While career changes are difficult to define, experts claim that most of us will experience many different careers over the course of our work lives. Some change careers to better align themselves with their passions, while others change as a result of a layoff or boredom, and some do it because they want to gain new skills and learn new things. Regardless of the motives, safe to say that as we progress through our chosen vocation, a well stocked career development toolkit can help us optimize our journey and increase our chances of success.

Beyondthelockwire.com is a career development website created and regularly updated by a volunteer Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME).  The purpose of the site is to help AMEs and aspirants find meaningful, rewarding and enjoyable work by providing them with career development tools and industry specific data needed to make educated career decisions.  The Beyond the Lockwire vision is to ensure an adequate supply of qualified and experienced AMEs to fulfill direct and indirect aircraft maintenance positions in Canada.

My journey started 25 years ago, at a small airport in northern New-Brunswick, refueling small aircraft and coordinating airport operations. Through my interactions with corporate pilots and aircraft mechanics, I decided to give the aircraft maintenance industry a try. After graduating from technical school, I travelled to the Northwest Territories to complete my apprenticeship on helicopters and some bush planes. Ten years later, I moved to warmer climates in order to pursue a career in aircraft maintenance planning with a large airline.

Thereafter, I was initiated to the field of aircraft maintenance programs. That’s the part of the aviation industry where scheduled maintenance tasks required to keep the aircraft flying safely are developed and optimized. After five years in that role, I’m currently learning about the economics of maintaining a fleet of aircraft. Overall, I’ve changed career tracks four times over my twenty five year career.

From reflecting on strengths and ambitions to exploring options and firming plans, every career change involves some level of preparation. The purpose of this site is to provide prospect and existing aircraft maintenance professionals the career development resources that will help them shape their future.  Those who are looking at transitioning from a hands-on (direct) position to an administrative or support (indirect) role will benefit the most from the site.  In addition, I hope this site will encourage you to take a proactive approach in the planning of your career since the onus is on us as individuals and no one else.

Based on my personal experiences, I’ve discovered that the most useful tool in achieving career success is a pencil and a piece of paper (or a napkin). It’s that simple! When we capture our goals in the written form we engage our subconscious, we feed our focus and motivation.