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Working Life After Flying

Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

Working Life After Flying

Old 2nd Jun 2020, 16:56
  #161 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 141
That money and easy roster would be fairly typical at a US major airline. Work a bit harder and earn even more.

European pay is way behind unfortunately.
flyer4life is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 21:53
  #162 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2
I came to flying after 25 years in the law so here is my take on a career change the other way. I worked as a Solicitor (lawyer) and a partner in a London City law firm working in the UK, Dubai and Hong Kong. Always wanted to be a Pilot but not many entry opportunities in Europe in the mid 1980s so never really thought about it again. 10 years ago the financial crisis hit and legal work was looking a bit dodgy in Dubai where I was at that time. Frankly most senior lawyers find their work just about tolerable but want to get out of the rat race. Initially just thought about a bit of private flying but at 47, I was accepted into a new pay to fly MPL program which got me into the right seat on the 320 and doing my upgrade when Covid hit and now on a reduced salary, hoping to have a flying job to go back to. To change career you must feel comfortable and have no issue studying and dealing positively with colleagues and superiors who are much younger than you. I spent the last few years flying with Captains who thought I was mad giving up the law. Every job has good and bad points. A serious career change takes luck, money, time - several years- and a serious commitment. I found the whole process difficult but luckily made the grade. There are two types of jobs. First operational like flying or a shop cashier ie check in, work, check out, switch your phone off and go home. Flying happens to be a higher paying operational job in some countries with seniority; albeit with big responsibility. It is what I call a flat profession. As long as you pass your check rides you generally keep your job - Covid excepted- and you get paid the same as Pilots of the same grade. It is not your responsibility if loads on your flights are low. Second the financially driven, result driven jobs which I call pyramid jobs. If you are really good at making money you make it to the small tip of the pyramid but most end up struggling or at the broad base where it is a struggle to make a decent living and less than many pilots, like lawyers working on small jobs or many criminal lawyers. The big corporate law firms do not give a monkeys about the quality of the legal advice but the assumption is that the high billers must be good at the job. Pay and promotion depends on how much you can bill clients which requires marketing yourself to existing and potential clients, monthly billing targets etc. Politics is a big issue as fellow partners get jealous and try to grab your clients. Getting more senior is like climbing up a burning building and if your revenue is seen to be dropping or you are deemed to be burnt out, a likely scenario is being politely terminated. In many big law firms if you donít eventually achieve partnership ie earning loads of money, which is the equivalent of command upgrade then you get politely terminated. The stress level in such jobs most days is like a moderate to bad day in the SIM. Work never finishes as it is client driven and turning off your phone on annual leave is not an option. Senior high paid client driven jobs - means say 9am to 7pm or often much later - lunch with clients or quickly at your desk, say 5 hours minimum on weekends and say 4 weeks annual leave (2 weeks in US law firms) but actively working at least 1 hour plus each day on leave - yup the wife loved that - so total hours maybe 2,500+ but no lives at risk if I screwed up and no all night work, which is tough. The stress is such that many big law firm lawyers try to move to less well paid but less stressful roles. Over the last few years, I mostly enjoyed going to work unlike the last and most financially lucrative years as a lawyer. To change career you need money and luck. If you are half hearted trying a job like a property agent you wonít last long if you donít close any deals. If you try a serious career change and study half heartedly you probably will not get the new qualification or a poor grade and hence no good job interviews. You need to think about working your contacts ie friends and relatives to get possible openings and ideas. If you donít feel comfortable marketing and selling with potential frequent knock backs then avoid pyramid jobs. If you are half motivated about a career change then try to find a filler job and get back flying if and when the market picks up. Donít even think about starting a business as you need serious capital and most new businesses fail. If you are really motivated by a new career change then donít let the doubters hold you back. My English teacher at school told me I would not get into law school. Many friends and former colleagues laughed openly or behind my back saying I would never fly commercially at my age. If you are motivated and have a realistic potential target new job or career then you can achieve more than you might think possible in these terrible times. By the way please donít follow the advice of useless financial advisors ie the vast majority, selling actively managed junk to the Pilot community. It is shocking how many Captains I fly with who have been sucked into woeful ďinvestmentsĒ or straight scams. Just contribute regularly to eg a tracker fund and try to invest in property and collect rent. Leverage but not overly and balance the mortgage with rental income. Finally having worked as a litigation lawyer and seeing how people and businesses react to money, maybe I am cynical but expecting a Pilot a few years from retirement to give up several years of income to the detriment of his familyís financial future to voluntarily retire and let some unknown younger Pilot keep a job is not likely to happen. When it comes to money itís the law of the jungle. Good luck to everyone.
Flylaw is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 23:00
  #163 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 886
Good post Flylaw and I agree with most of it, except the bit about going into business, by which I include any type of self employment. Sure, you're pretty unlikely to end up as a multi millionaire, but I know plenty of folk who earn a very decent living answering to no-one except themselves, paying little tax and mainly having their weekends off. It's not for everyone, but then neither is aviation, but I certainly put it out there to be considered.
macdo is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 23:10
  #164 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: This side of the river Tweed
Posts: 1
The return key is your friend.
Satoshi Nakamoto is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 05:20
  #165 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 910
I'll give you that. I literally can't be arsed to even start to read that 10,000 chars of TEXT.

