Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Career Change

What do you do when you find your ladder is against the wrong wall?

If you're flying on a daily basis, you're sitting right where your passion says you should be. So, is it such a bad thing to be absolutely loving every minute of your working life, even though you're underpaid? An odd thing about passion: With enough passion, money seems less important because passion gives you an uncanny ability to do more with less, and this includes airplane ownership. While owning an airplane of any kind can be brutally expensive, it's sometimes entertaining to see the clever methods whereby an airplane and hangar somehow become part of a working pilot's life. Whether it be forming small clubs, soliciting partners, building their own bird, rebuilding a worthless wreck, whatever, the passion that dragged them into aviation in the first place sustains them and shows them a way to ownership.

Another well-known fact about having a passion for what you're doing is that it modifies your view of time on the job: Since you love it, you're willing to invest more time in it, and that's often what drives people to the top of their field, whether it's flying or widget manufacturing. The stories about passion for a career making up for lack of experience and education and resulting in outlandish success are rampant.

Then there's the other side of the argument: You take a non-aviation job that pays much more than you'll ever make in aviation to give you money to fly. If that's your goal, then there are a million ways to go: being a doctor or lawyer come to mind. Or a shipping magnate. A sheikh. Or maybe a movie star. Given a choice between all the foregoing and being a plumber, or something similar, grab your pipe wrench and go for it. At least that way you'll have the time to spend the money you're making. Plus, you'll always have work even though the passion may not be there.

Truth is, if you become a success in any other field, you may spend your work days doing something you aren't crazy about. However, you'll be able to imbibe in aviation when, and how, you want because you'll have the money to do so. But, you won't be spending your days doing what you really want. It's a tough decision and, yes, reality is often unfair.

The best of all worlds, obviously, is to find (or invent) a career of any kind that you truly love that also kicks out enough cash and free time to let you feed your aviation habit when, and how, you want to. And, yes, those do exist. But, you often have to create them yourself.

The following was supposedly found on a hangar wall in Orcas Island, Wash., (I'm suspecting a Bach or Gann source, as they are/were locals). It describes the perfect life we've been talking about. Or at least the perfect way to look at life. And it does a beautiful job of describing how some of us live.

"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure. His mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he's doing and leaves others to determine if he's working or playing. To himself, he always seems to be doing both."

'Enuff said?


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