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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crossroads in My Life

Monday Motivation:

"I am at a crossroads in my life
and uncertain of where and how I
should proceed. Allow this day,
to bring forth all the solutions
I need, so that they can not just
be found - but understood by me
as well."

A couple weeks ago David sent me the following message:

There is a career fair at Embry Riddle on the 19th. I don't have much experience in the career fair environment. Do you have any rapport building strategies, or would you happen to know any of the recruiters that will be in attendance? I am really interested in making an impression and finding a comfort zone within myself so I can thrive in this environment without feeling like I sold my soul. I am a nice guy, so I don't think I need to be fake, but I am not sure what the recruiters are looking for outside of the minimums. Thanks for being there.”

My comment went something like this:

“Just go there to meet people. You're there to interview the airlines. Show interest. Ask questions. Pick up cards. Listen and remember what people say about the airlines. Then if you interview and or apply, you can use that information to your benefit. You'll have a great time. Learn lots. And ... what you learn will help you when and if you decide to go there.”

Last weekend David updated me on the Career Fair. Thank you for sharing this information David.

Embry Riddle Career Expo.

I am pleased to inform you that I had a wonderful time at Embry Riddle's Career Expo. The electric atmosphere was charged with promise. It felt great to be a part of something so special. The formal attire and high hopes permeated the field house like an intoxicant. It was hard for me to contain myself by the time I reached the front of the line to speak with a recruiter. I smiled, told jokes, and spoke with eloquence.

Get your Ducks Lined Up.

Several of the recruiter had positive outlooks on their companies future. Jetblue, Allegiant, and Arik Air International are forecast growth in the immediate future. United Continental Holdings, American Airlines, and Delta should be hiring sometime in 2012 for attrition. I was advised to get my ducks lined up. Then, apply early and often. One of the recruiters even said that their system won't acknowledge my application if it is not updated every 60 days. I believe I made a pretty strong connection with the United Continental Holding Recruiter Christi Nixon. She gave me some great advice on beefing up my resuming to compensate for the fact that I work at Gulfstream.

Time in a Glass Cockpit?

My company Gulfstream International Airlines has apparently made quite a name for themselves. Our training department has taken a lot of heat because a few former Gulfstream pilots were linked to two big accidents. Christi told me I need time in a glass cockpit in order to prove I can make it at the next level of automation. I have that from my time flying a CRJ. She also told me that I need to apply to be a check-airman.

David's Dilemma…

So, Essentially these are my two options. Turn my negatives into positives by sticking with Gulfstream and working my way up to instructor or check airman. My second option is to go with another company that doesn't have a tarnished reputation. I'm not at all sure on where I should go, but I did have someone from the US Department of State tell me that I should come fly for him. How would that affect my credentials? I'm also concerned about how it would affect my ability to network since I would be flying in another country. I really don't want to start over at another regional unless the upgrade time is short.

Ahhh, What to do? Yesterday truly was a wonderful day, but it seems like the more options you have the harder it is to make a decision. Please share your thoughts. I do not like the idea about being a high-risk applicant. I feel like I have worked to hard to be waving a red flag. However, I haven't been working as smart as I should have. So, I'm hoping you can help me fix the latter. Looking forward to your next email.

David, you may have a dilemma...but nothing you can't figure out. Learn what the minimum requirements are for the airline you want to apply with, make sure you meet them and then stick with te job that will get you the most hours and experience. Also remember ... flying as a check-airman will help your career in many ways. There is something about understanding the plane and procedures well enough to teach them to someone else, not to mention learning from those that you teach ... it's just great experience.

I know with more options, the tougher decision. But actually, the more information, the decision should be easier. More options make that decision more difficult.

Tuesday I'll share something that helps with decision making. But today... does anyone have any words of wisdom for David? What would you do if you were David?

Thank you.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene


  1. Wow, great discussion, and one that applies in many fields. If I were David, I'd get objective: list pros and cons of each possible decision, then apply my subjective feelings: what would I love the most? It's a start. Might have to do it over and over again as information you discover within yourself refines the search.

  2. David,
    Do what you "feel" is best.
    Does it look good on your resume?
    Does it add or take away?
    Make sure that whatever it is you choose you can comfortably talk about in an interview.
    Enjoy the transition :-D
    Keep us posted. We are all rooting for you!

  3. For David, you have to trust your heart, or your gut, and do what it tells you to do. In the end, if you aren't happy where you work, you aren't happy.

  4. This is a really tough question David. One big item would be what and where would you be flying for the Department of State. How does that fit into your career expectations? Have you spoken with people at airlines you want to work for about what type of previous flying they are looking for? I don't know a lot about Gulfstream but I know they definitely don't have the best reputation. I know they had hired a lot of people with very little experience and the only flying they get is just inter-florida with no icing and such. I would at least pursue the State Department job, interview, and see what you think at that point. Do whatever you need to in order to achieve your goals!


Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!