Dear Young Nancy,
Oh My….How exciting, to have your life and career dreams ahead of you! Please never underestimate yourself. Chase every dream, knowing that dream is never out of the question and always attainable. With unwavering tenacity and perseverance, you can achieve any career goal that you set your mind to.
Imagine yourself in the position which you would like to achieve. Don’t just envision yourself in that position, but envision yourself being exceptional in that position. You must not only strive to be there, but you must strive to be the best. Achieving your dream career and doing it well, not only takes imagination, but also intense effort and sacrifice. You may have to turn down a higher paying job in order to work towards your long term goal. You may need to sacrifice some recreational time in order to prepare yourself at the highest level. In the long run, it will be well worth it.
As an example, working in a fine dining restaurant through college—earning terrific tips and wages as a bartender and manager (substantially more than one could earn as a flight instructor or flying night freight to build experience and hours as a pilot)—is tempting to many, however not the best choice. Keep your long term goal in mind, and avoid being tempted by short term gains. The overused term “work hard and play hard” is so darn true.
Once you achieve your long term goals, then you have your entire future to enjoy.
One stumbling block you might have is fear. Whether it’s fear of moving on from a comfortable job or fear of failure, you must be fearless in your quest for your aspirations. When training for your career, never train or study just to pass or succeed. You must sacrifice time and make the effort to know your subject exceedingly well. If you are extremely well prepared, you will have the confidence to excel, lead and succeed.
Throughout your mission, be sure to grab life and live it to the fullest. But always remember, the most imperative priority is to always to be kind, truthful and grateful. People are precious. Enjoy them, be respectful and follow the Golden Rule. You will never be truly successful without knowing in your heart that you have committed to these life values.
My final incentive to you is: please take the time to volunteer. Wherever your heart yearns, take the time to help. From children to abandoned animals, you can make a difference. Life is truly meaningful when you give back.
Wherever your path may land you, motivate yourself to do your best at your job each and every day.
Cherish your family and friends.
Nancy Martin-Belitz has been enamored by aircraft since she was a toddler, starting flying lessons at just 16 years old. Today, Nancy is proud to work for Southwest Airlines as a Check Airman and Co-Founder of the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot Program, a mentoring program for youths across the nation. Nancy is as passionate about her family as she is her career, and her husband and 11-year-old daughter are the light of her life. For almost 25 years, Nancy has enjoyed working for a company that leads by example and stands behind every promise.