Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RyanB, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I’m in the position right now, where I’m still deciding what career path I ultimately want to take. I have a B.S. in Healthcare Administration and while I believe in the industry and the long term career prospects, my passion still lies with aviation and I really can’t imagine myself being truly satisfied unless I’m commanding a jet for a living. Being 24, I still have some time to make this aspiration become a reality, but I also realize that seniority is everything, so getting into the field sooner rather than later is beneficial.

    Nonetheless, I know what my decision is going to be ;). I never really planned to make a career in healthcare, but I’m happy to have it in the near term and in my back pocket for a rainy day later down the road if things don’t work out.

    So my question is, if you could turn back the clock, would you have chosen a different profession for yourself? If so, what would you have done differently?
     
  2. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    It’s not a regret but if I could have a redo I would have taken the offer of a pilot slot in the military. Just out of curiosity more than anything else...
     
  3. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    If I could have had an income that would have allowed enough practice time I would have been "working" Thursdays through Sundays.
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Looking back at flight training, there was a period of like 6 months where I didn’t fly and I procrastinated studying for my instrument written. Not a huge deal, but definitely could have been more proactive.
     
  5. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    A niche field, but consider getting into one of those medical aviation companies that handle specialized transport.

    Tim
     
  6. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ve got my van just the way I like it, and my spot by the river is perfect. Nope. Wouldn’t change anything.
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    If you could turn back the clock there’d be no need for a profession. You’d know enough to blackmail tons of people. LOL.
     
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  8. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    If I could turn back the clock, I'd have found a profession that allows me to afford to enjoy aviation instead of just working around it.
     
  9. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    two other points:
    1. If you love your job you will never work a day in your life.
    2. A job can turn a passion into work

    Tim
     
  10. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    For me, it’s less about careers and more about choices available. I had lots of choices until I married and had a family. By the time the kids got out of the house and I retired from the military, there were lots of choices again, but a lot of them were very different than what they looked like when I was 24, mostly because of the things I learned about myself along the way. For example, I spent three or so years at the school house and learned I liked instructing...today, specialty CFI work is something I’m interested in and when it becomes a reality, I’ll be able to do it because I won’t have to rely on CFI pay to live the life we want to live.

    I also learned during that same time that I don’t particularly like being told when to fly and for how long, nor do I like being away from my wife for a bunch of 4-day work trips and that self-loading baggage isn’t what I want to deal with, so choices down that path are off the table.

    If you have a choice today to pursue a dream, go for it. And if you don’t like it, don’t be afraid to jump off the train and do something different.
     
  11. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I could turn back time....If I could find a way...

    There are a few race cars I would have stayed out of.

    There are a few flights I would have not taken.

    There are a few women I definitely would have stayed away from.....
     
  12. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    How many ratings do you have left to obtain and how are you going to pay for them? The jet job won't be as satisfying as it seemed when you realize the number of years that will have gone by making poverty level CFI pay just so you can make poverty level F/O pay. If you have debt service payments to make, even worse.

    Aviation is not a hard field to enter or re-enter after doing something else for awhile, but I don't think the reverse is often true (I can't specifically speak about healthcare as I don't have enough knowledge of that field).
     
  13. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    For me, it was a one thing leads to another career. I never had a vision of the future when I was young. I could have been more ambitious; more ready to move for a job. But it worked out OK. The best decision I made was not to stick with my degree field, which was Landscape Architecture. I'm not even sure why I picked it. But I knew before graduation it was not for me. Glad I graduated; glad I decided to follow another path.
     
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  14. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    That may have solved a lot of other problems!
     
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  15. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I’ve certainly considered that, no doubt, and realize that it’s a sacrifice in a lot of ways. I would argue though, that the entry level FO pay actually isn’t bad (at least it wasn’t pre-pandemic). With sign-on bonuses, the first year wage was in the neighborhood of $65k for several regional airlines. That’s quite a bit better than some entry level jobs right out of college in various fields. Ultimately, I view it as, am I working a job to live or am I living to work a job that I love? I’d much rather be doing the latter.
     
  16. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    do u have instrument? commercial? multi? no? get 'em, if you have the means or can make it work. then you'll really be in a position to choose to do it or not. until then, it's a pipe dream.
     
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  17. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    First that sounds like copy pasted marketing hype from the recruiting department and second you better pretend those bonuses never existed because they're not coming back any time soon.
     
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  18. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure I took the right path for a profession. People always tell me that I must have the coolest job in the world. Ask me in a couple of years though when I get laid off and I’ll tell you being a pilot sucks.:D
     
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  19. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    In life it's easy to fall into the trap of "the grass is always greener" and thinking happiness can only exist elsewhere rather than where you are. In the end, jobs all have job like aspects to them and what you do does matter, but where you do it and who you're doing it with matters more. Of course it's easy for me to say that as someone who fell into an aviation career that put me on the path to the side semi-career of an aviation non-profit that resulted in me getting to save cute puppies and fly an MU-2. :)

    I've been very fortunate with the path life has handed me and while my choices have been some of it, good luck and being in the right place at the right time has been a lot of it. I wouldn't change my career path since without aviation (and becoming a pilot) I wouldn't have met a number of my best friends, including my best friend of all - my wife. With that said, the choices that I didn't make that I do wonder what would've happened if I had:

    - Joining the military (something I'd considered strongly late in high school and in college, but was strongly discouraged by my mother and college girlfriend)
    - Taking up racing of some sort in college or my young adult life, or joining one of my best friends from high school in his race shop
    - Otherwise gone into the automotive realm as I'd planned growing up
     
  20. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    All things aviation are my hobby ... I don't want it to be my job. If it were work I believe it would suck all of the enjoyment out of it. I've seen some miserable CFI folks that were simply grinding it out in an effort to make it to the big league where they would be happy. My take is that if you ain't happy where you're at you won't be happy where you are going.
     
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  21. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I enjoyed owning a flight school, but it was financially ruinous.

    I enjoyed owning a maintenance shop, but 1% of the customers were so far worse than the 99% who were great, that they negated the fun completely.

    I tried flying cargo as a midlife crisis thing. The flying was rad. The people were meh. The hours were the worst. The lifestyle was zombielike. The pay was insulting. Indoc/IOE was still, hands down, the best flight training I've received in my life -- and they paid me to undergo it.

    Given how chaotic the pilot career is, with numerous ups and downs, I'm pleased to have my stable primary hustle in place paying for recreational flying. Knowing what I know now, I don't think I would change anything on the path. I certainly wouldn't repeat a lot of the aviation stunts :D

    I miss having an aviation business, though. I hope I don't do it again. I probably will. :oops:
     
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  22. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    I would like to go back and do ATC.
     
  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sometimes I think I should’ve stuck with ATC and gone the FAA route. Then I think about my brother who took early retirement from ATC at 50 and think, yeah, not for me.
     
  24. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    When you say "go back" do you mean you once did it? ATC was one of my ideas. I took the test and scored well enough to interview, but I had just gotten my first full-time flying job in Idaho, so I declined. People told me that I would probably have been hired since they were rebuilding after the strike (this was in about 1985). Years later, I got to know a few controllers. Some said that they enjoyed it. Others said that I made the right decision. In hindsight I think I did, although I would have been able to retire many years earlier if I had gone with ATC.
     
  25. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    Nope, never done it. I've done sim ATC stuff and enjoyed it but it obviously is not the real thing.

    I always get torn between the good money I make now versus what else I could do. I probably never would have guessed I'd have the income I have now.
     
  26. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Way back in the day I went to some auditorium somewhere with a bunch of other people and took the test. You got extra points for being a veteran, minority, etc. I never got a call.
     
  27. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It's never too late to start another career.
    But could be a wee bit of a challenge dealing with the "landscape" that surrounds a sailboat...:D

    To answer the OPs question, I knew when I was in high school I was going to become an engineer. Originally I wanted to go into aerospace engineering, but the majority of jobs didn't seem very interesting - becoming Boeing's career expert on the hinge pins of elevator trim tabs just didn't appeal. :rolleyes:

    So I took my Mech Eng degree and went into the roller coaster world of hydrocarbon energy exploration and production. It took me all over the world, I've moved through much of the spectrum from upstream to midstream to services sector. I'm now in my 44th year with no sign of quitting any time soon (tried retirement, hated it). Oil & natural gas, and their vast range of derivatives, are going to remain essential commodities for quite a while longer than some of our prominent public figures would prefer we believe - just ask some of the folks in the Midwest right now. :oops:

    But the booms and busts in energy appear they could rival that of being a professional pilot (who imagined negative oil prices as we saw last year? Followed by acute energy shortages in Texas of all places, less than one year later! :eek:).

    About the only thing I'd change if I went back in time is I would have quit my first job (with a multi-national major oil company) sooner to go out on my own.

