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How to ask for career advancements?


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I recently worked for a large heli company. I had heard from a pilot in a similar position that he was told he may be given a astar endorsement on being employed. Iv flown in the bush all my career where he was in the city. I also had my own mountain course which he did not. After a full season and being laid off where he was kept on over the winter I wanted to ask for something to advance as a pilot. On rehire I was again kept in a gray area of information about my careers future with the company. 

I'm confused as to the reasons this could be, pay difference, subservience, favoritism, prejudice? Do owners make choices on who they want to see get ahead or is it more the operations manager and chief pilot calling the shots? 

I'm not entirely sure how the business works but it seems like equal opportunity and asking for something can be detrimental as my contract was terminate. I would have liked to instead have had a real chat with clarity and explanation of how or why I was being held back.

I can assume a bunch of reasons companies would do this to someone. Is it that some pilots future goals and aspirstions dont matter? Or should that never be discussed? Or is this all due to the all mighty $ watching company spending? Getting pilots for cheap and keeping their wages low with training? Or are some pilots liked more over others due to being subservient? 

 

What helps a pilot get ahead in a career over others?

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seeing your own flaws may be it too... it is extremely difficult to measure one's own "quality" as measured up to other. Now this may have nothing to do with anything, and as Freck said, could be just heinie-kissing skills being better. Also, if you have a few hours, probably look at some other companies/ there are LOTS out there desperate for drivers.

Also, some younger drivers are very skilled at padding their logbooks. Check out the thread on flight time and air time. apparently some people are logging "billed time"...

This isn't just anecdotal either. 

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After 33+ years in this business, I have learned a thing or two (forgotten way more)... There is no loyalty in this game. I don't care what anyone says. If they don't need you, you are gone. You can be best friends with those in charge (and I am on many fronts). But I've had that best friend say, "sorry Amigo, it's slow...you gotta go!" Of course the job is there again when things pick up. What I am saying, you look after yourself. For example, years ago I was flogging away with jet and long rangers. Told the company I wanted to move up to mediums. They said I need more time etc etc... but a couple of my friends got the medium ratings. I called another company and asked if they were hiring and if they would give me the endorsement. They said yes and yes, just asked me to give my word I would stay minimum 2 years. Done and done. I have been flying mediums ever since. Even for that first company that would not give me the rating. All that said, most companies are hurting for pilots. Saw a few machines parked for a week last summer because they had no pilot to fly it. I raised my rates a lot this year and was given the contract I wanted. DON'T EVER SELL YOURSELF SHORT!!

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I've seen it happen way to many times, new pilots have come to a company that your employed with and get the endorsement before you do because they have the "total time" that is required for contracts, even though their experiences are not what yours are, or I know pilots who have padded their log books to the point of couch time while waiting in the hanger is included. .  

Like 412Driver said there is no loyalty in this game I have also had companies offer me the endorsement and then continue to delay it for scheduling issues for the machine or training pilot and now its fall and if you sign on next year we will do it in the spring . . I have also been at companies with the type rating already and they would not even give me my recurrent for whatever reason, the logic of what goes on in the office is way different then what is going on at the flight line, so just be careful where you go or what you do the grass is not always greener on the other side but look out for yourself and do what you think is best for your career and where you want to go with it . . 

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On 3/31/2023 at 8:35 PM, Jetfuel said:

I recently worked for a large heli company. I had heard from a pilot in a similar position that he was told he may be given a astar endorsement on being employed. Iv flown in the bush all my career where he was in the city. I also had my own mountain course which he did not. After a full season and being laid off where he was kept on over the winter I wanted to ask for something to advance as a pilot. On rehire I was again kept in a gray area of information about my careers future with the company. 

I'm confused as to the reasons this could be, pay difference, subservience, favoritism, prejudice? Do owners make choices on who they want to see get ahead or is it more the operations manager and chief pilot calling the shots? 

I'm not entirely sure how the business works but it seems like equal opportunity and asking for something can be detrimental as my contract was terminate. I would have liked to instead have had a real chat with clarity and explanation of how or why I was being held back.

I can assume a bunch of reasons companies would do this to someone. Is it that some pilots future goals and aspirstions dont matter? Or should that never be discussed? Or is this all due to the all mighty $ watching company spending? Getting pilots for cheap and keeping their wages low with training? Or are some pilots liked more over others due to being subservient? 

 

What helps a pilot get ahead in a career over others?

Unfortunately that’s the name of the game.  Without knowing the big picture this “industry” in Canada shows zero loyalty and all the nepotism / favouritism. If you’re not moving forward ask for what you want and offer them what you’re willing (within reason without personally paying) and capable of giving them in return.  
Bottom line, if you think you’re being held back or jerked around, you probably are.  Unfortunately if you can find the advancements elsewhere it usually takes that to accomplish what you’re aiming for.  I’ve done it and so have many others, never pay for your own ratings / endorsements unless you own the company.  
NEVER sign training bonds unless you’re willing to have that leveraged against you for the duration of the bond and have an employment lawyer review it with you.  
Try not to burn any bridges but that’s sometimes unavoidable depending on the employment culture.  Best of luck, hope this helps!

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2 hours ago, just looking said:

You are correct there is no loyalty in this industry on both sides. There are a lot of endorsement chasers out there. I have witnessed people leave 3 companies in one year after they get the endorsement. He gave everyone his word he would stay 2 seasons. 

If a companies word aint worth a hill of #### then why should the employees? Chivalry has been dead for a long time and I don't think it ever existed in this industry.

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