Friday, February 25, 2011


The thing about looking for a job is that you have to convince people of your value, right when your self esteem may be at its lowest. I agonize over self-assessment and skills evaluation. I never measure up to what I want for myself, and awareness of the fact that people are incompetent to assess themselves doesn't help at all. The worse I am the lower my ability to actually determine if I'm any good. It holds all the potential for a spiral of despair.

I have a friend who is looking for a job at the same time. We ended up in one of those romantic comedy type moments where it turned out we each thought the other had it all together and wished that we could be that way. She has more IFR command experience than I do. We both have atypical employment histories, in different ways. We're both female, which of itself is another characteristic separating us from the stereotypical candidate. Most employers these days should be able to picture a pilot who isn't a twenty-something white male aviation college grad in their uniform. It's just something else for us to stress about. We're trying to be job search buddies.

I applied to a really low-paying job, just because it was in an area, an aircraft and a type of operation where I'd like to work. I confessed my sin to my buddy and she admitted that she almost applied too. It made me feel better, and I told her authoritatively not to apply. Why do pilots do this to ourselves. We are worth more. I hope.


Dave Starr said...

Actually, I think the opposite side of self-evaluation is more common that the one you referenced.

We are often the worst evaluators of our own talents and abilities.

And if I needed backup proof for my assertion, I suggest your experience and and that of your buddy's on that low-pay job sort of prove my point.

Sarah said...

Exactly - selling your resume after you've been laid off is very hard. The "illusory superiority" you mention is the flip side to the more complete story that I think has been conversed about here before: the Dunning-Kruger effect in the same wikipedia article is the tendency for the incompetent to overestimate their abilities, and the competent to underestimate their own. It's clear Aviatrix belongs in the latter category.

Aviatrix said...

I need to be much much better, is all I know.

townmouse said...

I know there are cultural differences, but from my (UK) point of the best resumes and job applications are ones that stick to verifiable facts and not subjective assessments of the applicant's abilities. When I was sifting job applications, anything from a recent student claiming 'a vast knowledge' of anything went straight in the big round filing cabinet unless they could also prove that they'd been doing that thing since they'd been 15 (this was IT so not that implausible). If you can marshal evidence of everything you need to claim, then in my opinion your application will be much better than that of someone who just talks the talk. But then in the UK we've got strong cultural prejudices against own-trumpet blowing which I know don't apply so much in the US; not sure whether Canada's more American or British in that regard

Which is just a long winded way of saying I'm sure your obvious experience and abilities will shine through and to wish you the best of luck in your job hunt.

cockney-steve said...

Recently, on a UK TV channel there was a programme about relocation.

The gist of it, was a couple thinking of emigrating to a specific area of Australia. Of course, they interviewed several of whom was a successful Flying Instructor.

He stated emphatically, there's a real Pilot shortage (cue-clip of Flying-Doctor .(.King-air ?) ) despite the world-wide recession in Aviation and work-permits were not a problem in professions where there is a skills-shortage.

If your own country doesn't appreciate the talent on their own doorstep, go to somewhere that does!

maybe we're time-shifted again and you are already on the next adventure.

best wishes from cockney-steve (who was just "steve" for a long while...probably an overly zealous norty word filter. )

Just thought a couple of years somewhere warm and sunny might make an appealing career move :-)

Possibly you could get it over the Web...IIRC it's called "Relocation, Relocation" As a lot of broadcasters seem to be running a "replay" service on the Net.

PS word verification is "viatai" omen?

david said...

High-capital industries like aviation or manufacturing are tough.

If you're a roofer, cook, landscaper, painter, tech writer, accountant, structural engineer, PR specialist, urban planner, architect, lawyer, computer coder, etc., you can set up shop on your own instead of waiting for some Prince Charming employer to show up and slide a glass slipper onto your foot (and in the bargain, if you can survive the first 2-4 years, you'll probably earn more).

On the other hand, it's not so easy to go out on your own if you need to invest at least a few million $$ capital in airplanes or manufacturing equipment and regulatory compliance, etc. etc. just to get started -- that's one of the curses of falling in love with aviation. I can't think of a way around it; can anyone else?

coreydotcom said...

@ david:

be a pilot with a trade? (i.e. start by going to school/college or whatever) Get something that will easily get you a job when layed off from aviation (i.e. accountant, plumber, all those jobs you mentionned). Preferrably one you don't mind. THEN become a pilot?

But what do I know, I'm only an accountant :)

nec Timide said...

I need to be much much better, is all I know.

That fact that you can say that publicly probably means you don't have to be much better. We all could (and should strive to) be better.

Best of luck to you and your job search partner!

etully said...

I don't think they, or anyone, would want to talk to you unless they felt you were completely qualified to do the job. Wow them with your experiences that will proove to them you are safe, dedicated, trainable, responsible, and etc,etc. I wouldn't follow you if I didn't think you were the real deal, so go get that job!

majroj said...

If your strengths beyond basic pilot-ability lie in the arena of getting the job done safely when the unexpected emerges, and other such performance issus that come with intelligence and experience versus certificates, lean heavily upon recommendations from your former employers and co-workers. Anyone can claim to have certificates and skills, but real-live phone contact or letters will showcase your real strengths.

And use your first initial when applying.

We're cheering for you. Keep at 'em.