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Timing your exit...2011 update

AlbieF15

F15 Ret/FDX/InterviewPrep
Joined
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An update repost of some thoughts...take them for what they are worth.

I've helped hundreds of military pilots make the transition to the exits over the last eight years, and thought I'd share my 2 cents on some suggestions. Watching quite a few military aviators make some (what I consider) mistakes I decided rather than venting to him I'd throw some shots out into cyberspace.

Rule one--start early! For you no-civilian rating/no civilian logbook types, here is a conservative guide. Yes...you can jump through your butt and try to do it all 90 days from your retirement/sep date, but even if you get a class date when you get out (not likely) you will at least be suffering a lot more stress than necessary.

Network--3 YEARS out. Keep a list of bros at the airlines. Send those Christmas cards...and emails. Visit. Ask about the lifestyle. Learn. Listen.

2 years-18 months out. Get the ATP. Now. Its less than 2 grand, and you KNOW you have to have it. Why are you still waiting? Turn your trip to the FBO or ALL ATPs into a family vacation if you must, but stop stalling. Apply to EVERYONE that is accepting apps. Don't get picky now...get picky when you have 2-3 offers. You may be from Dallas, but if Southwest Airlines isn’t hiring when you separate you'll feel stupid for not applying to Delta, Jetblue, or Fedex. Delta may be your first choice, but would you pass a year on the line at another to wait? What if your favorite company has a hiring freeze?

Need an online recommendation? Don’t put your friends in a square corner. If you are trying to get someone to help, send them your info. If you are trying to connect a friend so someone else, take the candidates info and pass it on to the potential sponsor and let the sponsor initiate contact. Most folks will gladly help you, but they'd prefer to initiate the process rather than being put "on the spot". I've never turned down a request for help, but the courtesy is always appreciated.

18months- 1 year out. Get the FE written. Don't want to work at FDX or UPS? Do it anyway...things may change. You can buy the book, study a week, and pay 50 bucks to take the test at a test center. It is cheap insurance.

1 year-6 months out...update your resume. Put a professional message on your home machine. Get a nice email (not...Iloveboobies@xxx.com, etc) but (Johnlovesflying@xxx.com) or (John.Smith@xxx.com). You’d be stunned at some of the email addresses I’ve seen on resumes. Don’t be “that guy…”

Save some leave. You may need it for a job fair, or to visit a company at the invitation of someone already on the property.

Lose the attachment to holidays, special occasions, etc. Don't skip a May interview for a vacation, or a June shot for an (optional) TDY. Go to the first interview offered (you should be ready by now). Ditto the first class offered. One guy at FDX skipped a class for his wedding. He spent his honeymoon, plus the next 20 month, waiting without a FDX job in the pool. Cost? 2 years of longevity, health insurance, and a myriad of other benefits. Airlines have a habit of cancelling/delaying classes, so deciding the "next" one would be a better fit might haunt you a long time. Your seniority number will be with you for the rest of your professional life.

What about that retirement you planned for June 10? Airline X offered you a June 2 class. You told Wing/Squadron you'd be there through the ORI, and your retirement ceremony invites are already out.... My take: 2 weeks after you leave the base, nobody will even be mentioning your name. The ORI is history, your party is old news, and nobody cares. However, for the next 17 years, you are 10-24 numbers junior to some guys because you didn't want to "inconvenience" a group of guys who really don't even care that much about what happens after you leave. That may mean the difference in getting your domicile, your upgrade, or the "cherry" line you have been trying to get since you got on the property. I know a captain who missed getting his old MD-11 captain seat back by ONE number after a displacement bid at our airline. How would you like to be haunted by an extra week at the squadron fifteen years later? How important is that holiday REALLY? You don’t want to have regrets the next 15, 20, or 25 years. It might also mean the difference in being furloughed if things turned south...

If asking for a letter of recommendation, I recommend writing a draft of a letter and then emailing or giving a copy of disc to person you want to write it. Now they can either personalize it or re-write it, but they aren't knee deep in having to write YOU a product on their busy schedule. Real compensation for a major airline pilot is pretty high per hour...think about what your bill would be if they were "billing" you for their time. Make their job easy.

