COVID burnout, cold weather, family loss, relocation and more...

Shiftace

Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
With the cold weather this week (temps below 0F for 6 days straight), I think my wife and I, both, have reached our breaking point. After the long year that was 2020 - dealing with my father-in-law's failing health, downright bad work conditions and of course The 'Rona - we are ready for some big life changes. The main thing keeping us in the local area were my in-laws. Sadly, my FIL passed away on Christmas Eve. After a few years of being on dialysis and having numerous health issues, the end was rough.

I currently work for the state of MN, as a middle-manager in IT at a two year college. Working conditions have been rough the last year or so, especially since COVID hit and some of the departments are considered to be "toxic" by the state's organizational health outfit. Senior leadership has been leaving at a steady clip and changes are happening at a rate that is causing major distress to employees, which then trickles upwards to us in mid-management. My wife is a nurse in Fargo and is pursuing her education and would like to be in a bigger city.

Initially we wanted to relocate to WI to be closer to my niece who is almost two. My mother-in-law was going to sell the lake home and property and move with us so she could stay closer to her daughters and grandchild. After 12 (for me and a few more for the wife) years in MN, I think we are ready to move to some place sunny and warm that has good flying weather and a place where I can possibly pursue my side gig to be an instructor. I am pretty close to finishing my CFI; and would likely do that before we move. CFII and MEI in short order.

That being sad - I have absolutely no clue as to where to begin the relocation process. We are strongly considering places in FL (Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando in that order) and NW Arkansas in the Bentonville area. Open to other areas and if you got recommendations, send 'em.

Question for those that relocated - how did you manage the process? Finding work and making the move happen. Any tips or insights would be appreciated.
And for the career changers in their late 30's and early 40's... how did that look like? I would like to be a full time CFI or corporate pilot....

Hoping you guys and girls are staying warm, safe and healthy!
 

azmedic

Well-Known Member
With the cold weather this week (temps below 0F for 6 days straight), I think my wife and I, both, have reached our breaking point. After the long year that was 2020 - dealing with my father-in-law's failing health, downright bad work conditions and of course The 'Rona - we are ready for some big life changes. The main thing keeping us in the local area were my in-laws. Sadly, my FIL passed away on Christmas Eve. After a few years of being on dialysis and having numerous health issues, the end was rough.

I currently work for the state of MN, as a middle-manager in IT at a two year college. Working conditions have been rough the last year or so, especially since COVID hit and some of the departments are considered to be "toxic" by the state's organizational health outfit. Senior leadership has been leaving at a steady clip and changes are happening at a rate that is causing major distress to employees, which then trickles upwards to us in mid-management. My wife is a nurse in Fargo and is pursuing her education and would like to be in a bigger city.

Initially we wanted to relocate to WI to be closer to my niece who is almost two. My mother-in-law was going to sell the lake home and property and move with us so she could stay closer to her daughters and grandchild. After 12 (for me and a few more for the wife) years in MN, I think we are ready to move to some place sunny and warm that has good flying weather and a place where I can possibly pursue my side gig to be an instructor. I am pretty close to finishing my CFI; and would likely do that before we move. CFII and MEI in short order.

That being sad - I have absolutely no clue as to where to begin the relocation process. We are strongly considering places in FL (Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando in that order) and NW Arkansas in the Bentonville area. Open to other areas and if you got recommendations, send 'em.

Question for those that relocated - how did you manage the process? Finding work and making the move happen. Any tips or insights would be appreciated.
And for the career changers in their late 30's and early 40's... how did that look like? I would like to be a full time CFI or corporate pilot....

Hoping you guys and girls are staying warm, safe and healthy!
Are you open to Arizona? Fwiw,American always seems to be hiring for IT positions in PHX. You can fly year round there,but I’ve heard CFI gigs are hard to come by down there right now even with the large flight schools at DVT. On a couple unrelated notes,first,this weather sucks..woke up this morning to see it was -13 out. Everyone just keeps saying “but spring is only 40 days away!!”. Secondly,I have family that are pretty high up in the MN govt that are trying to get out and into the private sector because of how bad things have gotten


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Shiftace

Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
Are you open to Arizona? Fwiw,American always seems to be hiring for IT positions in PHX. You can fly year round there,but I’ve heard CFI gigs are hard to come by down there right now even with the large flight schools at DVT. On a couple unrelated notes,first,this weather sucks..woke up this morning to see it was -13 out. Everyone just keeps saying “but spring is only 40 days away!!”. Secondly,I have family that are pretty high up in the MN govt that are trying to get out and into the private sector because of how bad things have gotten


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I am OK with AZ, unsure the missus.....

