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post #1 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 6:46 PM Thread Starter
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Career Change

I'd like to hear personal stories of people who have made drastic career changes and how it worked out. I know the saying "the grass is always greener," but sometimes it's just time to do it.
Recommendations welcome

My job situation:

Pluses
- Very stable job.
- Good income. No kids, so all the toy money goes to me.
- Most holidays off
- 3wks + of vacation/yr
- Excellent health benefits and secure retirement

Minuses
- Lots of stress
- Anywhere from 50-70 hrs/wk
- Only two or three days off/month unless I'm on vacation
- Get shot at on occasion
- Never ending string of b.s. and office politics (common to most jobs, but it has only recently surfaced in mine)
- General feeling that I just can't see myself doing this for the next 23yrs while I wish my life away waiting to retire.
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post #2 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 6:51 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

This is the AF Pilot job you are in now?
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post #3 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 6:55 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

i was in the army

5.5 years ago

for 6 years
went to places that i would have never gone
worked lots of hours for minimal pay
got shat upon by ignoramus majors
was without my newlywed wife for 2 years
lived in poverty
never owned anything
became a leader

now
work many hours for real good pay
get to go places i never got to in the army and stay in 4 star hotels
take vacation in exotic locations
own 3 cars, 2 bikes, and a 4 wheeler
get to apply my leadership and problem solving skills on a daily basis


recommendation - do not join the army for money
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post #4 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 7:33 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

Dux,
I would think with your experience ans hours flying a C5, that once your contract is up, you could get on with an airline fairly easy. You may take a pay cut for a couple of years until you build senioriy, as well as work holidays and birthdays, but say 3-5 years in, you shouldnt have to, will be making decent money and not getting shot at. Last I checked, senior captains with major carriers are making 200-250K a year. Fedex even has a route that takes you 14 days to go around the world, then you are off for the rest of the month, which I think would be awesome as long as your family could stand it...
Chris
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post #5 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 7:53 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX
I'd like to hear personal stories of people who have made drastic career changes and how it worked out. I know the saying "the grass is always greener," but sometimes it's just time to do it.
Recommendations welcome
Understand your feelings completely. Have been going through the same thoughts over the past year or so. Although, I'd take a crappy AF day any day. Like you said, the grass is always greener.

As a wise old CW5 who was forced to retire after 39 years on active duty told me last year, "When it's not fun, don't do it anymore."

I don't know how many years you have in or how many years you owe, but take the time to make a decent plan that will cover what you might be passing up in retirement. I haven't made the jump yet because I'm finishing my masters on the Army's time.

PM sent also.
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post #6 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 8:01 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

OK I am not expert (not even the green grass part being carnivorous) so:

The biggest key is where do you want to be in 23 years? Figure that out and work towards it, most folks I meet that are unhappy one place leave for the leaving and are still unhappy at the new place. Also I know a few military retirees an working full time with a full retirement is a nice place to be.

Well I kind of rambled so here is the punchline:
I was never happy until I went back to become an engineer, it is what I am and I enjoy doing it. The money is fine but being rich and miserable is still miserable

Good luck in your choice

Must obey the sheep dog
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post #7 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 8:04 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

+1 on what Sheep said, too.
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post #8 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 8:09 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

This thread is so appropriate for me right now. Yesterday I was offered a lucrative position... the only catch being that I would have to relocate to Cold Lake, Alberta.

Right now:
I manage the commercial rental department of a large metro dealership, 500+units. Pay is good, a very small salary but a consistent, healthy bonus on the gross sales, plus 2% of the net profit at year-end. Supervise a staff of 4. Negatives: as a middle manager, I have no authority to make the big decisions, but all of the accountability when something goes wrong. THe upper managers have some very kinky business practices ie. hiding and slushing a LOT of the profit... they're very secretive and I find it frustrating and insulting.

A friend I roomed with in college is moving home to take over one of his family's 2 dealerships. He wants me to run the front end of the other one. (general sales manager, new and used) It's an INCREDIBLE opportunity, especially at my age; I could easily get into a general manager position by 30 and aim to have my own store by 40. Pay would be slightly(edit: substantially) better than what I'm making now, except it would be a big salary and small bonus... therefore more consistent. ALso, I would have a demonstrator and a gas card.

