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Just sharing thoughts

Old 6th Aug 2023, 07:50
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Just sharing thoughts

40-ish year old man in front of desk computer and been now 20 years in aviation. I am working now as an FO for a decent carrier. Before that i used to work in GA for quite some time but after a while i really hated it. No life, living at places i did not enjoy and shitty management on top, crap pay etc. Then moved to a small airline i enjoyed a lot, but went bankrupt. Afterwards i moved on to a bigger airline. For the first time in 20 years i feel like having a peaceful state of mind and having a private life but also extremely bored because of the job. I think i can say for the 20 years i am serving now in aviation: i've seen it and it stops. The studying is getting harder and harder every year. LPC, OPC i am so fed up with it. Got recently asked twice if i would like to start the selection process for an upgrade to the left seat, and guess what, i refused!! My interest is simply not there anymore. I can't be bothered anymore to study. The only thing that keeps me, is my decent salary. But for some reason, i can't see myself dragging anymore for another 20 years. I have been thinking so hard for a back up plan but can't find something else. There are options but not without a too much salary degrade.

I know for sure i am not the only in here. I would like to know about others, how did you manage? Got some tips to escape aviation (i know this is all personal)? But more important, did you miss aviation afterwards?
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 09:22
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You'll be dead a long time. When they stick you in the ground, that's it. This is your life and it's ending one day at a time. Life is too short to feel trapped.

The only thing that keeps me, is my decent salary. But for some reason, i can't see myself dragging anymore for another 20 years.
These sentences really jumped out at me. It might be decent but it's not making you happy. Doesn't that say it all. I don't have specific advice but go and find something you enjoy, life is too short.

I was deeply unhappy at a former employer and I got stuck in the same faulty thinking loop as you. I thought I could just go in and punch the clock and go home and that work and personal life were two unconnected things. They weren't. That type of discontent seeps in to your private life and the onset is insidious so you may not even know it or be able to self identify it. I changed to an employer and a company culture that was a polar opposite and I noticed a huge change in my personality, behaviour and outlook on life.

I had a moment of realisation one day when a friend snapped at me and told me that my constant complaining about my former employer showed a lack of character and to either shut up and get on with it or do something and change my situation. Sounds blindingly obvious but most common sense is just that.

As for job security and comfort. Those are illusions. There were a lot of people in comfortable and safe jobs prior to COVID that were driving delivery vans in quite short time frames.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 10:18
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I would recommend to investigate if your job is really the reason for your gloomy state of mind first. It could be, but other factors (depressive disorder, relationship issues etc) should be excluded before you make life changing decisions in my opinion. Many airlines nowadays offer access to counselling services, or check with NHS etc, maybe worth a try.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 14:43
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Go do something youíre interested in.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 02:12
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Iíve seen this state of mind many times in people around me and I have to say most of the times itís not the job, but more likely the day to day life outside of it, and people around you.

But but..The predictability of everyday life and the misalignment with oneís desire for discovery and adventure which I would guess is what drove a lot of us into aviation, can really demotivate. Some people never had it in them, and are fine with staying put, in fact itís all the wish for. Most people are resigned (or made so!), some others canít really take it. Each person needs to have a hard look in the mirror and understand where he belongs.
Flying short haul for a big airline in Europe can definitely feel like going to a factory, or groundhog day.
I would definitely advise against leaving aviation in your 40s, whatever other career you find I would be very surprised if it gave the same financial and mental freedom you enjoy now.

For what itís worth, a few years ago when I started feeling I was not enjoying anymore I packed up and went flying to the other side of the world (with family). And I love it, everything got interesting again and I feel I am learning every day in and outside of work.
Life is short, thereís no excuse, only fears. Good luck.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 13:07
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You need to love and have passion for what you are doing. You should not be sitting in any pilot seat to "get bored". One day you
might need to make split-second decisions for the "good" or "bad outcome. For that day, you need to keep studying your whole pilot life, if you cannot
you should not be sitting on any seat with the privilege to take care of your passengers, and crew. Try to distinguish yourself
from the company BS, and your flying profession. If you cannot cope, try perhaps part-time, change company, or build up a side business you will be able
to live on for the next 20 years. A lifetime is too precious to do what you don't want to do. Consider some council help, good companies offer
counseling support. All the best in your endeavors!

Last edited by a350pilots; 7th Aug 2023 at 13:29.
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Old 18th Aug 2023, 11:47
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Fully agree with the other responses:
  • Your mental state might not be related to the situation you are in. Make sure it is not nutrition, hormones or other stuff. Take that seriously, especially if there is a gradual onset you might not even notice
  • Arrange things to make it interesting again: work part time, change the region, add biz jet freelancing to you portfolio
  • Try the left seat. It is a completely different job. As an FO, I wouldn't have known, but the left seat is 100% more fun compared to being an FO.
... and if all these don't work, search pprune for career outside flying. There were a couple of interesting threads about it during COVID.