Diet...1 year out. 6 week crash diets will only have you stressed, hungry, and irritatble when you show up. Get your suit fitted but leave a little "slack" for a 5 pound rebound.

Suits, shirts, shoes, ties....3-6 months out. Wear them a few times...get used to standing up in a suit (vice flightsuit) and make sure those new shoes don't squeak when you walk down the quiet hall.

Want interview prep? Great! Call early. Don't call 24 hours prior and say "I heard you can help out..." (yes, it happens more than you might think...) You should be ready to go 2-3 months out....done...ready...excited. Save the last minute flailing for your competition.

Last—some advice. If you are separating vice retiring, find a way to stay in the Guard or Reserve component. There will be plenty of days you remember why you got out in the first place, and after a few years at your airline you’ll be giving up some pay when you perform your duty. Do it anyway. I have yet to meet a pilot who regretted hanging on and making the sacrifice to stay involved in the total force. When the economy hiccups, or things get tight financially, having that other job can be a real family saver. Most of us who have done both jobs a while will recommend living at your Guard base, or your airline domicile, but try not to commute to both. There are exceptions to every rule, but the ability to drill at home or sit reserve in your hometown make the task of doing two jobs well possible. The balancing act gets harder if you must commute to both. I personally chose to stay in my hometown and commute to my airline, so my family wife could keep her career and our family could maintain our social network.

No matter what your situation—retiring or separating you need a place to live. Your life is about to have a lot of changes…a new job, new friends, and new challenges. However, you have time—don’t be in a huge rush. No matter how much outside reflection you’d had on your new career, until you try it out you still may not know where to make your new home. You need to know what to be the best fit for your family. Sometimes just starting your new job and giving it 6-12 months to see how it really feels is the best move you can make. I have known several pilots who immediately rushed into buying a home in a domicile city, only to retreat and sell out to move a couple years later. You’ve been on the military’s pace the last few years—enjoy the fact you can now slow down, reflect, and decide when and where YOU want to put down your new roots. It’s a big decision, and one you haven’t been allowed to make on your own before. Give yourself the luxury of a little time to make sure you make a decision that best fits your family.
 

tmac3333

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Great post Albie...as always. I highly recommend Emerald Coast by the way.
 

tmac3333

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ExAF...get a life. Why would I need to brown nose....look at my profile. His post is a thousand times better than the usual flight info drivel...and he should be thanked for actually posting something useful on here.
 

ExAF

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ExAF...get a life. Why would I need to brown nose....look at my profile. His post is a thousand times better than the usual flight info drivel...and he should be thanked for actually posting something useful on here.
Guess you flunked interweb 101 and didn't get the laughing face and the j/k (just kidding) at the end of the post. Lighten up Francis. Your profile didn't mention you were thin skinned!

PS...I have a life and a good one at that. I used Albie to get some sim prep for my successful FedEx interview. I too recommend him.
 

tmac3333

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Are you a 12 year old girl? Nice emoticon and "j/k". Did you learn that in the F-4 or is that something your granddaughter taught you? Here's a tip....grown men, especially in the military or former military, don't use smiley faces or type "j/k" or "lol". Nice job...you've taken a thread that was actually worth something and brought it down to the gutter, which is where most of the threads on flightinfo are on. Great work....I'm sure instructordude would be proud.
 

LearLove

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Any idea on how the airlines will treat guys with UAV time? I would think that this hiring round (compared to pre 911 and the small one of 07 to 08ish) that there will be a good amount of guys with a UAV tour getting out in the next 5 years.

What will the average age of the mil guys getting out be in the next 5 years? Compared to the hiring in the late 70's, mid/late 80's and late 90's I would guess it will not be the guy with just one tour (8 to 11 years) because of the lack of quality 121 jobs in the post 911 era. I'd say instead of guys being late 20's/early 30's we will see more guys in their late 30's/early 40's getting out because they elected to stay in past 10 years because again the 121 job situation post 911 and the opportunities Iraq and Afghanistan have offered.
 
