flight Department Directory (Aviation Employers Database) an excellent tool to:

  • find flight departments in your geography of interest
  • discover who's flying your aircraft of interest
  • connect with Chief Pilots and other hiring managers / points of contact
  • get ahead of that ideal contract or full-time pilot job through networking

Retiring 65+ Pilots. Can't give it up yet? You have so much to offer! Find out exactly what type of flying you desire, whether Fractional, Charter, Corporate or Instruction. Most major corporations are seeking those under age 65 but Fractional / Charter / and small companies are seeking pilots with your qualifications.

Your New Career Path. When you interview, focus on your strong points: your positive attitude, your flight time and experience, your safety training, and your understanding of the job’s demands. Be sure to mention any experience you have with customer service or customer relations. Your prospective employer will appreciate both your experience as a pilot and your understanding of what’s required of you, and you’ll be ready to move forward in an exciting new career path.

YOU CAN LIVE YOUR DREAM At, our staff of industry experts and friends has become a family eager to help continue the journey. We are available by phone and email to answer questions, and we continue to be the corporate pilot advocate. Check out the Pilot Job Board for Corporate Pilots and Contract Pilots and get your pilot job search working for you today. Need additional motivation or have questions? Give us a call.


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