The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

How do you keep pushing?

Old 15th Sep 2020, 10:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: East Coast
Posts: 41
How do you keep pushing?

General Aviation. The missed birthdays. Missed weddings. Missed funerals. Missed Christmases. The failed relationships due to long distance. The missing my siblings' kids grow up. The putting off of having a family of my own. The crappy share-houses. The below-award conditions. The sacrifices we all make are really starting to get to me on a mental level, to the point where I struggle to see how it is even worth it any more.

Being at the mercy the employer, with the attitude of, "from xx:xx AM - xx:xx PM, we own your arse. Another flight's just come in and if your duty says you can do it then you'll [email protected]#*ing do it, we don't care if you've just done an IPC and have been awake since 03:45am". Having to be ready to bend over and take it whenever we're told by people with less than a high school education, and then be grateful for the privilege, smile and say, "Thank you may I please have another". The not knowing what hours you'll be working from one day to the next, destroying any chance of having any sort of routine in your life. Which then leads to the sleep deprivation. Going to bed and waking up at all different times every single day, decimating any remnant of a healthy sleeping pattern. This takes a mental toll. But don't you dare say you can't fly due to fatigue. This is what you signed up for. So get back out on the tarmac and make sure you smile for the f%&*ing customer on your way past.

After four years of slogging away in GA, I've hit a wall and I don't know if I want to be a part of this profession anymore. Four years may not be much, and we did know what we were signing up for (to a point), but we also didn't think we'd be signing up for a decade+ of it. And I have nearly 2500TT and 1000 multi under me, I can't even begin to fathom the long road ahead for someone just starting out.

I know this probably comes off as ungrateful and I don't wish to insult anyone in a time of worldwide lay-offs and redundancies, but please save your "pull your head out of your arse" comments. I'm not just here to have a whinge, I just don't know if I have it in me to keep going.

I've been lucky enough to be one of the ones in GA who have come through this relatively unscathed so far. In a time where we were all experiencing rapid progression, covid has stopped us all in our tracks and blown out our timeline from 2-4 years in GA to possibly 10+, and I don't believe that to be an exaggeration.

"Well you've never experienced a downturn so get used to it". True, but this is like no other downturn before it. If anything I'd argue people are underestimating how long it's going to take before all the senior guys in GA that were ready to move on see any light at the end of the tunnel. I think the ones that are underestimating it are lying to themselves, because what other option is there. To accept that your career will now stagnate for the next several years whilst you're stuck on the bottom rung is a tough pill to swallow.

On top of all of that, I just don't love the flying like I used to. It doesn't put a smile on my face any more. There's no pride in your work at this level. It has become just a job way quicker than I ever thought it would. I'm starting to dread getting out of bed, wondering what flavour of shit I'm going to get served up today.

"Well at least you're flying you ungrateful prick". At what cost, though. Because right now it's feeling like it's at the price of my mental health and well-being. If I could be sure that I would look back in ten years and still think all those years spent away from loved ones and being treated like dirt was all worth it, then I'd push on. But I don't know that I will. Staring down the barrel of potentially many more years of these sacrifices is soul-destroying. I Guess as I get older I'm starting to see what's more important.

How do you keep pushing when you don't even know what you're working towards any more?
plotplot is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 11:20
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 31
Well, going from the known to the unknown is always a hard thing, especially in the example of going from flying for a job to something completly different. Ive had two large-ish career changes and the lesson is the punishing drop in renumeration initially. However, taking what you know and are good at, and then building upon that may just give you a leg-up into another element of your original chosen carrer path. Remember when you were in flight training and optimistic? Here is an example job recently released at AMSA, its got some fairly decent requirements but its more about the concept of where or what you could potentially find yourself heading into, in the near future.

https://www.seek.com.au/job/50517926...1-0eed1786b96d

The operational environment, as opposed to the business environment (acheiving the mission vs making money for somebody else) has stark differences and may be of intrest to you. I mean, it must be healthy to be interested in your work- right?
Ive got a couple of mates that ended up in rotary wing SAR and have always seemed to be pretty happy with what they do. I suppose thats because they are helping people who are having a really bad day.
Andy_G is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 11:22
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: sierra village
Posts: 276
You forgot to add the romance and prestige of the profession and not to mention your eye watering high salary! and flying well maintained brand new aircraft is what really keeps you motivated.

Yours is a path well trodden. On a serious note, now is a good time exit the industry for 4-6 years. Go to Uni, do a useful STEM degree which promises good employment prospects. Graduate and try working in a different career - you may love it or like me you may hate it and go back to flying all the richer for that experience. In 4-6 years the hiring boom should resume.

