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Old 01-01-2010, 11:13 AM   #4  
Gets Weekends Off
HIREME's Avatar
Joined APC: Jul 2005
Position: CA
Posts: 512

Originally Posted by PerfInit View Post
I voluntarily left a 6-figure, stagnant major airline job in 2006 for the "dark side". Here is my tidbits of wisdom to pass on:

If you desire good QOL and Benefits, it is a good gig. Holidays and Weekends OFF guaranteed!

If you still love to fly and will miss it, it is NOT a good gig. I fly 4 hours each quarter on average, just enough to be "current" but nowhere near proficient.

The job is very political. If you do not like confrontation, it is NOT a good gig:

Imagine yourself conducting inspections at a 135 or 121 air carrier, informing the D.O. that they are not in compliance with the regulations. Then imagine you having to defend yourself to local office management after the air carrier files a congressional complaint on you for doing your job. Your job is always on the line (much like being an airline pilot).

The "dark side" is best suited for someone in their late 50's that is totally burned out with flying the line, and for pilot/attorney personalities that love the challenge of confrontation/argument. You essentially will be a "salesman" of aviation safety.

Strong computer skills are essential. You will be spending a majority of your time documenting what you are doing in various software databases. I never imagined how much typing was involved... Typically 70% of your time is spent "in the office" with only 30% "in the field".

If you have a particular office you desire to work in, take the time to query the "worker bees" and find out the "mood" of the office. Each office is different and depends on the management style of the supervisors and office manager.

The dark side has many different opportunities, especially if you are willing to move. After three years, I am still looking for my niche... I hope to find it soon!

Good luck to you, just remember that the grass MAY NOT always be greener somewhere else!
Thanks for the honest reply. You have given me good information and a lot to think about. I mostly want to be home with the kids and wife and until recently was able to do that (hours cut, now on reserve...bad reserve). Not sure I want to fight the system to be home most days for the rest of my career. Sounds like the job would be worse but the benefits of doing it would be better.
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