Is it worth it?

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
I am a 29 year-old attorney in Seattle. I have had my PPL for a little over a year and am 2/3 through my Instr. rating (about 110 TT). Like most of you, I have loved flying since age 5 or so and I am currently considering leaving the legal profession for aviation.

From what some of you have said, it seems like career-changers are often plagued by a difficult choice. Usually, they start out working at a career in which they dislike the actual work, but enjoy their lifestyle. Conversely, flying seems like a profession in which most everyone enjoys the actual work, while disliking the lifestyle (low/no income during hard times, away from home, little control over your work conditions, etc.).

Of all of the career-changers here, what do you think about this trade-off? Does the satisfaction with the work outweigh the difficulties with the lifestyle? Has it been worth the investment (in terms of making you happier with your life overall)? Has pursuit of the dream been enough to sustain you during the hard times?

I am thinking of taking the plunge, but the voices in these forums definitely send mixed messages. The career-changing folks always seem to have a very mature and realistic perspective. Thanks!
 

Eagle

New Member
unless you hate.. H A T E what you are doing, Stick with it. You have a job that should allow you the funds to get a nice airplane and fly for fun.

Why ruin the fun.

here is a trip from last week.

friday 3am alarm.
4:30am in the office,
5:30 ramp,
6:10 Land and wait till 7:00 for pax,
7:45 pax called will be late another 50m (would have been nice to grab the crew car and get breakfast... Devel-dogs and HoHos for breaky.. Can't kill ya right?)
8:40 pax actually shows,
9:00 ramp
11:30 Land far far away from home, put plane t bed, get hotel, and lunch.
1pm pool,
2,pm, pool
3pm, nap..
3:30... BANG BANG BANG BANG Housekeeeeeeppppiiinnnngggg
5-9pm, happy hour...dinner... movie?
7pm, check in at home, yes dear I should be home sometime late saturday or early sunday am... No problem getting to Ken's for the Picnick..

Saturday...
6am in the micro gym at the hotel.
Nothing on the sked, Hang out in east penslytuckie... I'll hit a museum.
saturday 7pm, call from pax, not leaving until sunday afternoon.... Oh thanks you mean I could have had a beer at the pool...
7:10, check in with dispatcher, ramp time 10am.
Saturday night... Maybe something new is on HBO... Nope


Sunday
5:30 in the micro gym
7:00 breaky in hotel. ummm yummm boxed doughnuts and instant oatmeal.. spewwww... cough cough.. is there a star bucks nearby? Damn I have never seen an Orange **that Color** before. Confirm that Captain had bugs in his bathroom too, as not to feel left out.
9am at the airport,
10:00 pax shows up on time.
10:30 Ramp
12:30 land and drop pax,
12:50 ramp
1:30 home at base.
2:30 paperwork done,
2:45 call wife, on the way home from the picnic? oh ok, I see you when I get home..
 

John_Jones

New Member
Hmmm...Obviously Eagle has sort of a 'negative' opinion on aviation as a career, well the thing is hes right you do have a great job in being an attorney. I am an instructor so obviously I dont have quite the same lifestyle as Eagle...but I say go for it! For me I am willing to do anything to get myself landed in the cockpit (becuase I myself cant think of any other profession). You're painting the picture though, you're call you have a great profession right now really and its just what you want to do.
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies.

I do like being an attorney on a basic level. Like flying, it has its good days and bad days. Winning a jury trial counts as a good day. Preparing for a jury trial and/or losing one - definitely bad days. Eagle, your schedule sounded tough, but every job has its problems. Working 16-hour days to prep for a trial in which the parties hate one another, your client acts like she can't be bothered, and the paper trail is contained in 10 cardboard boxes is no picnic either, especially if you're trying to juggle 40 or 50 other cases. Anyone who works for a living can spin a tale of woes.

Still, it's tough to ignore the flying bug. I think it's the same bug that has motivated so many other people here to make the change. I don't expect a pilot to be grinning every time he/she gets up to go to work, but isn't it enough that you're not angry, depressed, or apathetic about your work (like a hell of a lot of people out there)? Or, maybe some of you are. I guess that's my question...
 

juskl

Well-Known Member
I would say to keep being an attorney at least until you are done training (up to CFII). Even after that, keep your job and teach/fly part time. You will be able to build up hours, experience, and a life style.

I am sure you remember the "college days" (though mine always revolved around some drinking game). You may or may not want to go back to that level of living.

I am about halfway through my commercial in about a years time. I have not cruised through as fast as I could have going full time training, but it is working for me. Plus I have been able to make alot of contacts that I may not have made doing the academy thing.

I am not desiring to go the airline route. I like either Fractional or Corporate or ??????????? But when the right opportunity presents it's self, that is when I will make my leap. Not until then. Too many responsibilities on my plate to take the leap prior to that.

Good luck, and have fun completing the Instrument. I never felt so stinking tired as after an instrument lesson. Either in the Sim or the Aircraft.......
 

Eagle

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
...Eagle has sort of a 'negative' opinion on aviation as a career, .....I am an instructor so obviously I dont have quite the same lifestyle as Eagle.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not negative at all, I am telling the truth.

Work is the 4 letter word that pays for the 3 letter word...

Fun.

check this poll question and the results.

http://jetcareers.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB1&Number=57492&Forum=All_Forums&Words=154&Match=Username&Searchpage=6&Limit=25&Old=allposts&Main=56691&Search=true#Post57492

Work is work.

John Tenney (i think) posted somewhere on here about crossing fun/hobbies with your job. I own my airplane, and I don't fly it nearly as much as I used too.

