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Pro Tips

Young Professionals: Establishing Work/Life Balance in the Pandemic

When it comes to figuring out the best work/life balance while working from home during the pandemic, young professionals (YoPros) are using technology to help get through these unusual times.

When her office closed down, Claudia Arnold had a “tough time. I felt like I needed to be ‘out there’ and felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything.” The 31-year-old Miami-based AEG Fuels marketing director missed the structure and interaction of the office. “It was affecting me personally and professionally,” she said.

Arnold credits a weekly Zoom cocktail-hour with 12 other aviation women as a huge factor in helping her cope.

“We had a drink and shared our struggles. It was so helpful,” said Arnold. The group still meets from time to time, a long-term silver lining of the pandemic.

Arnold eventually settled into her work-from-home routine and encouraged her staff as well.

“We had weekly calls and an ongoing chat, where we shared memes and jokes,” she said. “We had all been used to extensive travel and in-person interaction.”

Without travel, the extra time available to Arnold and her staff enabled them to tackle some major projects that had been on the back burner. Arnold also joined NBAA’s YoPro Council, which she says has been great for networking.

“I do miss the normal office interaction, but I’ve grown in other areas.”

Caleb Gibson ProOwnership Maintenance Specialist, Textron Aviation

Julia Harrington, 29, is a Cessna Citation pilot and lead captain and base manager for Axis Jet out of Chicago Executive Airport (PWK), so she couldn’t really relocate her “office” to home during the first months of the pandemic.

“We had nothing on the schedule,” said Harrington. “We were fortunate that no one got furloughed.”

But Harrington turned lemons into lemonade, starting her own YouTube channel – Pilot Julia – which features inspirational videos of her career and flights, as well as her hobby: aerobatics. The videos are great for educating and mentoring young women and others interested in a business aviation career. Harrington also has a website/blog and is active on Instagram.

At Textron Aviation, Caleb Gibson, a Wichita, KS-based ProOwnership maintenance specialist, has found he can accomplish a lot more at home than he initially thought he could.

“I do miss the normal office interaction, but I’ve grown in other areas,” he said. The 27-year-old has enjoyed getting involved with the YoPro Council and has joined other digital platforms to network.

Review NBAA’s resources for young professionals at nbaa.org/yopro.

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