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Advice Needed

Old 23rd Oct 2020, 22:32
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Advice Needed

I am fast approaching having to make a decision in the near future, so I thought I would post here and ask those who are more wiser than I. Firstly, I am very cognizant of the fact that in the current circumstances I am extremely fortunate to remain employed - I have quite a number of friends around the world who have been made redundant, so my sympathy goes out to those that have been affected by what has been a pretty ordinary 2020.

My current employer is just coming out of administration in a very weakened state. They have shrunk their fleet and network sizes significantly and as such over 500 pilots have been made redundant. I still remain employed (I haven't been paid in 6 months), yet hopefully flying will slowly start to pick up and I will be required back at work in the near term. I am still at risk of being made redundant if my company makes further fleet cuts - although from what they are saying this is unlikely (but who really knows). The unions here did a deal with the company that redundant pilots have right of return into the company based on their original seniority number. In essence, what this means for myself as an FO is that there is no possibility of a Command in the medium (to long) term. Ultimately I am not opposed to this - this policy means that former colleagues who have been made redundant can hopefully come back to their careers which have been well and truly messed up. But the harsh reality for myself and a lot of other FOs is that we are looking at a career in the right hand seat. Again, I would like to reiterate that I am very fortunate to have a career at all - and I am sure all of my colleagues who left the business would gladly swap positions.

Now for the tricky part - another airline I have an opportunity to work for has are about to commence jet operations in the next 6 months or so. They are starting very small, but are using aircraft that I am current on (and are advertising for pilots who are current on type). So the question is, do I leave my current employer (where there is probably a little more job security, assuming I don't get made redundant in further cuts, but where there will be no career progression in the next decade), or do I take the plunge and go to this new startup (who will be commencing operations during a pandemic, albeit with some serious equity players funding them) where there is an obvious risk to my long term job security, but where that is offset somewhat with the likelihood of career progression.

Very interested in everyone's thoughts...
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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 23:12
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look short term and go for the quickest pay cheque.
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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 23:36
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In aviation, if you're offered a loaf of brown bread right now or a loaf of white one in a month, you'll almost certainly be better off taking the brown one. Especially in a situation like that. Nobody knows what's going to happen in 1/3/5/10 years in either of those carriers. So, I would go for the one that offers me paid employment first. Job security is inexistent these days, even companies with decades in business go bust every year. So, take the one offering a pay check right now and, if necessary, reconsider once things improve.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 04:05
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I have seen both cases in my career. Older FO's who had a hard time finding a job as FO after their supposedly stable airline went belly up, younger FO's who took the upgrade very early and always found a job as Captain even though their total time was on the lower side... It depends on present your age and experience. Your location is Australia, so you have government welfare programs, seniority lists, collective agreements... If you can afford some financial uncertainty for the time being until the virus goes away (and it will do, eventually), try to figure out a way to take the leap and get the upgrade. It will pay off big time when the flights resume and the situation comes back to normal. Think off all those unemployed pilots overseas that are waiting to come back to their home countries to work, it may happen that you will be stuck on the right side much longer than you expect if the airlines decide to hire DEC to face the tsunami of flights that will come once this clears out.

This is a risk assessment. I reckon then risk is high as the situation is very fluid, but the gains can be huge also. You are not the first case of pilot upgrading his/he career in the middle of this mayhem, I have seen more recently and it works if you plan it well.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 08:04
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Have you got the job offer, or is it still just a possibility at the moment? Always make sure you're holding the next branch before letting go of the last one.
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Old 24th Oct 2020, 09:39
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I could never be a financial speculator in the stock market !

I would say that until a working vaccine for Covid19 is developed, aviation is not going to fully recover.

Your present job might vanish, but it is a job and you are being kept current - albeit in the RHS - whereas there are absolutely no guarantees about the new start-up.

Even before Covid, new airline start-ups were appearing and failing - particularly around the UK part of the planet. And three long established, well known airlines failed.

If it were me, I would stay in your current employment but study to gain qualifications in a different field altogether.

I would also advise adjusting your lifestyle to get rid of all unnecessary expenditure and build up an emergency fund.

Good luck.
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Old 25th Oct 2020, 03:52
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Details of the two companies concerned would influence my recommendation, track record of your current employer and their network, plans and financial backing of the other you're looking at. Otherwise it's a crap shoot, but the very best of luck.
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 07:42
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Thanks to all that have taken the time to respond. It has definitely provided some food for thought. As I said above, giving up ten years plus of seniority in my current employer (despite the significant time I will still have to command) to move to a start up operation in the hope of quick progression is something that is very much weighing on my mind. Its not necessarily who will be provide an income first, as my gut feeling is that I will be on 50% pay at the same time the startup commences.

And I totally agree with rudestuff- never quit a job until you have a job! And UpLinker I hear you - I have already put some feelers out for other lines of work too.

Megan I have PMd you.

Thanks again 👍
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 11:58
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You don't say what area the new operators is in, is it schedule, charter, a mix or VIP only etc.? Usually the old maxim applies, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
Your current employer has established itself in the current market, the new operator has yet to make its mark and in these difficult times could fail, a few missed payments on its new equipment and down they will go, leaving you out in the cold with minimal redundancy payments.

Think very hard before you put a possible command ahead of job security.
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