Do something positive, burning holes in the sky while accumulating another couple of thousand hours isn’t going to change your employment prospects.
lucille is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 11:31
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: FNQ ... It's Permanent!
Posts: 3,567
plotplot,
That’s the Aviation Industry for you. (And many others).
Maybe a 9-5 office job would be more suitable? Just saying.
Capt Fathom is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 12:00
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: East Coast
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
plotplot,
Thatís the Aviation Industry for you. (And many others).
Maybe a 9-5 office job would be more suitable? Just saying.
Well maybe just don't say next time. Your underlying tone of "suck it up princess" adds nothing.
plotplot is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 12:13
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: FNQ ... It's Permanent!
Posts: 3,567
No. Just pointing out it’s not just the domain of aviation with those conditions.
If it’s not something you enjoy, then why do it?
Capt Fathom is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 12:22
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,327
STEM, law, ongoing, programming. What a waste of time! All you are doing is setting yourself up to be another employee. Do you think engineers accountants and lawyers don’t get handed the same #[email protected]% sandwiches by their employers?

Invest in learning a trade or become an intern and learn business skills like property development. Stay away from “professions” they are a waste of time as far as satisfaction is concerned. Learn to do something nobody else can do is a better proposition.
Sunfish is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 12:29
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: East Coast
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
No. Just pointing out itís not just the domain of aviation with those conditions.
If itís not something you enjoy, then why do it?
Fair enough. Sorry.
plotplot is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 13:32
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 51
PlotPlot, don't be put off. Its definitely a s#it sandwich, but have a think about why you came into the industry and what you hoped to get out of it.

Are you prepared to adjust the original goal (and timeline) now the rose coloured glasses are off? Eating a s#it sandwich is like eating an elephant, just take one manageable bite at a time. It can be done, but its entirely your call.

I wish you well.
Noeyedear is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 16:29
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: the edge of reason
Posts: 208
You will spend an enormous amount of your life at work, if you enjoy it then you have hit at least a portion of the motherlode. If you don't enjoy your work then it is definitely worth considering whether it is the right job for you.
Bengerman is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 18:01
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Beds
Posts: 2
If you can (fairly) comfortably admit that your mental health is suffering then Iíd question whether you should seek alternative employment. Not easy in these current times but you yourself, and those who love you, are more important than any job.
Seaking74 is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 18:01
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tasmania and High Wollemi
Posts: 412
Well here's some people reskilling in the interim. https://www.queenslandcountrylife.co...field/?cs=4713
catseye is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 20:25
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: QLD
Posts: 512
You are in the wrong occupation because those problems arenít limited to GA.

Reality vs flying school brochure vs public perception.

If you think getting into a airline means steady hours, good roster, home for special events, easy relationships, bankers hours, fast progression, floating around the world, ops managers / company not pressuring you... you are wrong
geeup is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 23:17
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the detent
Posts: 468
Originally Posted by geeup View Post
You are in the wrong occupation because those problems arenít limited to GA.

Reality vs flying school brochure vs public perception.

If you think getting into a airline means steady hours, good roster, home for special events, easy relationships, bankers hours, fast progression, floating around the world, ops managers / company not pressuring you... you are wrong
this.

Originally Posted by plotplot View Post
On top of all of that, I just don't love the flying like I used to. It doesn't put a smile on my face any more. There's no pride in your work at this level. It has become just a job way quicker than I ever thought it would. I'm starting to dread getting out of bed, wondering what flavour of shit I'm going to get served up today.

"Well at least you're flying you ungrateful prick". At what cost, though. Because right now it's feeling like it's at the price of my mental health and well-being. If I could be sure that I would look back in ten years and still think all those years spent away from loved ones and being treated like dirt was all worth it, then I'd push on. But I don't know that I will. Staring down the barrel of potentially many more years of these sacrifices is soul-destroying. I Guess as I get older I'm starting to see what's more important.
Sounds to me like you've answered your own question already. If you think you're going to find inspiration to "keep pushing" from comments on an internet forum I think you are sorely mistaken. When you weigh up all the bullshit you have to put up with for this career,
if you don't still sit there every now and again with a smile on your face and think to yourself "this is the best job in the world", then i'd say it's time to move on. Life's too short to be that miserable.

kingRB is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2020, 23:30
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: S16 47.2'
Posts: 174
Not advice just a few thoughts.

Thereís never been a better time to leave Aviation. If youíre not happy in the seat youíre in now you certainly wonít be happy there in 5 years.
People come back to Aviation after extended breaks regularly so although not easy if one is to find themselves with a burning desire to return in good times it is possible, on the other hand people leave the industry regularly to find that in-fact the grass can be greener on the other side.

