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A Job that actually means something

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A Job that actually means something

Old 22nd Jun 2014, 03:16
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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A Job that actually means something


I have been thinking about this for a while now and thought it might be good to put it to you all.

At present I fly a big aircraft for a big company and although the package is good and the opportunity to build a long career here exists, its missing something far more important.

Its just a job, the passion for flight and aviation has gone, as those more experienced than me said it would when I started out on this career.

So I knew this day was coming but now its here, I would gladly trade the money and benefits to really look forward to going flying (not to work) and feel passionate again about what I do.

The thought occurred to me that rather than just flying passengers around, the same thing day in, day out, would it be possible to find a flying job that actually made a difference?

Search and rescue, fire fighting, medvac, something where you can go home at night and feel proud about what you did that day, rather than just another day on the line.

I appreciate that some years ago if I read a post like this on PPRuNe while I aspired to reach where I am today, i would have thought, this person needs to be thankful for what they have.

I am thankful, but its me thats worked hard to get here and made the sacrifices we all have, to get to a particular point in your career.

So this isn't really a question, more of a, does this really have to be it? Anyone else wonder if there is more to work, flying? Anyone who has thrown in what is 'perceived' to be a goal in aviation (flying big planes) for a job thats more rewarding and was it worth it?

I look forward to any views
David Aames is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 03:30
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
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I went through the same "job menopause" a few years ago, wanting to use my skills to do something useful instead of making a stinking bunch of rich airline executives richer.
With me it was medvac or similar in Africa.

But don't worry it'll pass. Give it a year or two.
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 05:27
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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A Job that actually means something

Whenever I have the odd crisis of faith, I go spend time in the arrivals hall. Seeing the families and friends meeting each other reminds me that "just bussing people about" makes a huge difference too...
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 06:49
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Dash where's the like button, this is exactly what I do
A320baby is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 08:06
  #5 (permalink)  
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I did medevac flying in Western Canada, now 747s for an Asian airline.
Although I had a good time, helping people, challenging flying.... I'll take an airliner any time. Comfort, safety, 4 engines, apu, steady schedule, money. You get none of those things flying medevacs. Being on call gets old real quick. Not to mention being awaken at 4am, middle of winter to fly into some shitty airstrip with non existant snow removal and no refueling facilities. I did 4000h of that kind of flying and that's better left for young dudes aspiring to move on.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 09:51
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Go to the bank. Withdraw 1 months salary in cash. Take it home, and stare at it until your dilemma goes away.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 10:09
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Go to the bank, withdraw one months salary in cash and give it to charity.

Or train to become a doctor.
R T Jones is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 12:09
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Asia
Posts: 284
Hi David!
Know a lot what you mean. I felt the same quite quickly, especially when flying for a LCC, there is nothing meaningfull to me...I felt like being a "bus driver", due to short turns around (30 minute).
Nowayday, the objective is to make money for the owner, work fast for them and make them rich. The work becomes the center or everything and not the human being. It is sad.

At first I was thinking the same, try to think that I bring pax to see their families etc...but it is hard to keep these thoughts, cause I was feeling that I take passengers only because they pay my flight and my work so cheap...they don't care at all...they only want to fly cheaper and cheaper and go on holidays, cheaper than by car now.

IN the same time, leaving an airline carier for medevac for exemple, is risky.

If you really want to do a meaningful job, than you should change career like environmental scientist, or medical field, etc...that would be a lot of work.
and you can fly beside your job.

Or you keep your current job (best option), and do some extra activities ( charity etc), open a business beside.

Generally we become pilot because we are egoist.
We want to fly, we want the best view, we want to have emotions....and in the same time we make a lot of POLLUTION in the skies.
so let's face it, when become pilot, it is not to make pleasure to passengers but to make pleasure ourselves first.

I am a sensitive person about environment and I get quite guilty about that too.
There are many LCC now, and their objective is only to make money, they don't care how bad is it for environment.
And pilots follow them...

A former airline pilot speaks out | Aviation Justice


Honestly, despite I understand you, you should keep your current job, and try to do others meaning ful activities beside.
As you said, it's jsut a job, so Just work for the money and use it in a good manner.

