Interviews, jobs & sponsorshipDo ya feel lucky, Punk? Well do ya? If so, here's the place to swap the hot gen on who's sponsoring or employing, their selection criteria, and where those oh so elusive first jobs can be spotted in the wild. Watch out for the tumbleweeds...
Here's a bit of a dilemma question for hold poolers...
You're in a hold pool with the possibility of getting a call sooner rather than later. Nothing is guaranteed, so in effect you are hanging... The company is a decent one with good prospects and decent aircraft.
What do you do for work while in the pool? Do you accept a lesser flying job (or any flying job!) while waiting, all at the risk of compromising the hold pool offer (if there is a bond involved anywhere)? Do you sit in some office based job in sheer frustration, watching your phone everyday hoping for that illusive call? Or do you give it a set period of time and then decide to move ahead and take any flying work you can get?
Just curious, because the mental torture is killing me!!
Happened to me just last week. Been 'swimming' for months now and keep waiting for the call. Confident it will happen shortly but its so frustrating sitting waiting. Was offered an interview last week for a twin piston job but decided to turn it down. Having to move house as well as the crap wage on offer was enough to put me off. Maybe i'll live to regret it, but hey ho....life go's on! I have a good, well paid career in the meantime.
to play devil's advocate: What happens if, while you are waiting, a couple of fairly big operators get flushed down the pan releasing lots of already type rated crew onto the market? Balls of steel required no matter what your answer is
You should have taken the twin piston job in my opinion. Any flying job is valuable at the moment, especially air taxi/ survey work. The experience is great and it keeps you current. It puts many hours in the bank for your future command prospects. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get on with your new chosen career despite the fact that it may upset your current lifestyle etc.
In my opinion, you will miss out on some fantastic memories and experience, whilst sitting around for the call which has not come yet.
To the poster.
You could wait around for the magic call, however if it was for a loco, I would take the 'lesser' job. You will probably be kicking yourself come next year, when you are no nearer getting the job that you are in the pool for. I think that being choosy at the moment is foolhardy. Take what you can get. If you had the luxury of reading most airlines internal emails/ mail, you would not be dilly dallying around as the situation at the moment is dire to say the least.
Personal circumstances unfortunately meant i couldnt do it. The salary on offer was also a pi** take. I would have got more working at burger king(literally)! Believe me, I sat and hummed and ho'd and tried to juggle some figures around but alas, it wasnt meant to be. Financial commitments and personal circs dictated otherwise. I have something else in the pipeline just now and im confident it will happen very soon. Its a dream job for all sorts of reasons(well in my eyes anyway) and one that i've waited patiently for. That is probably another overiding factor for turing down the interview that was offered. I have a good career meantime to tide me over, probably paying me significantly more than the 1st flying job. Had I not been mortgaged with a crap housing market, wifed up..etc etc then perhaps I may have made a different decision. I didnt come into this game as a sprightly youthful 18 year old with all the freedom in the world, im the sort of slightly older guy with tie's.
I fly most weeks in any case doing other things. It keeps me current and keeps the rust at bay.
I was in this situation myself last year. I made it through to the holding pool in the CTC ATP scheme early last year. It seemed like a sure fire bet. The main customer Easyjet was hiring hundreds of pilots and in the past many came from the ATP scheme. Easyjet changed their mind and decided to go for experienced guys instead. So, my hopes were on the charter airlines who merged meaning no jobs. By this time I'd been on the dole for four months and not flown for a living for over a year. I decided to accept a job on the Chieftain for an ambulance operator while I waited to be pulled out of the CTC pool (fantastic experience by the way). By November, I was still in that damned holding pool and as the 2008 jobs market was looking dodgy I decided to get something while I could. There was plenty of turboprop stuff going and I drummed up a couple of job offers. Just as I started a type rating on a 24 tonne TP I find out my CTC course mates have been placed with Easyjet on the Boeing. Sods law!
