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What it's like to spend 65,000 and not get a job

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What it's like to spend 65,000 and not get a job

Old 12th Nov 2009, 17:05
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lyon
Posts: 55
Ben, great to hear your side of the story. Congratulations on keeping the faith and making it all happen. Your news is a ray of sunshine in a bleak horizon.

Your recommendation about having a good trade to fall back upon is sound and I second it (find myself in it, to be frank!). However, it should be tempered with forewarning, I feel:
  1. The more time spent in one's "backup plan/former trade"... the more one's remuneration grows (or should at least!). I now ponder the prospect of getting paid less and less whilst seeing my "backup" career flourish. It's getting harder to abandon old faithful for the second time...
  2. Family life has a habit of overtaking one's flying aspirations and presents any number of deterrents. Babies, better homes and all the other bills interfere with that expensive dream we've cherished and worked towards.
  3. There's the obvious recency of skill issue - I'm heading towards my second IR revalidation already.
  4. From what I gather, T&C's are constantly being eroded - one has to wonder what will be left for us to dine upon in the future? Given he's already the antichrist in many ways, will MOL become the future norm?
  5. Is this still the ageist, sexist industry we've always known? Will that continue or by some miracle disappear?
More than anything else, I want to fly for a living. Not in a glamourous or ornate manner; instead, I'd be delighted with simple, honest and even hard work. Adequate compensation is essential, any more than that would be a bonus. As you yourself said, flying is about passion and drive.

My point is thus - having a backup plan is one thing... it;s another seeing it morph into the only viable option with excessive delay.

Hope to see you on the line one day!
FlyBoyFryer is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2009, 18:26
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: England
Posts: 17,647
I get annoyed when I read posts on here by people who are pilots and condemn others for trying to be the same. The glory days may have gone for you guys but it is still a glamorous and exciting job.

You spent 80k + 18 months living expenses and landed a job on an NG in summer 2008 with an employer that went bust. With 170hrs of time on type you found another NG employer who wanted you in Africa in 2008 and then six months later you found yet another NG job back in the UK.

You're very good at interviews and have prospered in very inhospitable times.

Good for you. I'm really glad and its a nice story thats totally different to the ones I usually hear.

I don't condemn anyone for dreaming of what is still in some measure an exciting and glamorous (nearly all the glamour has gone I think) job. I do condemn the idea of persuing that dream at the moment. Doing so ranges between reckless and pointless.

You can be the exception.

Wee Weasley Welshman is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2009, 19:16
  #83 (permalink)  

I Have Control
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Up North
Posts: 1,204
Caveat emptor

On top of those substantial costs, add in the lost revenue which would have been earned in previous full-time employment. Probably brings the numbers up towards 160000.

Expensive old gamble that, involving your parents' house.

Still, good luck to you, but I agree with WWW that many fall by the wayside for the few that win through to a paid and "secure" job. That was certainly the case in the mid 90's when I shelled out a considerable wedge to get into the business on an old Shed.
RoyHudd is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2009, 20:17
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 28
On top of those substantial costs, add in the lost revenue which would have been earned in previous full-time employment. Probably brings the numbers up towards 160000.
If you were earning 80,000 before you started the course that would help minimise the risk
doogle92 is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2009, 21:06
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 410
No Doogle, sadly an 80K salary just builds the 'opportunity cost'.
BigNumber is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2009, 11:02
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
Posts: 1,670
^^^ Your story is a good one Ben - and if all wannabe's were mature adults with the judgment and experience that 12 years as an engineer in the military / living in the sandpit gives you, I'm sure this forum would be a lot different.

However, I would venture to suggest that the majority of posters on this forum are not in that same category. A lot are barely out of school and have no real-life experience let alone a decent job to fall back on, they aren't coming into this like you did, as a well-planned career switch after 10 or 15 years in other forms of employment - they are just going through the post-high-school angst of what career to choose. And because they are under pressure to choose a career - any career - and flying is the one that appeals, they perhaps choose to put the rose tinted spectacles on when it comes to researching whether it is in fact a smart choice AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME.

Many others are people who've been toying with the idea for years and have become so obsessed with this peculiarly PPRuNe / British wannabe obsession with age and being too old, that they too are feeling pressure to make the wrong decision at the wrong time. (Guess what guys, it's still better to hit a buoyant job market as a 45 year old - than to qualify as a 25 year old and find there is no job market!)

When I post on this forum, I guess I do often choose to frame my words in rather melodramatic language, because I feel these people need to hear something that is in very stark contrast to all the happy hyperbole that is undoubtedly sloshing round in their heads from reading their large pile of brochures and their several meetings with flying-school "career advisers".

As you correctly pointed out, if you have the fallback job and have the money or a good part of it already saved, then fill your boots and I wish you every sucess. Young people who don't have the backup plan and don't really understand what it is that they're gambling with - in a lot of cases, mum and dad's house - I'm sorry but in times like the ones we are living in at the moment, the harsh fact is that 3/4 of them are going to get chewed up and spat out by the aviation-dream-selling machine and left with nothing to show for it. Including the house.

I have to hold up my hand and say here that I did my flight training in the early 90s at the tender age of 21 - and I, too, borrowed money from friends, family and banks alike. In my defense, flight training is a lot cheaper where I come from and the sums involved were never enough to get banks interested in securing against houses or anything like that. The mere concept of a 200 hour pilot flying a big jet is completely alien in New Zealand, so the flying school marketing people had pretty much zero scope for selling dreams on the scale we see today, I certainly went into it with my eyes wide open in terms of expecting to spend several years working in GA for a pittance before I got even a small turboprop to play with, and that's pretty much the way it worked out. In modern day Europe the stakes are much higher, the cost of entry (and the cost of failure) is MUCH higher, and the training hype from the schools reaches even greater levels of fever pitch because they are trying to keep their OWN jobs and businesses afloat in the face of adversity. It's a pretty dangerous combination in these times.

Finally - Ben will you please please tell me what job it is you have where you work 6 days per month??!! I waaannnnnt it
Luke SkyToddler is offline  

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