Last edited by Greenlights; 22nd Jun 2014 at 17:26.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 13:39
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Join Date: Mar 1999
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Have some kids, it's much easier to convince yourself of why do you put up with all the when it's for their benefit not yours
Luke SkyToddler is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 13:41
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Higher reason

Hi David,

Passion is a good indicator that we are on the right path. Many years ago I lost my passion in my first career, then moved to aviation (which at the time was an unfulfilled passion from childhood).

I believe that you may be becoming aware of a higher purpose for you on this planet. Have you ever thought about why you are here? I can assure you it's not about the accumulation of possessions or social status or any other ego-based thinking.

Most of humanity think that it's about having, then doing and being. But it's actually the other way around.

What do you want to BE? Not talking about a job, I'm talking about an aspect of divinity. What aspect of divinity do you want to be, to project to humanity?....love, service, patience, tolerance, compassion...etc You will need to self-inquire.

A doingness will arise from that, for your work is a way of being what your spiritual journey is inviting you to be...your idea with regard to why you are doing it and who you are in relationship to that reason.

I hope my words will be of some use to you.

Last edited by Lightheart; 22nd Jun 2014 at 13:46. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 15:16
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
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What happens if (when?) you loose your passion for your new job-that-actually-means-something?
Artie Fufkin is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2014, 17:24
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Spain/UK
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Life is always changing, always evolving. Many times what was appropriate for us at one time ceases to be in the future. It is time to change.

Again, who do you want to BE now?

Formulate an empowering question and ask it. Like "how can I best serve humanity through aviation?" Behind every question there's an answer trying to reveal itself. Behind every answer there's an action trying to be taken. Behind every action there's a way of life trying to be born.

We're not trying to make something happen while we stay the same, but making something welcome while it transforms us via its manifestation.

The answer to your question is in the question itself.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 19:01
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Cryptic bullshit that should be on a cringe inducing motivational poster rather than PPRuNe aside, how about going part time? You'll keep the lifestyle, comforts and financial security for your family while gaining some spare time to do medevac or build wells in africa or volunteer at your local hospital to give someting back.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 19:35
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 129
Go to the bank. Withdraw 1 months salary in cash. Take it home, and stare at it until your dilemma goes away.
Ha! I love that post Purple Pilot. I might take your advice and do that.

There are times in this career when it can be tiring, when you miss family and friends, when your alarm goes off at 4:30am AGAIN, when you feel you are shuffling from airport to plane to hotel to airport to plane. It can grind you down.

I had a proper 'office job' in a previous life and I wouldn't swap to go back to that life in a million years.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 20:11
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hi David:

First, I think you probably would like to know that almost everyone here has had “feelings” just like, or very much like, those you have described. The interesting fact is that while many have had the same or similar feelings – almost everyone has a slightly different answer.

For me it was recognizing how I felt about those I’ve met in this profession – I suppose it’s similar to most other professions … you run across the good, the bad, and the mediocre – and mediocre isn’t a ‘bad” term – just sort of “in the middle, between good and bad.” For me, I always preferred concentrating on the really good ones, and letting the others just melt into history … and I guess it was primarily due to the fact that those “good ones” were the ones who taught me something … and what they taught was surprisingly simple … but when I thought on it a while, I recognized that I would likely have never recognized how simple it really was without that person pointing it out – the way he/she did.

Not all of them were involved specifically in the business of teaching – at least not teaching me – but they weren’t hesitant about offering comments or suggestions or personal stories in the vein of “…I learned about flying from that…” Of course, I had always had an interest in teaching – In fact, I did it for a while - teaching math to high school students. But flying was always lurking. When I got out of the service, (US Air Force pilot) having nothing else lined up, I found myself at the local GA airport and talking with some of the folks that were “around.”

It didn’t take long before I was teaching flying for Mary Gaffney’s Flight School. You may or may not recognize her name, but for quite a while she was certainly one of the best, and there were many who though she was the very best, female stunt pilot in the world. Soon I moved on toward doing similar kinds of jobs in airplanes a bit bigger and a bit faster. I won’t bore you with the details … but I soon realized that teaching and testing pilots became THE thing that was my “nitch” – and by teaching and testing, I found that it really allowed me to feel that I was “making a difference.” I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to work – regardless of the type of work – and not feel like what I’m doing, every day, has the sole purpose of providing a living. Don’t get me wrong … making an honest living is a pretty darn good goal. But for me, I wanted a bit more … well … self-rewarding.

