John is the head of the structure and hydromechanical airworthiness department at Airbus.
John's career path at Airbus
- A400M Design and certification project Toulouse, France
- Development of A350 carbon wing & fuselage Toulouse, France
- Aircraft evelopment projects and process-improvement activities Toulouse, France
Navigating new cultures
Working in an international environment is a great opportunity to discover new cultures and related ways of working. You gain experience navigating conversations and translating your ideas when talking with someone from a different background. Managing a transnational team with a focus on harmonising activities and being involved in multinational project teams means I’m constantly learning.
I discovered over the years there is not a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way of working. Instead, these methods develop out of historical ways of working within different contexts. When you can recognize this and adapt to it, your motivation gets a boost every time you succeed in convincing others of your perspective.
Building your network through mobility
People that move to other departments do not lose colleagues but rather gain contacts and build their networks
I was assigned to the A350 plateau in the first years of its development programme, and was co-located for several days per week. Because of this, I discovered many useful links beyond the project. In my current day-to-day activities, I’m still in contact with many of the connections I made during this time.
I also see this around me: people that move to other departments do not lose colleagues but rather gain contacts and build their networks. In the end, if an employee wants to grow her knowledge of other departments or Divisions, she would do well to look into mobility for these opportunities.
Developing diverse competences
I started working as a Certification Manager with pure technical activities. Airbus motivated and supported me to develop these technical competences, and they also made it possible for me to develop my leadership capabilities. From my first management position, I’ve steadily progressed over the years to managing a team of more than 30 people transnationally.
I am now looking into further growth as an expert, which means a new focus in my career path. Airbus continues to provide me with the opportunity to be flexible and agile.
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