Real Answers from Real Pilots

How do I know if this is the right career for me?

What are some giveaways that it’s the right job for you?

Good question, James. I can only speak for myself. I will share my story,
and hopefully it helps answer your question.

I knew that aviation was right for me for several reasons. Keep in mind
that, unlike others that knew that they wanted to become a pilot at a young
age, I didn’t realize how perfect this job was/is for me until I was 25. It
took a lot of soul searching.

Growing up I learned how to do a lot of not only common, but also random
things on my own from playing sports to playing an instrument to riding a
unicycle to making duct-tape wallets. No matter what I did, I did it with
passion…but after a while I became bored and moved onto the next thing.

From this, I realized that all of the things that I loved to do were hands
on and required a lot of practice. So, I knew that I needed to get into a
trade, but I had to make sure that it was a trade that wasn’t going get
boring.

I’ve been described by other people as an adrenaline junky, tenacious,
determined, cool calm and collected, methodical, detail oriented, etc. When
the idea of becoming a pilot came to me, it made sense in more ways than
one. It made sense in my heart, mind and wallet. The profession is aligned
with my personality, there hasn’t been a better time to become a pilot, and
the investment is worth it in the long run.

Since then, I have realized that, above all, I enjoy the responsibility. It
gives me a sense of purpose, knowing that I am part of an elaborate system
designed to conduct every flight as safely as possible.

Tory

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James,

Excellent question but not easy to answer. There are many reasons people are drawn to aviation and I don’t believe there’s a “right” reason. Like Tory flying wasn’t my dream since youth. I definitely entertained the thought (along with practically every other career) and was always fascinated by planes but growing up rather modestly in the Bronx it didn’t seem possible so I took it off the list. In my 20’s I got my PPL but that was purely for recreation. Years after that I came to a critical point in my life where I felt the need to make some MAJOR changes. I decided I needed to something that I could enjoy, would challenge me and I had passion for. I whittled it down to either music or flying and had long ago decided that music relied too much on luck so I went for flying and it was the best decision of my life.

I hate to be vague but somehow when I was in the cockpit it just felt right and I knew.

Adam

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What a wonderful response Tory! I can relate to your point of doing random things. I too have always been coming up with different things to keep myself busy. Starting a side business, following my passion for videography, etc. I just graduated with an ME degree and am really considering this as a career path. I’ve always wanted to fly since I was a little boy.

The biggest thing I worry is that I get into an engineering job is that I won’t like what I’m doing down the road. And that I’ll always wonder what it would be like if I went after the pilot dream. I feel that now’s a good time to get going on this and not have any regrets in the future about being stuck behind a desk. I know a few of pilots (DAL, SWA) through various friends/connections and it seems like a great career to get into and one that’s always evolving and keeping you on your toes (in a good way in the sense you’re not stagnating).

Thanks for your guys’s responses on this blog. It’s the insight like this that is helping me learn more about this career and assisting in my “soul searching” process.

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James,

Let’s be very clear here, I do enjoy flying, but I take a bit more of a pragmatic view to the job. I like that the job offers me pretty darn good compensation, the benefits are great and I get a fair amount of time off. I have enjoyed traveling the world courtesy of my airline.

All of that aside though, for me nothing beats the view when flying over the bay on my way into San Francisco, it is my absolute favorite part of the job.

Chris

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