747, this situation is exactly what is happening with many regional pilots today.
You are asking a lot of questions that make it sound like you are seeking guarantees before you enter this industry. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there are no guarantees in aviation! If you want a career field with a guarantee, I suggest you become a tax collector or a mortician, because those are the only two places you'll have a guaranteed supply of customers. If you're not willing to take a few risks, you'll never be able to survive a career in aviation. For that matter, you'll lead a very sheltered and unexciting life.
I think most of us that are flying professionally can safely say that our careers have gone differently than we would have imagined when we started out. In some cases, the differences were for the better, and in some cases not. That's just the way it goes in aviation ... ultimately, this field is governed by lots of factors way outside the control of any one pilot.