Although I will nominate this for the soon to be annual 'Worlds Longest Paragraph Awards 2020' (to be held digitally).
giggitygiggity is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 05:25
  #166 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: one country, one system
Age: 52
Posts: 189
Great post, Flylaw.

I wonder if you sometimes miss the intellectual challenge?

After all, this job is 99% routine, and with a few years of experience even the 1% become a rather modest excitement...

And what do you talk about in cruise? Yes, colleagues in aviation don't steal your job, but don't you find this all a bit boring compared to your previous life?

Serious question.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 3rd Jun 2020 at 07:02.
Sam Ting Wong is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 10:49
  #167 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Posts: 374
Good post flylaw. Sorry that some are so rude about a subject that is of relevance to many at the moment. The first sentence summarises the post nicely and those who are disinterested can move on.
Capt Scribble is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 12:19
  #168 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 592
Finally having worked as a litigation lawyer and seeing how people and businesses react to money, maybe I am cynical but expecting a Pilot a few years from retirement to give up several years of income to the detriment of his familyís financial future to voluntarily retire and let some unknown younger Pilot keep a job is not likely to happen. When it comes to money itís the law of the jungle.​​​​​​
Absolutely true. Someone just needed to put it in plain text. It's downright delusional to think that anyone taking an early retirement does so for the sake of some random youngster keeping their job. Most of the time, those pulling out before they get on the wrong side of 65 have some substantial personal reasons to do so. Deteriorating health is often one of them, followed by family circumstances and overall tiredness. Even under today's circumstances, for most who take any VR deal that's a decision which has been almost made during the better days and COVID-19 was that last straw which broke the camel's back. Of course, a good severance package can further stimulate such a decision, but, overall, don't expect anyone to set themselves on fire to keep you warm. Not blaming anyone for it, that's just how life works. Survival of the fittest also has its place outside biology.

As for some of the previous comments, implying that pilots are a simplistic and boring lot to spend time with, they just beg the question why those who consider themselves more intelligent and interesting to talk to than the average pilot still spend their downtime on pilot forums.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 12:58
  #169 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 0
Very interesting words, flylaw, thanks
Meester proach is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2020, 15:10
  #170 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: six micro tesla zone
Age: 29
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by flyer4life View Post
That money and easy roster would be fairly typical at a US major airline.
It will be the exception from now on. Itís famine or feast in the US.

Iíd imagine Ts & Cs will suffer worse than in the EU until the good times return. Post 9/11 - widebody skippers in the US on c.$120k and I remember exchange rates of $2 to the £1..... it all averages out over the course of a 30 year career.

Last edited by MaverickPrime; 4th Jun 2020 at 18:37.
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 18:50
  #171 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: on a beach
Age: 65
Posts: 347
"Yes, colleagues in aviation don't steal your job".
Are you sure about that?
beachbumflyer is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2020, 15:09
  #172 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 363
I was accepted on to a new pay to fly MPL program
Your honor my client would like to strike that from the record.

On a serious note when hiring resumes or airlines start to recall pilots, many will find that the terms and conditions will be greatly reduced and those willing and in a position to fly for next to nothing or indeed willing to pay to fly will have cockpits to go to.
flite idol is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2020, 18:54
  #173 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: on a beach
Age: 65
Posts: 347
Sadly, but you're right. Shame on those pilots willing to pay to fly, or accept greatly reduced conditions. When will they learn?
Pilots are their own worst enemies
beachbumflyer is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2020, 19:41
  #174 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 592
It might be my own wishful thinking, but wouldn't now be a good opportunity to campaign against P2F, using the number of unemployed pilots as an argument for the law makers? Actually, P2F is no good for the already strained state budgets. Instead of having employed professionals earning a salary, paying taxes and spending on goods and services, P2F effectively leads to those doing it having no income, just like those who are unemployed.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2020, 20:28
  #175 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 363
How about we campaign for reciprocity. I would like to get a fast track legal qualification, skip all that junior experience building nonsense and buy myself a set of silks and a silly wig, pay for a seat in chambers and a QC title. All the other QC's can just show me what to do until I get the hang of it. Obviously I'm just being silly here and I know P2F has been flogged to death. We will however be facing experienced pilots being expected to essentially pay to get their jobs back soon. Oh well, at least I saw a few good years. Good luck to all.... We are going to need it.
flite idol is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2020, 10:17
  #176 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The middle
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by beachbumflyer View Post
Sadly, but you're right. Shame on those pilots willing to pay to fly, or accept greatly reduced conditions. When will they learn?
Pilots are their own worst enemies
Agree with the P2F thing. But if in a few months time my current employer was to say that to keep my job in the left seat of an airliner I would have to accept a £60k salary I would almost certainly say yes, and if I didnít plenty of people would. At the moment the alternative is to earn £10 per hour delivering parcels, and I know which option would pay the mortgage. The time to try to improve terms and conditions is when you have a position to bargain from.
excrab is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2020, 16:22
  #177 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 141
Originally Posted by excrab View Post
... The time to try to improve terms and conditions is when you have a position to bargain from.
Probably one of the most sensible comments on PPRuNe for a while...

Staying in work right now is more important than anything else. And keeping as many pilots also in work goes along with that. Then there should be no need for "Working Life After Flying".

However, for those who do need to think about that, do not 'aim too high' to start with, get something and build from there. Work of some sort on you C.V. looks a lot more impressive than "time spent at home thinking about something".
NoelEvans is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2020, 20:49
  #178 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SV Marie Celeste
Posts: 605
Utter tosh. If we all accept a 50% pay cut all we will achieve is destroying this profession. I for one much rather stay at home for two years if required and return to a fair paying job than to keep my job but work for half the pay the rest of my career. Is simple maths if you look a career earnings. How many pilots are employed is determined by how any aircraft airlines want to operate NOT by how much we are willing to cut our pay. Even if you accept 60K MOL will want 30K. If you accept 30 K he will be after 15 and so on. Willie Walsh, Alex Cruz, MOL and the rest are after the absolute minimum they can get away with. If they can get you to pay to work even better. Don't fall into the trap.

I have done pilot selection in the past. I judged candidates on their technical knowledge, their performance in the sim, the psychometric testing, their hours on type and on seat and on wether I could sit next to them for a 12 hour stint without going mad. I did not care wether they did a paper round when they where 16 or wether they took a career break at 40. I specially did not care if they agreed to take a 50% pay cut to stay in their job.
calypso is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2020, 23:12
  #179 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: on a beach
Age: 65
Posts: 347
I completely agree with you. I would suggest those pilots willing to work for a lot less pay to take a look at Continental Airlines in the early 1980's when ALPA lost a strike
because some of their pilots accepted a sharp reduction in pay and crossed the picket line along with new hires. At the end who suffer are the pilots and the profession.
beachbumflyer is offline  
Old 10th Jun 2020, 07:14
  #180 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The middle
Posts: 445
I’m pleased to see your experience in airline recruitment Calypso, that’s an experience I don’t have.

However, what I do have is a 36 year career in aviation during which time I have worked for eight airlines and undertaken six type ratings. I’ve never put any money up front into any sort of “cadetship”, I’ve never worked just for flight pay in order to get a type rating, but it did take ten years of hard aviation graft and 5000 hours in GA before I got a job in an airline. To my mind it’s not people who might be prepared to take a pay cut to keep their jobs in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic who are destroying this profession. It was destroyed when companies like Astreus, Ryanair, EasyJet and all the others started to schemes where holders of fATPLs could get a type rating and then fly for 500 hours effectively for free in the hope of getting a permanent job. But even then those schemes wouldn’t have destroyed the profession and started a race to the bottom unless those fATPL holders hadn’t jumped on the band wagon to avoid working their way up through instructing, single crew air taxi, regional turboprops etc on the way to a shiny jet.

And you’re right, the maths about career earnings is simple. Having had to survive for some of those years on savings due to airline failures I, unlike you, couldn’t afford to sit at home waiting for the good times to come back. And if I did in two years time I would be looking for a job having no current type rating, not having flown for two years, having only three years to retirement and competing with thousands of out of work pilots from BA, Virgin, Norwegian, Thomas Cook, Flybe, Emirates and possibly every other airline on the planet.

So however much you want to pontificate I will do what I need to do to keep a job and put the money in the bank that my family needs, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in that. And if that means accepting a pay cut for a while then I’ll do it. And if that means that someone with ten or twenty or thirty years of earning potential ahead of them are upset then so be it, why should I sacrifice what is left of my career to help you with yours.
excrab is offline  

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