That being said, whereabouts are you located? Certainly not AZ with them -13 temps. Was a balmy -22 this morning and with the windchill felt like -47 or so. Just hit our high of -12 a few moments ago.

MN government has good leadership at the top (I think). Its the mid-level and the employees that are the ones who driving the good folks out. MNsure got botched. MNLARS (remember that?) got botched. Unsure what next. The vice-chancellor for IT for the state college system left for TN late last year. We are ready to move with the new student record system for the college system at a staggering cost of $140 million over the next few years. That rollout is going to be a nightmare.
 

azmedic

Well-Known Member
I am OK with AZ, unsure the missus.....

That being said, whereabouts are you located? Certainly not AZ with them -13 temps. Was a balmy -22 this morning and with the windchill felt like -47 or so. Just hit our high of -12 a few moments ago.

MN government has good leadership at the top (I think). Its the mid-level and the employees that are the ones who driving the good folks out. MNsure got botched. MNLARS (remember that?) got botched. Unsure what next. The vice-chancellor for IT for the state college system left for TN late last year. We are ready to move with the new student record system for the college system at a staggering cost of $140 million over the next few years. That rollout is going to be a nightmare.
I can see MSP from my yard. I actually was back in Arizona this past week and it was in the high 70s. It was a shock to come back to this brutal cold. When I was furloughed from my regional last year I tried to sign up for MNSure and the website never worked so I gave up and haven’t had insurance since.


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BigZ

Well-Known Member
With the cold weather this week (temps below 0F for 6 days straight), I think my wife and I, both, have reached our breaking point. After the long year that was 2020 - dealing with my father-in-law's failing health, downright bad work conditions and of course The 'Rona - we are ready for some big life changes. The main thing keeping us in the local area were my in-laws. Sadly, my FIL passed away on Christmas Eve. After a few years of being on dialysis and having numerous health issues, the end was rough.

I currently work for the state of MN, as a middle-manager in IT at a two year college. Working conditions have been rough the last year or so, especially since COVID hit and some of the departments are considered to be "toxic" by the state's organizational health outfit. Senior leadership has been leaving at a steady clip and changes are happening at a rate that is causing major distress to employees, which then trickles upwards to us in mid-management. My wife is a nurse in Fargo and is pursuing her education and would like to be in a bigger city.

Initially we wanted to relocate to WI to be closer to my niece who is almost two. My mother-in-law was going to sell the lake home and property and move with us so she could stay closer to her daughters and grandchild. After 12 (for me and a few more for the wife) years in MN, I think we are ready to move to some place sunny and warm that has good flying weather and a place where I can possibly pursue my side gig to be an instructor. I am pretty close to finishing my CFI; and would likely do that before we move. CFII and MEI in short order.

That being sad - I have absolutely no clue as to where to begin the relocation process. We are strongly considering places in FL (Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando in that order) and NW Arkansas in the Bentonville area. Open to other areas and if you got recommendations, send 'em.

Question for those that relocated - how did you manage the process? Finding work and making the move happen. Any tips or insights would be appreciated.
And for the career changers in their late 30's and early 40's... how did that look like? I would like to be a full time CFI or corporate pilot....

