Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

Posts Tagged ‘flight

Back and better than ever

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I realize its been a while since Ive posted on this blog. Big changes have happened in the last year and I plan to share them in my new post “still working after all this year” look for it in the near future.


Written by tdwnds1

February 17, 2012 at 3:57 am

3rd Time’s the Charm!

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I am happy to report that after several months on the job hunt, literally penniless and on food stamps, I once again FOUND A JOB and it is still in the aviation industry! I think this job hunt was by far the toughest because financially the clock was ticking pretty fast.  Truly, not being able to buy food for your family is one of the most humbling experiences you will ever encounter.

Many people discount the power of social media in the job search,but that is EXACTLY how I found this last opening. Facebook is truly becoming a powerful networking tool in the online world and its use as a job seeking source should never be disregarded. I friended many individuals in the aviation industry through Facebook and was lucky enough to friend that one individual who lead me to my new position. This job is unlike the others in that I am taking a senior role in a flight department, in fact I am building a corporate flight department from the ground up!

The advice that I can give to job seekers out there, is  to continue to build your network and base, talk to everyone you can and learn to leverage your best talents.  This new position has still allowed me to stay in my chosen industry, while being able to use my talents outside of aviation (social media and management) more effectively.  I also have started my company Jet Right Aviation Services as an aviation consulting group and my new boss is also my first client. It is incredibly challenging and exciting at the same time.

Even with my current employment, I take nothing for granted. My network has only continued to grow and many of those individuals have given me quite an education in building a new flight department and I am happy to help them in their business as well. For my wife and I ,this difficult experience has actually brought us closer together and we are now partners in our new business, a powerful team!

In the future, I would like to write a book about my two and 1/2 year experience looking for work, losing 3 job and yet being able to find work again in the worst job market since the Great Depression. To say this has been life changing event woud be an understatement and I would love to share my experiences with others who need help.

It is certainly my hope that my new position will be a long-lasting one. I have a great client and plan on offering him the absolute best service that I can offer.  As an advocate of Business Aviation it is the least I can do!

I will continue to use this blog as a tool for the job seeker and for the business aviation community. Once again, I want to thank everyone who has offered their help and support during this long and winding road. I continue to be forever grateful.

Written by tdwnds1

October 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm

From Ferragamo to Food Stamps

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What a difference two years can make. Back before my first job loss I was on top of the world financially. My six figure salary easily paid our bills, my wife and I were planning a big wedding and our financial future looked bright. I remember going into the Mall at Millenia and looking at Ferragamo shoes and easily being able to afford them. Now, after my last layoff, I have found out that I have been denied unemployment and have been forced file for food stamps to feed my family.

I don’t take these decisions lightly, I am young, healthy and ready to work. I have been looking for a job, any job that will pay the bills. I do not like to take any government or family assistance and frankly if I didn’t have to take another dime from the state or the government because I have a job I would be happy.You might think I am panicking, but strangely, I am not. There are still bright spots in this grim picture.

The last two years has really forced me to reinvent myself. I have taken up this blog, gotten some notoriety and attention that simply would not have happened if I had not gone through this period. I have built up my network and they continue to feed me leads on a regular basis. Not all of them work out, but I am grateful for the help from the people I have met. My wife continues to support my endeavours and is working just as hard to find employment. It has been a difficult time, but in the end it is only “stuff” that you lose. As long as I have family and friends I still have something. Being a pilot forces you to often pack or sell everything and move to another place to start over again. I’ve done it a few times already and I can do it again.

My job search continues and I remain optimistic about the results. Some contacts have resulted in interviews and in one case the process is moving along. While there is no job offer yet, I am cautiously hopeful. In the meantime I pursue multiple tracks to find employment both inside and outside my industry. At this point I MUST keep working at finding work. Yes, the fear is there, but like I have said before, I use it to power my search forward and continue with the same optimism that has gotten me through the last two years.

I also continue to help others find employment as well. Many of my fellow aviators are also out of work and have called me on a fairly regular basis for advice or just support. After all, when you have been at this job hunt as long as I have with its ups and downs you do gain some experience. Even in my situation, I consider it my duty as a person to always help others in these tough times.

