Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

Posts Tagged ‘social media

Still Working After All This Year

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This last year has certainly been an exciting one as I am enjoying my new company and my new job. Frankly, I was VERY VERY lucky in some respects that I was able to land a position through social media (Facebook) and that I have a client who treats me and my family wonderfully. I cannot say enough good things about him.

To give a quick recap, I am now working for a client here in South,FL managing and flying a Quest Kodiak (which looks like a Cessna Caravan for comparison). While it is not the jet fllying that I had done in the past, the ability to run the flight department the way I want to and to have a wonderful work/life balance has been nothing short of amazing. Frankly, based on the troubles some of my former employers have been experiencing recently, it wass the right move. Still, there are some lasting effects from the last 3 years of unemployment and uncertainty.

The biggest change was the move to Miami. We rented out our house in Central,FL for a while, but in the end were forced to “short sale” it. That process is only NOW coming to a conclusion. It was not the perferred way to sell our house, but the expense and debt that it created became unsustainable. We are hopeful the new owner will treat the residence with the same love that we put into when we bought it. For me at least, real estate has been a TERRIBLE investment and I could write a book on how many hoops we had to jump through just to get to this point.

The other effect is the amount of debt we still need to pay back. With my last two jobs ending so quickly we often had to rely on credit cards and government assistance to get by. That debt doesnt quickly go  away and its going to take YEARS to get back finacially  to wheere we were in 2008 if ever. It really is a “new normal.”

The last couple of years also leaves you a little “gun shy” about any job you have. I dont think Ill ever see employment the same way again. Nothing is “certain” anymore and the ability to move quickly when things change is now a part of our lives. That means renting insted of buying and keeping an eye out for new opportunities or new ways to create incomee “just in case.” The lack of  stability can make your life difficult but we have learned to adapt and take one day at a time. Still, there has been some benefits with my new job.

I now live a MUCH healthier lifestyle. I work out, eat right and have the time to take care of myself. In fact Im in the BEST shape of my life! I dont miss the stress of being on the road 250 or more days a year and my wife and I have been able to grow closer as I am home most nights.  I also feel I have much more control of my life with my own company. We also moved to a more urban environment were you really dont need a car to get around.

Certainly 2008-2011 was very difficult period for my family, but at least for now, things are looking up, but life is NEVER going to be the same as it was before and that might just be a good thing.



Written by tdwnds1

February 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

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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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

Blogtalkradio.com Segment Airing!

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Hello all!

Sorry for the lack of new material. My job keeps me quite busy, but I’m ready redouble my efforts to help others find work.

I recently was contacted by Kathy Sweeny of http://www.awriteresume.com to do a radio segment with her show. I am grateful to have the opportunity.

If you would like to hear the full segment you can tune in at 7PM, Wednesday, April 28th at: http://bit.ly/97D5mB

Written by tdwnds1

April 28, 2010 at 7:11 am