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Pro Tips

Young Professionals: Pursuing a Promotion

It’s a rare employee who’s not interested in getting promoted, but with the challenges of the COVID-19 environment, the twists and turns of the post-pandemic job market, and the awkwardness that can be associated with making managers aware you are interested in moving up, what should today’s aviation young professionals (YoPros) do to make sure they are on the short list for a promotion?

“It’s key to make yourself visible,” said Megha Bhatia, a YoPro who was recently promoted at Rolls-Royce. “I am a huge believer that you are the best advocate for yourself. Start having a dialogue with mentors and sponsors, ask for advice and market yourself.”

Bhatia has even plotted five- and 10-year plans for herself and has taken advantage of her employer’s succession plan, periodic assessments and in-house classes. She recommends that other YoPros avail themselves of available training, too.

Even though Bhatia began her career at Rolls-Royce already possessing two advanced degrees, she nonetheless has taken engine familiarization courses. “It’s important to understand topics not only in your field of work, but to have broader knowledge of the industry you’re a part of.”

“I am a huge believer that you are the best advocate for yourself. Start having a dialog with mentors and sponsors, ask for advice and market yourself.”

Megha Bhatia Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce

YoPros who work at smaller companies, or who might not see a clear path for advancement, may be need to look outside to move up to the next rung on the ladder.

“I was looking for more responsibility, and the opportunity just wasn’t there at my former employer,” said Charley Benjamin, who recently landed a new job. He said there was little movement of managers at his previous workplace, and therefore almost no way for him to advance.

“Another benefit is that now my voice is heard, and my ideas are being implemented,” said Benjamin, who acknowledges that there is some risk involved in working for a new company and being one of just several employees. “It was a gamble, but sometimes you have to take the risk.”

MacKenzie Kelly, Mayo Aviation’s manager of charter sales and flight control, has had a number of jobs during her career.

“I have taken new positions primarily to take on more responsibility and challenge myself while showing employers I could do it and deserved the promotion that went along with these functions,” said Kelly.

“As a YoPro, you have to exude confidence and experience and show a level of maturity that might belie your years,” Kelly added. “It’s important to ‘lead the room.’ Make sure you have the components to be the best employee for that company.”

Review NBAA’s YoPro resources at

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