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AlbieF15

F15 Ret/FDX/InterviewPrep
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Any idea on how the airlines will treat guys with UAV time?

What will the average age of the mil guys getting out be in the next 5 years? .

I have no idea on the first question, but I doubt it will be treated with much respect...probably like "other" time current is in the heavy world.

Second question--older. I expect your prediction to be accurate. However, I am STILL getting some calls from guys at the 10 year point. They are smart enough, however, to not consider bailing until they have a reserve job.
 

CatfishVT9

Anti-Democrat
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"Albie Wan" is wise. Listen up folks.

Although instead of "Network" it should read NETWORK!! That point can't be over-emphasized. If you really want to get on somewhere that wants internal recommendations, ask friends, family and neighbors if they know someone on the inside. When I first tried to get on with AirTran I knew no one who worked here. I kept asking friends and family for months if they knew someone. Sure enough, eventually I find out my uncle is good friends with a guy who is tight with the CEO. I had met him before and he forwarded my resume directly to the CEO. Interviewers will be impressed if you show above average initiative.

Also, once you get that resume done, have some generic copies with you at all times. You never know when you'll run into someone who can help out.
 

ExAF

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OK Francis

Are you a 12 year old girl? Nice emoticon and "j/k". Did you learn that in the F-4 or is that something your granddaughter taught you? Here's a tip....grown men, especially in the military or former military, don't use smiley faces or type "j/k" or "lol". Nice job...you've taken a thread that was actually worth something and brought it down to the gutter, which is where most of the threads on flightinfo are on. Great work....I'm sure instructordude would be proud.
No, but I'm sure I'm older and wiser than you. If you want to participate in a medium that cannot distinguish tone or intent, you might want to learn the language. Since I am definitely a grown man AND former military, AND use j/k, lol and emoticons, I guess you don't know Jack! If you want serious/beneficial info, you are on the wrong BB. This hasn't been THAT place for a number of years now. I know, because I was here when it was worth something other than entertainment. You might want to try "the other board" if you want serious, worthwhile info. I wouldn't know how instructordude would feel since he's been on my ignore list for a few years now. I do know that you obviously can't take a joke and any reference (even in jest) that you may be a "brown noser" obviously touched a nerve. My comment made no reference to the value of Albie's post (as I stated before he is a great asset) so I really don't see how it drags the thread into the gutter. Well, I guess its in the gutter now since you've turned it into a thread defending you. All I see is a thin skinned crybaby thumping his bruised ego chest. And now for the final straw......:laugh: :uzi: :crying:
 

tmac3333

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We sure are proud of you ExAF, keep racing towards the gutter, because YOU are part of the problem. Congrats!
 

BeeVee

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ExAF......just ignore tmac3333. We all know who puts good info on this board (and who doesn't).
Besides......didn't you see he's a ex-Vipor guy....what did you expect? : )
 

tmac3333

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Wow...really? Vipor? What's that? Your intelligence is really shining through BeeVee. Here's the thing ExAF, did your 1st post add any value to this forum? I was trying to encourage someone who actually posted useful information, which is a rare thing on any message board, especially flightinfo. I'm sure if I had said that in front of you verbally, you would have called me a brown noser to my face. If so, I would have punched you in the mouth...but it's OK on a message board? I expect more out of military officers, even on flightinfo. So, you are wiser than me? Doubtful. More childish and disrespectful, probably. I'm over it...I don't lose any sleep over what people write on a message board. I'm just disappointed that you as a former military officer are contributing to the problem, not helping it. Rant over.
 

ExAF

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Again...Lighten Up Francis

Wow...really? Vipor? What's that? Your intelligence is really shining through BeeVee. Here's the thing ExAF, did your 1st post add any value to this forum? I was trying to encourage someone who actually posted useful information, which is a rare thing on any message board, especially flightinfo. I'm sure if I had said that in front of you verbally, you would have called me a brown noser to my face. If so, I would have punched you in the mouth...but it's OK on a message board? I expect more out of military officers, even on flightinfo. So, you are wiser than me? Doubtful. More childish and disrespectful, probably. I'm over it...I don't lose any sleep over what people write on a message board. I'm just disappointed that you as a former military officer are contributing to the problem, not helping it. Rant over.
If it had been person, I would have given you the little hand cupped around the nose with a semi-circular motion (international signal for wiping something off of your nose signal) and said in a tone denoting that I was just kidding with you (even you would have gotten it because I'm sure you've heard/seen it before if you have been in the military for any stretch of time) and you would have known that it was a joke and just trying to add a little humor to the cesspool. You would have come back with a similarly toned comeback that would probably have accused me of a far more egregious act of brown-nosing and laughed at having one-upped me. I seriously doubt you would have "punched me in the face." That's just internet bad @ss talk. You probably haven't punched anyone in the face since grade school unless you managed your way into a bar fight while on a TDY. Since you don't speak the interweb language, and it wasn't in person, you just didn't get it. YOU are the one that yanked this thread into the gutter by getting your panties in a wad. Thicken up your skin and get over it already. It wasn't a personal attack, it was humor. Try it out sometime.

BeeVee,
Thanks for the support. We all know Albie's pearls of wisdom are exactly that...pearls. My guess is tmac is a one fighter-tour tour career AETC guy (FAIP, fighters, return to mother AETC for life). They were always wound wayyyyy too tight.
 

tmac3333

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Wow...and you are probably one of those old dudes I put through MQT in the F-16 that couldn't catch up with the technology and maybe got through 2FLUG. Do you struggle with the FMS @ FedEx? I'm embarrassed that you are a former AF officer. You need to watch this video, maybe you can learn something from Lance Armstrong. Don't make me get off this bike. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqSBZ8Xsjiw
 

Visceral

Can you pickup a trip?
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Just for clarification,

The price to take FAA tests is now $150. The FE written expires in 24 months.
 
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ExAF

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You win....I give up

Wow...and you are probably one of those old dudes I put through MQT in the F-16 that couldn't catch up with the technology and maybe got through 2FLUG. Do you struggle with the FMS @ FedEx? I'm embarrassed that you are a former AF officer. You need to watch this video, maybe you can learn something from Lance Armstrong. Don't make me get off this bike. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqSBZ8Xsjiw
Man...you just don't get it. You've run out of material and have come full circle back to the "I'm embarrassed" and emoticon thing. :rolleyes: Please don't get off of that bike, I don't want to even imagine what you look like in spandex. Keep on digging that hole. You must have been fun to fly with. I'm picturing an uptight FAIP that ironed his flight suits. Just to put your mind at ease, I never struggled with any training/upgrade program, mil or civ. It would probably be more likely that I gave you a check ride at some point. ;) I don't work at FedEx, just had a successful interview with them and 3 other major airlines (guess someone liked my act). Well....this has been entertaining in a F.I. sort of way, but I'm going to stop here since my forehead is starting to bruise from beating it against that wall. Feel free to continue on solo, I signed off your solo clearance. :laugh:
 

Caveman

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Let me make sure I understand this correctly. A guy with a cartoon character for an avatar is giving a guy crap for using an emoticon because said emoticon is not becoming of a USAF officer. Homer = officer-like. Smiley face = not officer-like. Got it.....

I'm guessing tmac3333 really was a brown noser in the Air Force and ExAf's lighthearted shot hit a little too close to home.
 

Bjammin

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It's been great sitn' back and watching you two Air Farce winnies self-destruct. Comic relief. J/K, JOKE!!!! :laugh: ;)

Albie, thanks for the info. I passed it on to a buddy of mine who is retiring soon and he has already used some of that advice.
 
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ExAF

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It's been great sitn' back and watching you two Air Farce winnies self-destruct. Comic relief. J/K, JOKE!!!! :laugh: ;)

Albie, thanks for the info. I passed it on to a buddy of mine who is retiring soon and he has already used some of that advice.
"Air Farce winnies"????? Must be a Naval Aviator Term. ;) :laugh: I thought it was pretty funny myself!
 
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