Yes, it was a bitter pill to swallow at first but I am comfortable with my decision. I think that sometimes you've got to chase the two birds in the bush but theres also a time to accept the one in the hand. Right now, I'd accept any half decent flying job going. This winter is going to be rough, with lay offs ahead and you need to be in a job ASAP.
MIKECR has done exactly the right thing for his own personal circumstances, it's not for someone else to criticise. Besides it's about time a piston operator got a rejection from a commercial pilot, rather than the usual other way around scenario (I don't suppose they'll be man enough to learn a lesson from it, and there'll be some desperate pilot to jump in MIKECR's shoes before too long, but serves them bleeding right in my opinion - small justices in this industry are few and far between). I expect that, were the wages small but barely acceptable, he would have jumped at the chance to be flying for a living, even though it represents for him a large pay cut to get him going. I suppose we can't blame small operators for exploiting wannabes just because they can, but it doesn't mean we have to like it, or that people like MIKE should endure debt out of an obligation to get going.
I guess the answer to the original question in this thread is, if it's not stating the obvious, you can only take the other job if they work for your own personal circumstance. If it is too much of a risk for you to take an onerous bond (in spite of the current talk, especially from IPA, about the lack of substance in such contracts), then it doesn't work for you and as such isn't an option. It is therefore also nothing lost: you were not able to accept it in the first place, much as you need to get flying.
I was in a similar position in 2006 waiting for a call from BA Citiexpress. Kept a trickle of instructing/survey work going to keep current, but for too long I put off applying for other jobs and 'wasted' a year as a result. Also turned down a light TP job because it included a year's bond. Turns out I could have worked that year and still be in the position I'm in now.
It's always a hard decision. People tell you take the first job you get offered and tell you you're mad when they find out you turned something down. The dilemna: you're in a hold pool for a decent turboprob/jet job, do you take that light TP/piston twin offer?
The way things are now, I'd probably say keep applying, take what you can and hope for better times. If you stay current and ideally stay employed in any form of aviation, you'll be best placed to move up the ladder when the next upturn comes around.
My experience of a 'Hold Pool' was nothing more than something that could be easily drained at short notice. Hold Pools are increasingly evident at times when airlines are going through spells of growth, when the industry as a whole is growing and therefore crew movement is common. I'm not so sure of their purpose now, especially as we are starting to see a mass of very experienced guys from unfortunate carriers such as Silverjet, Zoom, Futura and XL enter the market.
When I found my self in a hold pool I still actively looked for other jobs and had 2 interviews in that time with smaller operators. I kept up the flying by doing an FIC part time and gained a temporary contract with the BAA. Just like Mike, I turned down one job because the terms and conditions were beyond a joke. As much as I love flying I had a family to support and unfortunately you can't support a family and pay mortgages etc on just passion for a new found career.
The whole thing is a bit of a tight rope. However when it comes down to be able to support yourself and the other people who depend upon you then its a no brainer. As for hold pools, remember they are just what they are. A means of having someone on the side who can be called 'if' and 'when.' I 'swam' in one for 8 months and got told in a matter of 10 minutes that I was no longer required. Airlines can and will do this. It costs them very little or indeed nothing to put you there in the first place.
Take the first decent job that they will give you a contract for even if you are in a hold pool for what you believe is a better job. Obviously the wage is a consideration but only believe you have a job with an airline when the gear is up on the first flight! Even then I would be sceptical............
10 Months now for me, waiting for a call. Could easily be 10 months more given the current climate. Only thing you can do is to keep on applying for other jobs. I let a couple of opportunities with "lesser" airlines slip earlier this year as I was conviced I would be pulled out of the pool sooner rather than later. Aint gonna happen again, I've literally wasted 10 months of my life! The next thing that comes up I'm off, no questions.
Been in a holdpool for a major for over a year, as the months go by we recieve updates sayings things aren't going well in the industry and TR courses still suspended and now looking like Spring 2009 before anything happens. That of course depends on the state of the world economy at the time.
I went and got a job elsewhere but still remain in the holdpool. If you can do that go for it but for those thinking of going down the FI route, people have less expendable income to spend on flying lessons so tread carefully before going down that route!