Lastly, I am also branching out into starting my own consulting business. I have gained considerable experience in helping build a flight department from my contract work and also helping utilize my experience in the charter and corporate world.I also have learned to navigate the social media world both for job hunting and for advocating Business Aviation which I would like to teach others. It may not make money overnight, but the one truth in this new economy is that you need to have a side business to survive a sudden layoff (or 3).

I have never known tougher times in my 40 years on this earth, but continue to see “opportunity in adversity”. It is truly my hope that in the near future I can once again post here that I have gained full-time employment, this time for good.

Today is Still the Day!

Written by tdwnds1

August 1, 2010 at 4:52 am

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Dealing with Fear in the job search

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I read a disheartening statistic with some of the recent job numbers released last week. It showed that over 1 MILLION people in this nation have simply given up on the job search. While many leave the employment arena for various reasons (health, family, etc.) a majority of these people have simply decided there are no jobs out there for them, they have given in to FEAR.

July 2 will be the second anniversary of the start of my job search and I have to admit I have felt that fear as much as anyone. When you lose your job (multiple times), those fears can overwhelm you rather quickly. Your mind races with questions like, “how do I pay my bills”, “am I going to lose my house”, “is my career gone for good”. The news stories about those who have been unemployed long term do nothing to allay these fears.  So how does one deal with this fear during the job search?

I think the first thing to realize that the fear we ALL feel is a very natural human reaction. It is certainly not something to be shunned. The question is what are you going to do with this fear?  On one end it can put you in a state of stasis and paralysis, unable to continue forward or worse start a spiral into despair. Obviously this will do nothing to help you get a new job. I have talked before about a period of grieving when you lose a long-term job, and that is perfectly healthy, but you need to take this emotion of fear and turn it into a powerful motivator in your job search!

I believe the key is to turn this fear into ACTION. Have a job search plan. Use the fact you need to pay your bills or the responsibility to your family to make you work TWICE as hard to find work. Even now with a little more than a month before this current position ends, I have used the fear I feel, knowing I will have a loss of income, to motivate me every day to get up early and do EVERYTHING I can to find employment. This includes increasing my network contacts, making phone calls and devising a plan that can quickly get me back on the job rather than focusing on the “what ifs”.

Another way to ally fears is to be PREPARED. My fears were much larger when I lost my job for the first time. I didn’t have any plan and outline for getting back in the job hunt. It made my search a lot longer. The last two layoffs taught me to continue to have my network running in the background and to have constant contact with them even when I was employed. I TRULY believe this will shorten my term on unemployment tremendously. So while I admit I do feel fear since I have depleted my savings and the bills still keep coming in, my preparation becomes my outlet for the fear and the ability to overcome it.

Lastly, many people don’t like to talk about the fact they are afraid. Some people see it as weakness. Certainly, in this day and age, this is NOT true. Talking about your fears to others, whether it is family and friends or other business contacts can be tremendously cathartic. It is not healthy to keep such emotions inside. Talking about your fears is not the same as complaining. It is simply an honest talk about how you feel. You family and friends can be a tremendous source of comfort and perhaps your close contacts can give you leads that might make that fear much more manageable.

In the end, a positive attitude and an action plan can do much to overcome the fear that all of us are feeling these days. We all need to remember that “this too shall pass”. Dont give in to the fear and you will find in the end that you WILL succeed.

Today Is The Day!

Written by tdwnds1

June 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Look for me on the Forbes “Wheels Up” blog

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I am honored to have been chosen by the editors of Forbes to be a contributor to their new Business Aviation blog “Wheels Up” your can read it here: http://lnkd.in/pGREAD

Im looking forward to continue to advocate the use of business and general aviation as vital part of our American economy. I will also contiue to blog here on my personal website.

Written by tdwnds1

June 5, 2010 at 12:11 am

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On The Dole Again! Unemployment Strikes Back!

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In the last 4 months I havent been able to blog as much as I would have liked since I was busy with my new job. Things had actually been going along well. The aircraft is absolutely beautiful, the other pilot and I worked well as a crew, and business seemed good and getting better. It looked like the rest of the year was going to go well, then the unexpected happened!

I was informed, quite out of the blue, that the owner has decided to park the airplane rather than fly it so that it does not incur additional depreciation. What this means for me and the other pilot is quite simply we ARE OUT OF A JOB at the end of the month. So, im back looking for work for the 3rd TIME in the last 20 months!

