Hypothetical question?


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Hypothetical question

You are a 28 year old CFII with 500 hours today, and you are offered a 'fast track' to an upper level management position in a non-aviation, 50 employee family business. This job is 9-5, 5 days a week. You will make 6 figures, have 4 weeks vacation your second year, and be at home every night with your beautiful wife. The hours would also allow you to spend normal amounts of time with potential children.

There is a potential for ownership and a chance to make closer to 7 figures down the road, allowing you to own and fly just about any general aviation aircraft. The job is in your wife's hometown which happens to be beautiful and near many recreation opportunities.

Do you take the job and fly for yourself on your own time, or do you continue paying your dues and doing whatever it takes to get on with a regional, then major airline?

I'm looking to hear from everyone, but I'm curious if anyone who has flown their whole life has regrets (wished they hadn't had to move as much, more time with kids, more security, more money, no fear of lost medical, stuck at regional pay,etc.) and would take this opportunity knowing what they and I know now.

Any help is appreciated,
Um, potential for 7 figures? Damn, go for that route. You'll fly anything and anytime you want. Forget the airlines, on that salary you can fly your own (small) jet. Even buy an Eclipse or Cessna Mustang.

Plus zero stress from the employment front compared to flying... and your family (perhaps the best reason of all) will appreciate it much more if you stay around.

I think people will regret more having missed family time than they will regret not having "flown for a living."

Working for a living is overrated. Get retired as quick as you can! And enjoy your wife and kids : )
Dear John

You'd be nuts to pursue an aviation career in this scenario. Especially, considering you keep mentioning the wife/family thing and most flying jobs keep you away from home a little less than half the time. If you could make that kind of money doing something you half way enjoy that is stable, then it's a better option, in my book. You could own your own plane and have a great time. Airline flying's glamor wears off pretty quick and it becomes a job. A great job...a job I'd personally rather do than any other job...but still just a job. I'm darn happy to be able to make six figures and be away 10 or so days a month, but it's still a job and I don't get super excited to go to work anymore.
Show me the money!

Take the stable job with six figures.

If you want, fly on your time off and continue to build your logbook. You can be ready for a regional job when things look better if you decide that you want to go that route later.

For now, there is a lot to be said for getting out of debt and being able to eat on a routine basis.

With a six figure income, you should definitely have the $$ to fly privately, maybe even get your own airplane and fly on business trips. If you can't adapt to an office (or whatever), the pilot market can't be any worse in a couple of years than it is now.
Go for the money. You've got all your ratings, you can always instruct part-time someplace or something for the fun of it if you wanted to. Instructing is fun, but it would be even better in a case like that, when you can do it purely for the fun of it, and don't have to try to make a living from it. My $.02.
If it weren't for the wife and kids, I'd say skip the money, because I've been down that road. No amount of money or vacation time is going to make my life more bearable in a job where I'd rather do something else. Wife and kids throws a wrench in there, though.
Damn dude, go for the non-aviation job and like everybody else said...just fly for fun in the plane you can buy with your big ass 7 figure income. I don't know how many pilots I've talked to that all say they have more fun and would rather fly around in their own private plane then flying the heavy metal that they get paid to fly. Personally, I would give my left nut for an opportunity like you have(and I know my wife and future kids would appreciate it too). So hey, if you don't want the job just pm me and I'll send you my resume
If you're asking us for an opinion with these facts..... Maybe you'd best stay on the ground. BUTTTTT, if you'd rather pay your dues, please pass me the the 6-7 figure job.
I too can relate to your situation. It is a tough decision. I also have recently had a business opportunity handed to me that will produce more money than I will ever make with the majors. I am currently an MEI with 600 hours. I have great training behind me and have no doubts that if I stay with aviation I will fly for the majors someday. I am married and have a little girl. My wife has supported me from day one on my decision to pursue a career in aviation. I think about this decision every day. After talking with some of my friends who currently fly for the majors I have made up my mind on how to approach this situation. I am going to jump on the business opportunity but continue to fly and build my multi and instrument time. My friend Marc who flies for UPS suggested buying a twin and to fly as much as I can in my free time. This way I will always have the hours and proficiency to continue with aviation in the future when things are better. I love aviation and have dreamed of flying for the majors since I was a little guy. Sometimes you simply have to do whats right for today. The airline industry is not looking all that promising for the next couple of years so I personally would jump on the money and continue to stay proficient for future use. Best of luck with your decision. ILS
Being more of a family person myself, I would say take the management job. There's nothing wrong with working a non-aviation job and flying part time. This way you get the best of both worlds: being with your family for all the important moments and being able to fly on your time. If you have the potential to make over 6 figures you almost have to take the job, do if for your family. If you are making 7 figures you can retire early and fly your own jet anywhere you want to. Doesn't sound too bad to me.
I think it all depends on if you will be happy with the management job, or sit behind the desk and wish you were flying. The 6 figure salary sounds pretty certain, however how certain are you that it will increase to the magic million in the future. I know from oraginizing financing for companies that business owners sing the praises of their companies and how they are going to be market leaders, fast growing in industry, etc. I think you have to ask yourself if this gig works out for only 3-4 years, would you regret making your decision.