Only catch is that I'd have to move to Cold Lake. (look it up) I don't have a problem with small towns... I was raised in a town of 5000... but I just bought a home here in Calgary, 8 hours from COld Lake. I am cohabitating with my girlfriend, who I fully expect to marry. SHe has about 1.5 years remaining to get her B.Sc.

So what do I do? I"m thinking that I at least owe it to myself to look into it. A few difficult years to set myself up for life. I would probably keep my townhouse for Jessica to live in, rent a shack in Cold Lake, and come back to visit as often as possible.

I'm gonna drive up there this weekend and talk to them. It's nice, because I'm in a position to negotiate. I think if they give me what I want (10 grand signing bonus) I have to do it. It's risky but this is the opportunity I've been waiting for; didn't think it would come this soon (and so far from home) but I know if I don't at least give it a shot it could be the biggest mistake of my life.

Whady'all say?

And then there's this asshole...
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post #9 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 9:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Career Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinerPilot
Dux,
I would think with your experience ans hours flying a C5, that once your contract is up, you could get on with an airline fairly easy. You may take a pay cut for a couple of years until you build senioriy, as well as work holidays and birthdays, but say 3-5 years in, you shouldnt have to, will be making decent money and not getting shot at. Last I checked, senior captains with major carriers are making 200-250K a year. Fedex even has a route that takes you 14 days to go around the world, then you are off for the rest of the month, which I think would be awesome as long as your family could stand it...
Chris
Thanks for the input guys.

It's hard to explain, but I'm a reserve C-5 pilot who also works for the DOD as a civilian. The two are interchangeable but it would take pages to explain it all. I can walk out any time I choose, but am responsible enough to make sure that I've got things covered.

It's not the first time I've gone through this. I left a research position at age 27 to go to flight school with the Air Force (a life-long dream.) It originally cost me a 15k pay cut, but I earned that back after about 6yrs.

The airline thing was originally the "big" plan. 9-11 changed all of that. Furloughs and cutbacks have just made them a poor choice for me. 250k senior captains are probably a thing of the past, and it would take 15yrs or more for me to get to that seniority point anyway.

FedEX and UPS would be awesome to fly for, but in my current position my flying hours have been cut significantly and it will take years to build up the time to be eligible for their minimums. I'm still considering going that route, but then again I might get out of the flying thing altogether.

I'm still shopping. You never know.
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post #10 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 9:51 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

How many hours do you have now? Im assuming that it is all Multi/Turbine...
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post #11 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 9:54 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

Alrighty that explains a lot of things.....

Did the Navy thing for 21 years, tired of hacks getting promoted before me cause they played the politcal thing and didn't do the right thing for their people. Retired. Been through 2 employers since then and now at last happy with LM Aero here in the high desert of Cali.

The grass is greener for me....

More Pay
Less Hours
More time off
Tracks all over the place with the money and time to enjoy them.

Don't know what your DoD job is but, make the leap. All that matters is that you are happy.
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post #12 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

And I know all too well about the layoffs and furloughs. I went to school and majored in Aerospace. I got well into my ratings with a few hundred hours of flight time (mostly Single engine) all at the expense of over $10K just in flight training, only to have 9/11 happen and put a hold on that. Though a change in my career path is minescule to the impact on others.

I still want to incorporate flying into my career and hope to fly heilos for a PD some day.
Chris
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post #13 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

Do it....both of you. Both of you are young enough that a potential employer will look at you as someone that's teachable and probably willing to take a risk. Probably not the case 10-20yrs from now.
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post #14 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 10:45 PM
 
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Re: Career Change

Before moving to Colorado, and after getting out of the Army. I was a valet manager at the Riverside Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. I worked 4 days a week, 12 hour days, standing at the Bell Desk supervising my crew of about 12-16 valet runners and bellman. I too chased the occasional car/truck and made $200-$300 cash nightly. On top of that, the hotel was paying me a salery of $400 weekly. Now I live in Colorado, manage a national auto parts store and make considerably less! Believe me, the grass is not always greener. Dont ask why I moved...I havn't figured that one out yet.
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post #15 of 34 Old 11-15-2005, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Career Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinerPilot
How many hours do you have now? Im assuming that it is all Multi/Turbine...
I was upgraded to Aircraft Commander, Air Refueling, and Instructor at the minimum times. So far about 2,000 total C-5 hours. 500-ish Pilot-in-Command.
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