Donít underestimate the importance of time with family, friends and a predictable lifestyle. For me personally, once it did become a job, the importance moved from gaining experience/progression/finical gain to improving the quality of the job, sometimes they were the same thing sometimes they werenít.

Personal circumstances will dictate how people handle the next few years, if youíre still in the bottom of GA Ďliving the dreamí and youíre not in your early 20s it could be worthwhile walking away but, sitting in a single pilot TP in your 30ís might not be too bad, thereís no right or wrong answer to this, you may just have had a gut full of living in the locations available outside of the airlines and want to improve your lifestyle.
For those that are Ďhating ití, I wouldnít hold on to hard as one poster mentioned above, the career does improve but not that much.
Left 270 is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2020, 00:06
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Australia
Age: 49
Posts: 72
Some good advice being suggested. Get out for a few years and up skill yourself in something you like, then return to flying when the environment gets better.

Make sure your happy in what ever you choose to do!
Bell Man is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2020, 00:38
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 121
I went to University after school and spent 10 years in non-aviation work, then did my CPL and worked in GA for 7 years after training and worked for several different operators. What I learned from this experience is that what you describe is not unique to aviation and that the it's not the industry per-se that's at fault but rather the individual operators. I worked for the good, the bad and the ugly in both aviation and non-aviation and the problem are the individual owners/operators and this exists outside of aviation just as much as it does inside. With Covid-19 around the less scrupulous operators will take further advantage by using the pressure to push people to do more for less with the constant cloud of 'your lucky to have a job' and 'there are thousands of desperate guys out there that could replace you tomorrow' - if this is the kind of company/boss you work for then its a toxic environment and you should get out, employers like this will kill your dream and spirit stone dead. Lots of good advice above about options as short-medium term solutions. Best of luck.
bluesideoops is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2020, 00:48
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 292
Originally Posted by plotplot View Post
At what cost, though. Because right now it's feeling like it's at the price of my mental health and well-being.
I've changed careers 4 times in my life (now in my mid-forties). It's never the easiest option - just sitting unsatisfied in a job is the easiest option - but I've figured out that I need to be interested in my job to stay motivated.

Whenever I've felt that a job is affecting my mental health (and it has!), I know it's time for me to look at other options. And there are plenty of other options, it's entirely up to you to seek them out.

Edit: I'm now unemployed, of my own choosing. Contemplating doing a 6-12 month training course to get my foot in the door of a different industry...

Stickshift3000 is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2020, 00:51
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 37
Posts: 570
I gave it away 15 years ago when I saw where things were heading career-wise. Flogging around the bush in a 182 or 206 older than I am, below-award wage offerings and the "shiny-jet syndrome" schedules that have you away at all hours of the day and night.

FWIW, I don't regret leaving flying at all. I got a job that I genuinely enjoy and have been doing that for 15 years. It is still shiftwork, but I now work only 2 weeks out of 6, It has paid for our house, car, and given me enough left over that I can afford an RV that I now fly where I want, when I want. IF that is 500' AGL down Victor 1 or an afternoon whale-watching flight with Mini-Me, that is what flying is about. Not about carting a bunch of ungrateful punters to Bali.

I think aviation is going to get worse before it gets better and if you are not happy now, chances are you won't be when it recovers. I would strongly consider pursuing another passion rather than continue your current path and just "put up with it".
KRviator is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2020, 01:35
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 586
Originally Posted by KRviator View Post
I gave it away 15 years ago when I saw where things were heading career-wise. Flogging around the bush in a 182 or 206 older than I am, below-award wage offerings and the "shiny-jet syndrome" schedules that have you away at all hours of the day and night.

FWIW, I don't regret leaving flying at all. I got a job that I genuinely enjoy and have been doing that for 15 years. It is still shiftwork, but I now work only 2 weeks out of 6, It has paid for our house, car, and given me enough left over that I can afford an RV that I now fly where I want, when I want. IF that is 500' AGL down Victor 1 or an afternoon whale-watching flight with Mini-Me, that is what flying is about. Not about carting a bunch of ungrateful punters to Bali.

I think aviation is going to get worse before it gets better and if you are not happy now, chances are you won't be when it recovers. I would strongly consider pursuing another passion rather than continue your current path and just "put up with it".
not realistic. NOT REALISTIC.
For the majority of us, with no backup from family or connections, if Iíve been doing this for almost 2 decades it is not realistic nor fair to expect me to change careers and pay the house along the way.

If it all goes down the drain then so be it, but Iím tired of listening to unrealistic prospects of gold paved roads working in IT or what have you. It is simply not realistic nor fair to 99% of us whoíve been putting too much into this. And should be recognized at least a bit when times are tough.
bringbackthe80s is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.