#LoveMySafranJob: Unleash your potential and seize your opportunities!
Martin Hotte, now production support manager at Safran Cabin, started his career with this company 17 years ago. At the time it was called C&D Aerospace, then Zodiac Aerospace. He tells us how it’s changed, as well as the people he’s met along the way and the roadblocks and lessons learned.
1. How did you get to Safran, and how has your career developed over the years?
I joined C&D Aerospace, now part of Safran Cabin, in 2002, for a job as cabinet-maker. My career then developed as opportunities arose.
I never wanted to advance at all costs, for example to improve my compensation. Instead, I wanted to learn new stuff, and that was my main motivation in my professional development. So I showed my interest in and desire to move to new functions. Now, that didn’t always happen right away, but I never got discouraged, and I continued to improve and especially to work on my weak points.
Several persons trusted me and helped me, starting with my manager, who provided support and shared his knowledge. The various HR departments supported me and guided my career development, especially when I became a supervisor, as did various security departments.
I’m not the only one who followed this career path – several managers at our Montréal facility had the same experience. Our company helps people learn and develop. It’s not easy for someone from the outside to understand our business sector, so promotions are generally internal, which allows top-flight follow-up at all levels.
2. What have you learned over your career?
At the beginning of my career, the main challenge was technical. I had to improve quality and perfect my knowledge of the product and its development. Thanks to this part of my career, it’s now easier for me to support my teams: I’m familiar with their jobs and I can help them move their projects forward.
Building up sound technical skills is one thing, but I was still lacking in HR management skills. It was when I was promoted to supervisor that I was able to rise up the HR skills chain. Thanks to Safran, in fact, I was able to take a course in managerial skills.
If I have become a production manager, it’s because of everything my previous experiences taught me. The main challenge in my current job is business management. You have to think of a number of factors all at the same time: operational challenges, managing people and listening to their opinions, etc. Sometimes I have to revise my methods and change directions to integrate all of these parameters. That really forces you to be patient! Early in my career, I didn’t really think things through; now, I know how to change and be more flexible, to sustain my performance and successfully lead my teams. You really have to foster team buy-in, and make sure they want to work together towards the same goal, not because they have to. It’s not the same approach: when I started out I was more directive.
3. Any advice for colleagues who’d like to move to another function?
Do your best and be patient. If you always work to the maximum of your ability, something will happen. There are a lot of factors involved, of course, and different circumstances as well. But the folks who work with you will see your potential, so you have to keep working hard and persevere!
1998 – 2001: Trained as a cabinet-maker and carpenter at the Ecole nationale du meuble et de l’ébénisterie du Québec
2002 – 2004: Cabinet-maker at C&D Aerospace
2004 – 2014: Team leader at C&D Aerospace (acquired in 2005 by Zodiac Aerospace, which became Safran Cabin in 2018)
2014 – 2019: Supervisor at Zodiac Aerospace
2019 April: Production support manager at Safran Cabin.