I must admit that my unbridled optimism has taken a big hit in the last 24 hours, but after some time to absorb this shocking news, I realize that my social networking efforts have put me in a much better position than previous occasions.. Heres some examples:

1.) This job, unlike all others, has a written contract. One of the advantages of contracts is that if either party chooses to end the contract voluntarily that there is a financial price to pay. Quite simply, the owner must pay a set amount of money to me to end the contract (which is spelled out). This is a MUCH BETTER position than pervious jobs were my employment could simply be terminated without any further compensation.

2.) I was smart enough to remain close to all my contacts. In this new world of employment there simply is NO JOB SECURITY. Things can and DO change quite quickly. The contacts I made in my social media and networking experience have proved to be invaluable. As soon as I heard the news about my current employment I was IMMEDIATELY on the phone with all my contacts already beating the bushes. I cannot tell you how important it is to maintain your network.  I have NO DOUBT that my extensive network will help me land new employment much more quickly than in the past. Keep in mind, that after my last layoff, I basically knew NO ONE..now I have 100s of contacts both inside and outside the industry. Having this network is the KEY to the new employment paradigm of the 21st century.

3.) I have the incredible fortune to be married to a wonderful and extremely supportive woman. My wife has been by my side through this entire ordeal. She has been the ONE person I can truly lean on. Obviously she was upset when I told her the news, but she said it best herself  when I told her that I felt that I’ve been knocked down one too many times. She said” let’s get up together and keep walking honey, now more than ever.” I truly find newfound strength in her. I continue to be a very lucky man.

4.) I have chosen to see some silver linings in this situation. Unlike last time, I am now current in the Hawker for both corporate and charter operations. Since I am still flying (at least for now). I am FAR more marketable than before and I truly believe that the aviation industry is in a much improved position than when I began this quest.

While I do not relish the though of being back on the street again. I chose NEVER TO GIVE UP! I believe this last job is a stepping stone to a more secure and profitable future for both me and my family. The road ahead has is not easy, but then again it never has been.

Today Is the Day!

Written by tdwnds1

May 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm


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The success and attention my blog and my job search has received has not just been the result of my own efforts. There have been so many people who have supported me, encouraged me, and directly helped me in my ultimately successful job hunt. Though it is not possible to name them all, I would like to thank those who have had a direct hand in the success of this effort and those that stayed by me even in the darkest moments of my job search. To each of them I am eternally grateful.

First of all, I would like to thank my wife, Carolina.  It is rare in life when you truly meet your soul mate. My wife has been there beside me through all the challenges we both had to face. We truly learned to lean on each other when times got tough. My wife picked up the ball and took an extremely physical job, making very little pay to keep money coming in when I wasnt working. She was there to keep me motivated, to push me when I needed it and encouraged me to take the chances that ultimately lead me to a new job after nearly a year. If it wasnt for her help, I do not know if I would have put in half of the effort that has put me in this position. One of the truly remarkable things about her is that she had brought incredible insight and ideas into my job search and social media exposure. She was the one the encouraged me to approach CNN early in the process which started the whole ball rolling. I am an EXTREMELY lucky man to be in love with such a beautiful and intelligent wife. As many of you have commented “she’s a keeper” and I wholeheartedly agree!

A big thank you to Carlos Gil, founder of Jobsdirectusa.com: I met Carlos through Facebook early in my job hunt. He has been a tireless (and I MEAN tireless!) advocate of the unemployed. Carlos was once a manager at AIG and found himself out of a job a few years ago. Rather than getting back into the industry, he began the “Pink Slip Party” and eventually “Pink Slip Mixers” movement that brings job seekers and employers together. I was so encouraged and inspired by his efforts that both my wife and I volunteered for his gatherings. Carlos was DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the birth of this blog and its exposure on CNN. About 6 months into my job hunt he suggested that I start a blog and call it Helpclintfindajob.com. Who could have thought that this idea would be so incredibly successful. He has also helped to get myself and this blog exposure on the local and national media. If you are looking for work, I strongly suggest you get in touch with Carlos, his contacts might just land you your next great job.