    You are young. Go try stuff you want to do. You've got plenty of time to shift direction, or even start another career track. Be open to new possibilities and opportunities as @Everskyward noted; you can't often "flight plan" life. As @Ted said, except that serendipity and luck play a role in most of our lives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  28. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Health industry currently has more potential for growth than does the prospects of people moving around anytime soon. Our leaders are pushing to wean us off of oil. The future of air travel may look quite dim for a while. Covid has killed the “pilot shortage”, which may have been a fable to begin with.

    Forget about getting hired with 1500 hrs of Cessna time, and forget about those sign on bonuses. There are jobs out there for people with real turbine PIC time, but the million dollar question is how are you going to get that?
     
  29. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I briefly considered ATC in my mid to late 20s. The lack of control over my schedule or where I would live ultimately were what made me decide it wasn’t for me. But, I think I would’ve enjoyed it otherwise.
     
  30. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    Regrets? I've had a few...

    But; life is good, I'm semi retired (a choice, to keep busy, and out of the house part time), and my house is on high ground!

    I'm flying again, but on a budget.

    I am considering getting my CFI. But I don't know if I want to invest the time and $.
     
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  31. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    What do you do now? Maybe we can work out a trade? ;) After 28 years (29 in November) as a controller with radar, multiple tower and even a chincy "center" rating I got in Iraq, it isn't fun anymore as I think just about any job wouldn't be.

    I think I should have stayed being a professional rodeo clown.
     
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  32. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    How do you do with Excel?
     
  33. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I should’ve taken my mom’s advice and been a piano player in a whorehouse.
     
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  34. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I had a burning desire to be a pilot as a kid, our house was on a 2mi final to a large class B hub, and I just loved airplanes. But, my parents weren't even remotely thrilled with that idea, and threw out a litany of reasons not to be a pilot. You wear glasses, the lifestyle can be hard, flight lessons are expensive, and the biggie, you NEED to go to college. Had I had a clearer vision of the future and more sticktoitness, I might have followed flight. But, all of my councilors in HS said you need to go into engineering, so I caved to all the pressure and off to college I went. Coming out of college, like Mari, my career followed a one thing leads to another type thing. None planned, but a pretty decent life none the less. But, I've never been totally lit with passion over what I do so I've always been a work to live person. Had I found a career path where I lived to work I would have no doubt done better in life.

    I look at the hobbies I enjoy the most, and motorcycling, sailing, fast car driving, and flying are it. I love riding my motorcycle as fast as I safely can on challenging mountain roads. I love activities where my eyes and mind have to take in information quickly, sort it out fast, and then act. My day job doesn't satisfy this need. I don't know if being a professional pilot would have satisfied this need, but I would have loved to try.

    I regret that I never got that chance to be a career pilot, so my advice is to go for it! You're young, smart, and have no obligations whatsoever. You can live in a crash pad with a bunch of others, eat ramen and hot dogs, and nobody cares. You don't have to provide food, shelter, healthcare, and education to others, so take advantage of this time. It's good that you have a desirable degree in your back pocket, if the flying doesn't pan out or doesn't end up lighting your fires, you have plan B. Enviable position. Go!
     
  35. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait

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    Every job has its days....

    c8cf999716f05179257de251d4779be6.jpg
     
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  36. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    I'm quickly learning that while there are *some* aviation jobs I would really enjoy, I think the majority of them I would end up hating. I take a lot of boring things for granted at my non-aviation job like being home every night and being able to plan my vacations and such around when I want to take them. When times are good its hard not to look on with jealousy, but it's a double edged sword, when things are bad like they are now I'm still making near 6 figures where many are out of a job altogether.
     
  37. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I could turn back the clock, my profession would not be #1 on my list of things that I would be interested in changing/fixing. I'll just leave it at that.
     
  38. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Center in Iraq? Lol! That must have been exciting. Was that out of Kirkuk?
     
  39. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I have thoroughly enjoyed my career and given the opportunity to change would take the same path. I might avoid some of the people along the way, but there are probably worse alternatives :cool:

    Nauga,
    and the things he has done and places he has been
     
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  40. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I couldn’t disagree more.

    I came out of college with an engineering degree but knew that I really wanted to fly. Spent 5 or so years making the poverty level regional pay. Several of us sitting around on a layover just last night laughing about how that was the most fun part of our careers!

    That being said, after spending 25+ years at the “jet job” with the majors, I still enjoy my job and find it very satisfying. And I do think the aviation is a hard field to break into. Right now things are especially tough but WILL rebound.

    I’m certainly happy with my career path in life.