Are you ready to receive a lucky break?

  • Published
  • By Joan Farnum
  • 84th Combat Sustainment Wing deputy director
Now is a very exciting time for us as we continue to evolve our work force into the flexible and agile team needed to meet tomorrow's challenges. Just like today, we will be facing innovative technologies, changing organizational structures, new policies, and a complicated political environment. The future Hill Air Force Base employee will need to have knowledge in multiple functions, commercial business practices and technology modernization. Motivated people who readily accept increased individual responsibility will be more suited to the numerous multiskilled positions that will be used in the future. To succeed in this dynamic and rapidly changing environment, our work force will need to hone its technical, managerial and team leadership skills. 

Are you going to be one of the lucky ones who will lead this work force into the future? We have all seen people around us who seem to "catch that lucky break" to land the fun job or the great special assignment. What can you do to align yourself with the lucky stars? One of my favorite old-dead-guy quotes is from Senecca the Younger (5 B.C.-65 A.D.), a Roman dramatist, philosopher and politician. He said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." 

Now is the time to start preparing for your future -- even though you may not know what that future is going to look like or what you will be doing. Look to see what kind of work you would like to be doing five years from now and identify the education, training and experience that you would need to be the best candidate for that job. Don't limit yourself to one option; choose two or three different paths to keep all of your options open. Maybe you can obtain education and certifications, start working on a college degree, sign up for professional military education (i.e., Squadron Officers School, Air Command and Staff College or Air War College) or take a course or two of computer-based training in the area of depot processes, acquisition management, leadership or whatever piques your interest. Next, look to gain different experiences by volunteering for special assignments such as an AFSO21 project team, becoming the briefing spokesperson for tours in your work unit or joining professional associations. These experiences will help fine-tune your skill base by adding new communication, interpersonal and problem solving skills. You can even go to the library and check out a book to explore management or technical expertise. 

One of the principles that Abraham Lincoln followed was that the best leaders never stop learning. The learning opportunities mentioned above may not be needed for your current job or even your next job. However, somewhere down the line, wouldn't it be wonderful to be fully prepared for that great opportunity you would like to experience? If you are lucky -- you WILL be the one selected because you have made yourself the best candidate!