Another big thank you to CNN, specifically Sonya Houston and Jessica Dickler: When I started looking for work, I noticed that CNN was doing a segment called the “30 Second Pitch“. They were giving job seekers an opportunity to put themselves on national TV to sell themselves for 30 seconds. When I saw the segment on TV, I commented on their CNNmoney web site that I would also like the chance to be on the program. Within two hours I received a response from Sonya Houston and a few weeks after that found myself on national TV! Though it didn’t directly lead to a job, it was THE spark that started the process of reinventing myself and find new ways to get noticed on my job hunt. Ms. Jessica Dickler also has a BIG hand in the success of this blog. Her contact with me through Carlos put me on the front page of CNNMoney and has given me the opportunity to begin to help others find work. I am EXTREMELY happy to see CNN be so proactive in helping job seekers and would encourage other news programs to do the same in the future.

Thank You to Benet Wilson of Aviation Week and Space Technology: I met Benet directly through my exposure on Twitter. Ms. Wilson has been a leading advocate of Social Media for the aviation world. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, being the subject of a very successful symposium at NBAA (National Business Aviation Association). She had noticed my blog and was impressed the story of my job hunt. Benet began to mention my blog in her articles in Aviation Week and Space Technology and was primarily responsible for bringing my blog out of obscurity. Prior to her help the only people who were reading my prose was my mother and my wife. After her mention and links to my articles, I began to receive anywhere from 30-40 hits a day and GREATLY expand my networking possibilities. She has been tremendous asset to my job search and I look forward to continued contacts with her in the future.

Thank you to Scott Wolcott of CompanyAirplane.com and John Peroyea of  Findapilot.com: I have spoken to both of these individuals directly many times and they two of the truly “good ones” in the aviation industry. The help of these two men have been invaluable.

Scott Wolcott, a pilot himself, came to me during my job hunt after noticing my CNN video on ProPilotworld.com (a leading aviation message board). Mr. Wolcott has taken job hunting in aviation to the next level using video,  the power of the internet and social media to help pilots and other aviation job seekers find employment. In under a year, he had built CompanyAirplane.com from the ground up into a leading aviation employment web site. I am grateful for his help and in watching his efforts continue to grow and succeed. Several of his clients have received attention and opportunities directly from his efforts and web site. Certainly worth subscribing to if you are looking for work in the aviation industry.

John Peroya, also a pilot and the owner of Findapilot.com, has also been a tremendous help. Findapilot.com has been around for quite a few years and I have been able to find employment TWICE in the last 10 years directly from his web site. Many of the phone calls I received from employers came directly from my exposure and subscription to his site and it is well-known in the aviation industry. I would also enroll with FindaPilot as well if you are looking for flying work.

A Thank You to my fellow pilots, friends and supporters: I have been truly humbled and amazingly thankful for all the support, encouragement and advice that I have recieved from my friends and pilots both within and outside the aviation community. When I started this process, I knew very few people. Your emails, letters, phone calls and comments continued to give me inspiration when I needed it the most. Many of my friends are job seekers as well and I am more than happy to “pay if forward” to help them after they have been so supportive of my efforts. Often we hear about these tough times bringing out the worst in people. I have been most fortunate to see just the opposite. Many people, some I have just met, have offered direct and indirect help simply by telling them that I was out of work. These people reached out when they didn’t have to. There are too many to mention here, but know that you always have my eternal thanks.

Lastly, but by no means leastly a big Thank You to the rest of my family: My mother and father (on both sides of the family) have been incredibly encouraging and supportive of all my efforts. They have been there for me and offered whatever help that I asked for. Their direct assistance, thoughts and prayers gave me hope when I couldn’t even get the phone to ring in the middle of last year. Like my wife, they didnt allow me to get depressed, to give up hope. I have been fortunate to have my mother and father living close by to offer assistance. To my mother-in-law who lives in Chile, her love, prayers and words of encouragement were also a tremendous help. I would also like to thank my brother, sister and the rest of my extended family who sent me words of support and for their assistance.

This is by no means the end of this blog. I intend to continue to comment on the aviation industry and will not rest until all those looking for work in this field find it. I am going to use my exposure to help my fellow aviators and job seekers have the same opportunities that I was so fortunate obtain. I will also talk about the the challenges we continue to face in this industry as it enters the next decade of the 21st century.

I thank you all for taking the time to read this blog and hope that you will continue to follow me in the future.

Written by tdwnds1

February 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm