Considering career change - complicated?!

Hi guys,

I have been reading various threads on this forum with much interest, as well as other material on the subject elsewhere on internet.

At the moment I currently work for an airline operations department, having joined as a commercial pilot 8 years ago, the recession hit not long after, the company downsized, fewer airplanes so I was moved into an office job with a view to starting flying again if and when things picked up. Suffice to say that never materialised (empty promises from various folks), my licenses have now lapsed to the point where it would take considerable investment (probably at least 10k) to get them up and running again. I don’t want to do that mostly on principle, having paid circa £60k in first place 10 years ago to fund training I don’t want to spend another penny on it, I also have no burning desire to return to flying. All that aside, whilst the office job was initially quite fun and interesting it has now reached a point where its genuinely making me miserable even on my days off. It is a small company and I have reached the ceiling in terms of promotion prospects, there are a few managerial positions above but these are occupied by people paid a fortune to do very little so are unlikely to leave anytime soon, if at all. My manager drives me nuts with regular ridiculous edicts, mainly of a bureaucratic nature that make little difference, whilst failing to address some very prominent and important working practices. I have made the decision to hand my notice in at the company just after I return from a holiday at the beginning of June. I have a 3 month notice period which would give me until September to find other work. It has brought a huge sense of relief having made the decision to leave however the thought of leaving only to go and sit in another office boring myself to death doesn’t fill myself with glee, having said that I would be prepared to do it if need be come September and I hadn’t found another job.

What has this got to do with driving a truck? A friend of a work colleague did the same thing a few years ago i.e. having a decent enough office job at a decent company but it slowly but surely wore him down to the point where he just had to get out. He now drives an artic for a supermarket, earns a decent enough salary to fund his lifestyle and says he is infinitely happier as a result. This is what seems appealing to me, I am not a people person as such, though I can pretend to be if need be in certain situations but I would much rather be left to get on with things on my own. I am financially savvy, only debt is mortgage, don’t have any expensive hobbies or lavish lifestyle so don’t need to earn anymore than about 30k. I have been ‘invited to apply’ for a job at Brakes food distribution if and when I complete class 2 license as am friendly with a chap there. This pays circa 30k, I am under no illusions it will be physically demanding loading and unloading cages of food but see that as a definite positive.

My question here would be would anyone care to persuade or dissuade me that by pursuing this change of career is a good or bad thing? My mindset would be that I could do it for a year or two and if for some reason it didn’t work I could to return to aviation which forms the majority of my employment background. It would be nice to hear if anyone else has been in a similar position i.e. decent office job but fed up and left to do this sort of thing?

Many thanks

Hi Texaspete,welcome along.
Regarding your question its seems like a classic “is the grass greener on the other side” scenario and the only way of finding out is to give it a bash.
Regarding wages,30k is certainly achievable doing class 1 work but the working hours/days may or may not suit you as most supermarket type set ups run literally 24/7 which can and will mean a multitude of start and finish times also including weekend working.
If all that doesn’t put you off then go for it,I have to warn you though truck driving is not as easy as flying planes,plenty of space up in the air to manoeuvre :smiley:

As for Brakes,I do a similar job now and although it is hard graft sometimes it’s enjoyable,some drivers like to do nothing more than hold a steering wheel straight for hours on end where as I’d rather be doing something physical aswell much like the sort of roles Brakes provide.
Hope this helps.

Hi and welcome to the forum. I have never had your experience as have always been in transport in one way or another. You seem to have no illusions about the money for truck driving and it is getting slowly better all the time. Non aviators like me always imagine that pilots earn mega money so you’re being quite brave IMO.

Best advice is to link up with a good trainer from the outset. This will give you consistent advice and a smooth flow through the laborious processes. Let it be known where you’re located and you’ll get recommendations.

Stay away from brokers; put a name on here and you’ll soon find out if it’a broker.
We offer a full residential service to folks all over the UK as well if this is of interest.

All the best with it and fire away with questions.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Hey Texas Pete. I’m sort of similar. I started driving 13 years ago to fund training, and left in 2004 to go into aviation as a Pilot. My LGV licence was the best (£800 at the time, not now!) I spent as I had access to instant income. Don’t know what I would’ve done without it having been made jobless 3 times in 7 years, standard aviation story as you know. I think LGV training is quite expensive these days but a good string to your bow.

Driving can be long and tiring hours to make a decent wage and you do get the feeling you’re regarded only above that of a rat by a lot you meet in the job (gate staff, public, service areas) but that doesn’t bother me personally as I couldn’t give a toot what people think. But after 30 years of it I can’t say if I’d still feel the same. I chose LGV driving as I actually like trucks and came from a road transport family so it is in the blood as they say.

There’s some reasonably good jobs out there it seems from reading on here that do pay well for decent hours. A case of finding them. If you’re in a poorly paid area for road haulage it can be challenging. Perhaps things are on the up pay wise. Those with their ear to the ground would know better than I.

Unless you think staying in the office role is helping you get a job in flying again, it maybe worth exploring driving. My HGV background has come up in numerous interviews over the years and provided good discussion. Some seem slightly flummoxed, most very interested but all seem to like someone that gets out there and uses his resources. Do your research in the main forum and get a feel for what it’s like to do the job. Maybe have a go on an assessment drive to see how you feel. It’s not a magic bullet that anyone can say you’ll absolutely love. Chances are though you’ll prefer it over office work. I did :smiley:

Hi Pete. Thanks for your reply. No pilots are certainly not on mega bucks, especially these days. The likes of Ryanair make newbie’s pay for their interview, uniform, sim check etc which is ludicrous but as long as there are people willing to do it they won’t change. Within my company who operates air ambulance aircraft in Scotland, the first officer is paid less than the guy who does aircraft push backs and refuel and the Captain not significantly more. It’s obviously a supply and demand thing, the market is over saturated with newly qualifieds that are prepared and willing to be used and abused. It’s not all doom and gloom though, the pay does increase and a captain for a reputable outfit like BA or easyjet can make upward of £100k. I’m sure this sounds very cynical but it does take a lot of kissing backsides and grabbing peoples brass rings to get there, I’d rather remain where I am so to speak with my integrity and dignity intact!

Thanks CKM too, sounds positive! I have thought about this long and hard over the last month or so, in order to ensure its not just a flash in the pan idea and in order to ensure it will be something I would likely enjoy. I currently work shifts in my office job on 4 on 4 off including nights so am used to being awake when others are asleep and much prefer it that way, rather the groundhog day effect of a 9 to 5.

Thanks Freight Dog. Sounds similar to me in terms of not giving too much of a hoot what others think. :stuck_out_tongue: I just want out of my current rut and out of the office environment in general and this sounds like it could be a real good option maybe not forever but for a good while. Is your signature reference to V1 as in the speed?!

I’m in Bracknell, can anyone recommend good trainers? I’ve noticed Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training (Hook and Chobham) and another in Camberley I think though can’t remember name of the company.

No worries. Yes it is. It’s an old saying. Lagos is hell on earth. I hate the place :imp:

Peter Smythe:
Hi and welcome to the forum. I have never had your experience as have always been in transport in one way or another. You seem to have no illusions about the money for truck driving and it is getting slowly better all the time. Non aviators like me always imagine that pilots earn mega money so you’re being quite brave IMO.

I can agree with Texas Pete on this one. It’s a ■■■■■■ industry ruined when the lunatics found the keys to the assylumn. If you come across any children who say they want to be pilots give them a little kick. It’s for their benefit :grimacing: