What's better, bad corporate job or fractional?

cjdriver

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What's better, corporate job or fractional?

For those of you who have done both, which is better, a corporate job (one with no time off, on call 24/7), or a fractional?
 
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realityman

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Ahhhhhhh, finally a non-confrontational thread under fractionals. Okay, I'll have a go at answering this one for you.


Hands down, it's fractionals! Yes, I'm an NJA pilot. You'd think I'd be telling you to go corporate based on all the venomous posts on the other threads here. But it's not that way. Really.

First and foremost: SCHEDULE!!!! Even if you can't hold the 7/7 schedule, you can still be on the 17-day schedule. You will have your schedule 3 months ahead of time, and can even request specific days off if you have something important coming up, and they will build your schedule around your days off. (uh, please remember that this applies at NJA only. i have no idea how it works at the other fractionals) And your off time is just that, off time. No calls or pages asking you to come on in for an ASAP trip.

Next: JOB SECURITY. With very few exceptions, corporate flight departments are subject to the whims of management. The stock starts dropping and BAM! so long corporate plane. The boss comes in one day and doesn't like how you're dressed and BAM! you're looking for a job.

Treatment: This is variable depending on the company, but at the fractionals you know you're going to be staying in the best hotels available. Many corporations put their crews in four and five-star places, but many shuffle them off to Motel 6 for a night with Tom Bodette. I've flown for both types of corporations. At NJA we don't go past 14 hours of duty. I've flown for a couple companies that think nothing of having the flight crews put in 18 or 20 hour days. Some people (including the FAA) say it's the flight crew's responsibility to refuse a trip if you're tired, but that isn't always so easy when you know the boss might fire you and simply hire someone who will be more "open" to long days.

Money: For now, if this is the big one for you, go corporate.

There are many other areas where I feel fractional flying is better than corporate. But I don't have the time to type all day. Yes, presently we're in a very contentious labor dispute at NJA, but you know what? I still wouldn't want to go pure corporate. There are many truly good corporate flying jobs out there, and I hope some of those pilots chime in. You should views from all angles. But just the fact that many of those pilots are tied to a pager for the rest of their careers is enough to keep me away. Plus, as I mentioned before, while no jobs are 100% secure these days, I've seen a number of long-established flight departments evaporate at the change of the economy. I prefer more security. I get more sleep at night that way.

Good luck in whatever quest you're on!
 

semperfido

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just to be clear-- you are comparing a bottom of the barrel type of corp job to frac job?
 
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Ace-of-the-Base

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cjdriver said:
For those of you who have done both, which is better, a corporate job (one with no time off, on call 24/7), or a fractional?

I guess you would have to compare the bottom of the barrel fractional job to be fair. That aside, having friends in both, you will work much more in fractional than in corporate. In corporate you have the threat of flying, in fractional you work your a$$ off EVERY other week! If you need to build time, take a personal trip every other week (which, even though you have the time off, you can't afford) or drink, go fractional. Otherwise, go corporate.

Ace
 

rajflyboy

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CJdriver:

Its hard to say what is better. It really depends what Corporate job you get.

At Netjets you are guaranteed to do many overnights each month. Some corporate jobs have litte if any overnights.

You will have 12 to 14 overnights (sometimes more) at Netjets each month with the exception of your vacation. Every day your out is an overnight.

You might find a corporate job and work 20 or more days per month but your home just about every night. A trade off here but if you like to be home every day it might be better. With the fracs you will work about 17 days a month and be guaranteed the rest of the month off.

Then again some corporate jobs have a ton of overnights too.

So its basically comes down to what is important to you. Either corporate or fractional can work out for you.

I will say that you will certainly get tired of being gone half your life with a fractional (we basically work midnight to midnight on the days we are scheduled). Sometimes you get lucky on your last day and get home early but you can't count on it.

Not many people on the seniority list over 10 Years at Netjets (around 100 to 150 pilots out of over 2200)


Trade offs with picking either direction.
 
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Schrode

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Unfortunately, most of the "good" corporate postitions are taken - unless you have an inside line on a good one or get really lucky - you will get the one that few wanted. And as the "new" guy, you will get the crappy schedule to boot (if you even get a schedule). So, I'd say, fractionals - at least to start out. If you don't like it, take the type and get that good corporate job. In the fractionals, you will travel all over - take advantage of this in your job search for the "Great Corporate Career" if it exists . . . I keep hearing about it - just never seen it. Oh yeah, if you don't like the idea of a union, steer clear of NetJets - but all the others are Non-Union, so you do have a choice.
 

dsptchrnja

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rajflyboy said:
CJdriver:
Not many people on the seniority list over 10 Years at Netjets (around 100 to 150 pilots out of over 2200).

True. But 10 years ago there were less than 500 pilots (I don't know actual number, perhaps someone else will).
 

rajflyboy

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out of the 500 or so only about 100 have been at netjets more than 10 years.

Most bail out for one reason or another. You don't see people staying here like you would at American, Delta, United, UPS, Fedex
 

dsptchrnja

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rajflyboy said:
out of the 500 or so only about 100 have been at netjets more than 10 years.

Most bail out for one reason or another. You don't see people staying here like you would at American, Delta, United, UPS, Fedex

Ummm... i'm seeing people leave United like the plague - many of them are coming to NJA.

Anyway, some pilots aspire to fly something with more than 10 seats anyway... I'm actually more surprised that 150 pilots have actually been here more than 10 years!
 
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Hogprint

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dsptchrNJA:

I'm actually more surprised that 150 pilots have actually been here more than 10 years!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do tell???
 

FAcFriend

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rajflyboy said:
out of the 500 or so only about 100 have been at netjets more than 10 years.

Most bail out for one reason or another. You don't see people staying here like you would at American, Delta, United, UPS, Fedex

do you have the stats on turnover rates for the past ten years at these cos.?
I am not being argumentative, I am just wondering if these hr depts have released turnover rates counting and not counting firings and furloughs.
 

Fracster

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Ummm... i'm seeing people leave United like the plague - many of them are coming to NJA.

First of all, they are furloughed. Perhaps you've heard of it.

Second, they come to NJA because its been the ONLY game in town. As soon as Home Depot calls for a cashier position they leave.
 

rajflyboy

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No average pilot would ever leave a job at any of those 5 companies unless it has to do with a furlough, loss of medical or possibly a family issue. I couldn't see any other reason to leave.
 

gern_blanston

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cjdriver said:
For those of you who have done both, which is better, a corporate job (one with no time off, on call 24/7), or a fractional?
I don't think there IS a worse job than a really bad corporate job.
 

CLCAP

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gern_blanston said:
I don't think there IS a worse job than a really bad corporate job.

Having done both, and knowing quite a few on both side of the fence, I can honestly say that the average corporate job is better than the average fractional.

Negatives of corporate:

1. You are employed at the "whim" of your employer and if the company downsizes - you could lose your job. Then again - if you think that a fractional is 100% safe - you are kidding yourself!! If the NetJets pilots went on strike - there is a chance that the company would eventually close doors. FlexJet has furloughed (or laid off) before, and people have been terminated at fractionals for various reasons.

2. At most corporations you do not have a set schedule - but you generally end up working less days than your fractional brothers anyways.

Positives

1. Pay is generally much higher.

2. You usually work way less.

3. You know who you fly and learn their likes and dislikes which makes your job WAY easier.

4. At some corporations: Great hotels, rental cars, expense accounts time to actually see places (no 10 hr rest and then you go again), legal time to have a beer if you feel like it etc.

I am not saying that all corporate jobs are better than all fractional - but unless I had VERY high (top 10%) seniority at a fractional - I would be looking for a sweet corporate gig.
 

BornAgainPagan

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rajflyboy said:
No average pilot would ever leave a job at any of those 5 companies unless it has to do with a furlough, loss of medical or possibly a family issue. I couldn't see any other reason to leave.

There have been pilots that left UPS for FedEx.
 

rajflyboy

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Leave UPS for Fedex

That sounds like a move from one good place to another especially if you live in Memphis
 
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