If you like to fly and can afford to do it as a hobby, do it as a hobby.
 

John_Jones

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Not negative at all, I am telling the truth.

[/ QUOTE ]
Sorry Eagle, must have miss understood you...
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Yes. As Eagle said, I posted; "beware of making your vacation your vocation."

If you have to work at flying it may not be fun anymore.

Hobby flying will always be fun, however!
 

Tired

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I do like being an attorney on a basic level. Like flying, it has its good days and bad days. Winning a jury trial counts as a good day. Preparing for a jury trial and/or losing one - definitely bad days. Eagle, your schedule sounded tough, but every job has its problems.

[/ QUOTE ]

Man, I'd trade my flying job to work on jury trials in a heartbeat. The grass is always greener on the other side...
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Well, as a paralegal who has worked a couple of trials..... I'd GLADLY switch with you.

When you prepare for a trial, you work your tail off, researching, making WAY too many copies of the same thing over and over and over and over, you spend days, nights and weekends in your office - only going home to change clothes, then back to the office.

Leading up to that, you are coontinually arguing with the opposing counsel over silly crap. Your client DEMANDS every second of your billable time be devoted to them, but then thinks it's WAY too much when you give them the bill.

Prior to trial you are CONSTANTLY in either chambers or the courtroom or on the phone arguing silly motions by both sides.

Then comes the first day - Jury selection - which sometimes takes DAYS of valuable trial time because the sides don't agree with each others choices.

Once you have "agreed" on a jury, the trial begins and that is the most boring event ANYONE could ever sit through.

The trials that I've been involved in, I've walked away saying "well, there's <a month, two months.... three> that I'll never get back....

..and why? Because somebody wanted to get rich quick... usually the attorneys.

A LOT of folks see a trial attorney as "exciting" and "glamorous" - just like a lot of wannabe's see a professional pilot's career, but I'm here to tell ya....

... it ain't so.

Trials are NOT like you see on T.V. or in the movies. Generally, there is NOBODY in the courtroom except for the attorneys, the parties, the judge, the court reporter and the Baliff.

When it's over, there's no crowd from the press with flashbulbs poppin' off wanting to get the "scoop".

It's just... over.

There's your green grass.
Still want it?
 

braidkid

New Member
Want the green grass of an engineering job?
You come into work at 8 in the morning every morning, walk into a big building with no windows and then plop down in front of your computer. Then check your email, realize you have no work to do, sit and wait for paper work to go through, surf the net, run some paper work, sit and wait, surf the net, go eat lunch, come back, surf the net, stare at the clock, go home. Repeat same process the next day. Easiest money I've ever made. You would be AMAZED how inefficient these big aerospace companies are. It is literally amazing how they make any profits at all.
I would be a bitter old man if I had to do this for 30 more years.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
lol, Braidkid-

Except for the part about the building with no windows (our trailer has windows)- you just described my CFI job!





(ok ok, its not quite that bad...I'm flying a little bit more than that right now!)
 

braidkid

New Member
John- you missed the key point. I'm miserable during the day. I wouldnt wish this job on my worst enemy. There's nothing to aspire to, nothing to strive for....I'm just a hamster in a cage. Granted it's that way everywhere but at least in aviation you can have goals and aspirations.

You guys talk down about an aviation career being "oh so tough" but some of the old guys who've been engineers for 30 years look to me like they've crawled out of a grave. I'd be pissed at the world too if I was stuck doing this gig the rest of my life......

Ok, I'm done knocking my job. One cool thing is at least I'm working on one of the coolest airplanes in the sky, the super hornet. It's cool seeing them everyday but frustrating watching them leave without me in the cockpit!!! Urghhh!!!
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
John- you missed the key point. I'm miserable during the day. I wouldnt wish this job on my worst enemy. There's nothing to aspire to, nothing to strive for....I'm just a hamster in a cage. Granted it's that way everywhere but at least in aviation you can have goals and aspirations.

[/ QUOTE ]
Ditto, ditto and DITTO, braid - well said!!!

That is EXACTLY my sentiments!

Couldn't have said it better myself.
 

Astin

New Member
I'll let you know if it was worth it once I'm working the line. Right now, it's awesome not working 60 hour weeks anymore, constantly staring out the window to the sky to see if any jets are flying over.

If you actually do this, make sure you set some sort of goal...say 12 months, where all you do is save every penny you make, then leave.
I saved for around two years, and am very glad I didn't go right away. Also, during the time I was saving, work was a little better, knowing that I would be out of there at a certain point (ie at the end of two years).

I think I will also ditto what braid and r2f were saying. Life is too short to waste away in an office (or courtroom). The nice thing is, if you realize flying is not for you after a couple of years, you always have a technical trade (law) to return to, and you've only set yourself back a couple of years in your career. Personally, I had to do it or I would have looked back when I turned 40 or 50 and wondered what might have been.
Now I'll know for sure.

Good luck.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
The tragedy here is that you will not change the things you don't like. You honestly think being an airline pilot is not "a hampster in a cage?"

It's even more so! They have control of you 24 hours a day.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
The tragedy here is that you will not change the things you don't like.

[/ QUOTE ]
Meaning????.....

I'm not sure I followed that part of your statement.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
The same things you hate about your job (boredom, no freedom, etc) don't go away just because you fly for an airline. HA HA HA no way!

Yes flying gets boring when you do it 90 hrs a month!
 

braidkid

New Member
Hey John,
If you're wanting to give up flying and fly a desk instead they're hiring engineers up here!! Let's see you put your money where your mouth is!!!
 
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