Hoping you guys and girls are staying warm, safe and healthy!
The career change from stuff to pilot - mine was in mid 30s and, basically, gradual. Part time CFI, part time corporate, part time both at the same time, corporate full time, airline. That did make the transition longer, but it worked in my situation. If your situation allows you to do it more rapidly, I’d probably advise that. Except it’s ’Rona time and who knows how things turn out in aviation. Career CFI thing happens, some are good at it, but to me that’s missing out on many fun flying things. YMMV.
The move - if you can find a job that pays relocation- do that. That job will most likely not be in aviation, definitely not a pilot job. Most relocation packages come with some sort of a commitment (like 2 years), but so does the 401(k) vesting.
If you can’t/don’t want to do that, then just pack the stuff you absolutely want to keep into a truck and start driving. I did that once, it worked out. Rented a hangar before I rented an apartment, a roof is a roof, and the hangar came with a shower. Whatever the case might be, make sure that both of you are onboard with the plan.

Corporate vs airline - as a career changer you probably think that you are too old for the airline thing and you can’t win at it unless you start at 18 or so. I used to think that too. Corporate can be fun, I enjoyed it, but I also enjoy the airline thing. In a seniority based system, I won’t get to the same spot where the guys that started in their 20s will, but that’s alright, I’m still loving the hell out of what I do now and I still think coming here was the right thing to do, even if my paycheck is half of what it would have been at the charter place. Your advantage over the 20yo crowd is that you’ve seen the life outside of “here” and hence can enjoy the “now” much more than those, for whom it’s a “stepping stone” can.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
I immediately thought about Arizona. June-September can be a bit of a rough reverse winter, but it's physiologically less taxing than -40F. I have a hard time believing that there isn't CFI jobs available there, but that leads to my next major point. NETWORKING. Wherever you go, you have to get networked in. I make an assumption that someone in IT is probably pretty savvy on LinkedIn, but start grooming your LinkedIn for aviation. It can get you your first CFI job in a new town, and it can get you your first corporate opportunity as well as follow-ons.

As far as Central/South Florida, I'll let someone who has experience in the 135 scene down there talk about the nature of aviation there. Mos Eisley is the vibe I get.

You also have the CA metros and the NE corridor available to you. Lots of IT and aviation in both of those areas. I'm certain I've ruled myself out of a lot of good, high income flying jobs by deciding not to move there.

Relocation- Just manage it like a traditional project. Your main deliverables are your sold house, an acquired house, and your family is moved. You can break those three deliverables down into tasks and subtasks. Then you schedule and budget it. I've relocated 5 times since 2008, and I'm moving again in July, and that's how I'm handling it.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
“Reverse Winter” is a thing.

AZ is a great state but it’s true. The handful of months you spend inside in the Midwest are basically translated into a couple months indoors when it gets spicy.

And, in the words of Daniel Tosh, we have seasons in Arizona. We just skip the “crappy” ones. Except for summer, it can be a little pizza oven-ish.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Best time to look for a job is when you have a job. Pick out places you want to live, followed by what you want to do.

IT is a broad area. What's your specific skillset?
 

Shiftace

Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
Thanks all. I had to chuckle at the Mos Eisley and LinkedIn stuff. My wife is a nurse specialist and most of the jobs we looked at for her, paid some good relocation bonus - so that is a plus. Wife kinda has her mind set on FL, but we shall see.

In IT - I currently manage projects, helpdesk staff, training for faculty/staff and software contracts and vendor relationships. Past has been user application support.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Thanks all. I had to chuckle at the Mos Eisley and LinkedIn stuff. My wife is a nurse specialist and most of the jobs we looked at for her, paid some good relocation bonus - so that is a plus. Wife kinda has her mind set on FL, but we shall see.

In IT - I currently manage projects, helpdesk staff, training for faculty/staff and software contracts and vendor relationships. Past has been user application support.
Between Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando, I'd personally take Tampa any day of the week and twice on Sunday. St. Petersburg is very close to Tampa and quite nice, too. Cheaper, I believe, but don't quote me on that. Grew up in SRQ when it was a smaller, sleepier town - I like it there, but it's gotten more and more spendy unless you go rural.
 

Crockrocket94

Well-Known Member
Between Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando, I'd personally take Tampa any day of the week and twice on Sunday. St. Petersburg is very close to Tampa and quite nice, too. Cheaper, I believe, but don't quote me on that. Grew up in SRQ when it was a smaller, sleepier town - I like it there, but it's gotten more and more spendy unless you go rural.
But remember. If you move to the St Pete area.DPAPilot IS living there. So its definitely a lose situation. Id factor that into my planning. And avoid FLL he spends time there as well.
 

Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
Charlotte and Atlanta are both growing areas. Mild winters, not too hot in the summer, and plenty of opportunities in IT judging by the amount of friends I have who work in IT. Plenty of opportunity in other industries including medical that might be a fit for your spouse. A fair amount of aviation opportunities and big enough cities that you should be able to find a CFI opportunity too. Down the road, there are "higher level" aviation opportunities in corporate and the airlines.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Charlotte and Atlanta are both growing areas. Mild winters, not too hot in the summer, and plenty of opportunities in IT judging by the amount of friends I have who work in IT. Plenty of opportunity in other industries including medical that might be a fit for your spouse. A fair amount of aviation opportunities and big enough cities that you should be able to find a CFI opportunity too. Down the road, there are "higher level" aviation opportunities in corporate and the airlines.
Atlanta=not too hot!?!?!?
 

Soul Brotha'

Well-Known Member
Florida will forever be the punchline of “what were they thinking” jokes. That being said I have lived in Orlando for coming up on 18 years. Take away the vacation/attractions side of things, it’s a nice area. But like Tampa the summer months can be brutal. If you don’t like mid 90s, smothering humidity, and almost daily afternoon thunderstorms then look at other places.
 

tlove482

Well-Known Member
With the cold weather this week (temps below 0F for 6 days straight), I think my wife and I, both, have reached our breaking point. After the long year that was 2020 - dealing with my father-in-law's failing health, downright bad work conditions and of course The 'Rona - we are ready for some big life changes. The main thing keeping us in the local area were my in-laws. Sadly, my FIL passed away on Christmas Eve. After a few years of being on dialysis and having numerous health issues, the end was rough.

I currently work for the state of MN, as a middle-manager in IT at a two year college. Working conditions have been rough the last year or so, especially since COVID hit and some of the departments are considered to be "toxic" by the state's organizational health outfit. Senior leadership has been leaving at a steady clip and changes are happening at a rate that is causing major distress to employees, which then trickles upwards to us in mid-management. My wife is a nurse in Fargo and is pursuing her education and would like to be in a bigger city.

Initially we wanted to relocate to WI to be closer to my niece who is almost two. My mother-in-law was going to sell the lake home and property and move with us so she could stay closer to her daughters and grandchild. After 12 (for me and a few more for the wife) years in MN, I think we are ready to move to some place sunny and warm that has good flying weather and a place where I can possibly pursue my side gig to be an instructor. I am pretty close to finishing my CFI; and would likely do that before we move. CFII and MEI in short order.

That being sad - I have absolutely no clue as to where to begin the relocation process. We are strongly considering places in FL (Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando in that order) and NW Arkansas in the Bentonville area. Open to other areas and if you got recommendations, send 'em.

Question for those that relocated - how did you manage the process? Finding work and making the move happen. Any tips or insights would be appreciated.
And for the career changers in their late 30's and early 40's... how did that look like? I would like to be a full time CFI or corporate pilot....

Hoping you guys and girls are staying warm, safe and healthy!
Bentonville is a wonderful place to live. There aren't too many aviation opportunities though. You have to know someone to get on with Wal-Mart. I suppose if you get your foot in the door with IT, you could make it happen.

As for moving, I'd suggest looking for work in the places you want to move in both industries. Get a job there, then move.

I'm in the process of doing the opposite of you. I am leaving aviation for IT. It's not easy.
 

Shiftace

Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
Bentonville is a wonderful place to live. There aren't too many aviation opportunities though. You have to know someone to get on with Wal-Mart. I suppose if you get your foot in the door with IT, you could make it happen.

As for moving, I'd suggest looking for work in the places you want to move in both industries. Get a job there, then move.

I'm in the process of doing the opposite of you. I am leaving aviation for IT. It's not easy.
Yeah - that's kinda our plan. Wife has kinda honed in on FL and looks like that might be our move. Unless something else comes up. Where are you located? And why the switch to IT... PMs open, if you would like to chat there.
 
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