I don’t mean wanting to have someone give you “plaques” or “letters of appreciation” or “blue ribbons” or “instructor of the year” citations. Those are all nice – some are really nice – but that’s not what I was doing it for. I was doing it for the no-holds-barred, honest recognition, that I was able to help pilots actually “fly the airplane” better, more consistently – help pilots understand that there ARE situations beyond their ability, and helping them KNOW that the ability to recognize such situations is nothing to be embarrassed about or a reason for feeling shamed, or incompetent – quite the contrary – recognizing situations that may well be beyond one’s talent and ability is the epitome of exercising sound judgment and putting safety first. Also, there is nothing quite like showing a student something about any particular airplane – my absolute favorite, is showing a pilot how to make consistently good landings – and ensuring that they KNOW that a consistently good landing is not necessarily the “greased on” landing, which always seems to be the sought after “mark of a good pilot.” I take it personally when a student can come to grips that consistently good, firm, “no-doubt-we’re-on-the-ground” landings, at the proper attitude and the proper location ON the runway are the true marks of a good pilot.

For what it may be worth, I’d recommend you take a look at what it is about flying that you enjoy – what days have you gone home feeling very good about your work product that day. Don’t focus on when you went home feeling bad … only those days that you left work feeling good – about the day and about yourself. THEN go back and re-think that day’s activities and pick out those things that happened and what role you had in those specific things.

I’ll bet you that the 2 things you will feel the best about are:

1) when you can recall a relatively complicated sequence of events through which you were “on top” of all of the situations that developed … when you went from one situation or circumstance to the next, confidently and correctly (likely on either a departure or arrival/approach/landing) … and you recognize, perhaps most significantly, that you would very likely go back and do exactly what you did if you had the chance to do it all over again; and

2) the times when you were able to explain something to the guy/gal in the other seat … (either explaining something or showing them something or guiding them through something they were doing) and you could see the “light-bulb” of recognition illuminate and the slight smile that crept across their face when “they got it.”

IF either of these are recognized … I’d recommend that you seriously consider talking to someone about getting into the training/checking business. If you don’t have any of those kinds of days … if you don’t recall any such pleasant memories … if you’d rather not have to tell someone how to do something they should already know how to do … then I’d recommend NOT expressing an interest in training/checking and take the advice that you’ll likely see posted here from others.

Either way – you’re not the first and you won’t be the last aviator who’s found themselves confronting the same kind of “does this really have to be it?” question. And, of course, you’re more than welcome to ask other questions if you’d like. As I say, I really like this profession – and I’m happy to help others feel the same way if possible.
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 10:33
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 296
I wouldn't be too keen to give up a good aviation job for something something that sounds more idealistic. I have done medevac and flying instruction and can say that these can be just as greedy and ruthless organisations as airlines. I quickly learned that ideals don't make an airplane fly, it's money.

Be thankful for what you have.
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 12:12
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
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As I alluded to in my 1st post Mr Aames - its just a phase you are going through like many of us've already done. In a year or 2 you will be past it and soldier on as usual without giving it a second thought.

"Job menopause" I called it and an apt description IMO although "midlife crisis" would not be far off the mark neither. Read what the blokes have writ above on medevac....they aren't pulling your leg.
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2014, 13:35
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On the road
Posts: 159
Are you in the UK? If you jack it in can I have your job? I work out of some armpits and would give all me teeth to get back to UK to be near family and people who care about me. Then aviation would be doing good as would them happy. You can happily have my lot flying into the swamps, knock yourself out
Cliff Secord is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2014, 07:13
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Uk
Age: 39
Posts: 45
A Job that actually means something

Take some time out David and do something else. Do your company offer periods of unpaid leave? I did my other "thing" yesterday and literally felt overwhelmed by the sense of well being after. It makes me acutely aware how lucky I am and how I should never take anything for granted. Use what you have to do good for others.nobody benefits if you just leave. Pm me and will give you few ideas about the stuff me and my better half get involved with.
Good luck
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Old 26th Jun 2014, 07:54
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Manchester
Age: 57
Posts: 45
Meaningful flying job

Hot air balloon pilot mate, seems to make a direct difference to the folks I,ve flown, some of whom are terminal cases. if I could afford probably pack the airline thing in to do it full time.
flieng is offline  

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