All the best!
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Old 18th Aug 2023, 12:09
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I love (airline) flying, but the problem is the hours and the disruption are getting greater. The petty rules and the hurdles are increasing. The home life is suffering. The management don't care. The Ts and Cs are reducing - why should aircrew subsidise the passenger's ticket prices through our crappy Ts and Cs and low pay ???? Is that what we spent all those hours and years training and passing exams for?

I would start retraining for another career now, while you continue to fly. When airlines go bust, most pilots have no other skill or qualification, and are reduced to driving lorries, (no disrespect to lorry drivers), or deliveries for supermarkets just to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

I would advise doing some research and finding a career to provide a plan B. Plumbing, gas, or house electrics for example, is very lucrative, judging by the prices they charge. Or renewable energy installation. You could maybe study for those and gain your certificates while still flying. When you have the qualifications, your other half can work to pay the bills while you find an apprenticeship position at a local firm, and take it from there.

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Old 18th Aug 2023, 22:24
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Thats a difficult state of mind I'm sorry to hear but it could change tomorrow.

The only thing I'd like to add has been mentioned but I'll reiterate, being in the left seat is a million times more fun. You fly with your favourite captain everyday! 😁

keep on keeping on. Its only a job. I wish you a very happy life
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Old 19th Aug 2023, 10:48
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I mean, airline flying is quite possibly the most boring type of flying that exists. Maybe you are burnt out, not of flying, but of airline flying. Try to go fo business flying, fixed wing air ambulance or something similar that also brings you a good quality of life and love for your job.

Last edited by Garcia37; 19th Aug 2023 at 11:05.
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Old 19th Aug 2023, 14:42
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The whole point of airline flying is that it is safe and routine, job satisfaction such as it is comes from operating safely, efficiently and on time. If you want excitement you'll need to look elsewhere.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 09:26
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Good morning Fellow aviators,

Originally Posted by a350pilots
Try to distinguish yourself
from the company BS, and your flying profession. If you cannot cope, try perhaps part-time, change company, or build up a side business you will be able
to live on for the next 20 years. A lifetime is too precious to do what you don't want to do. Consider some council help, good companies offer
counseling support. All the best in your endeavors!
That's exactly what i am doing. Even if the job is not the highlight anymore, i refrain myself from BS the company. There is still a part of me feeling grateful that i can do this job and having a decent wage and some good time off. ( i already work part time). I feel some of my peers have no clue what it means to work for a shite company, which i did in the past. There are quite some few who moan a lot, and i must say, it is sometimes very tiring to hear this BS talk whole flight long. (I am not saying that the company is perfect, there are some issues....but like everywhere else). Even it is not always easy for me, mental wise, i stay and want to stay professional, for myself and for the company. In fact yesterday before going to bed, i realised that i spent already quite some time in aviation, it just would be a pitty to leave that all behind in a blink of an eye. I invested too much time, money and emotions to give up.

This having said, i already did some counselling in the mean time. I am not saying this is a holy grail but it feels good to talk with someone who is objective and seeing things in a different perspective. It is always good to talk with somebody who is not in aviation. They see things differently. They can not provide you with tailor made solutions, thats up to you. But at least they make you think. At the moment i am dividing my attention more over things that i always love to do and even took a new hobby which in fact i really enjoy a lot. It gives me some rest in my head not having to think about my job in my leisure time.

Left seat upgrade is at the moment not an option for me. Too much studying and i really feel there needs to be a deep drive doing this and wanting to prove yourself. And again, i feel i would have to sacrifice too much off time for that. I feel that some peers (and i might be incorrect) are going to light over it. It is a vacancy with high reponsibility and commitment. It is not a walk in the park. Period. I do see the advantage of it as well. Like a previous poster said: you fly with your favourite captain everyday. (y). I don't close the door for it, it might happen, but just not now and i am happy with that.

What i value now a lot more, (and it might be a contra-aviation-mental-state) i am trying to live more in the 'NOW' moment. That's the only moment that really exist. And yes, when flying, i try to see and enjoy the good moments of the job. Despite many of us don't see, there are still some. Try to see yourself sitting behind a desk from 9-5, day in day out.

What the future will bring, i don't know and to be honest, i don't care. I will see what it will bring to me. As long life is treating me nice, i am open for everything. Time for a good cup of coffee now.

Thank's all for replying.
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