Run Up (part 2)

Continued from Run Up (part 1)


Hobbies and Jobs

I have been fortunate to have developed skills in technology at an early age. I liked tinkering with electronics and working on the computer. It was a fun hobby growing up.

My hobby did well for me in getting jobs. Some of the jobs even paid really well; as many jobs in technology do. But I noticed something, I tend to get burned out after a year or two of working in a technology job. It is even apparent in my job timeline; I typically went to a non tech job after working a tech job. In addition, I would typically do more personal/fun technology projects when not working in a technology position.

What I came to understand is that my hobby of working with technology had become a job; subconsciously I didn’t want that hobby to be my career. I was blessed to have so many positions offered to me and they typically paid well. There are great jobs in technology, but I am not excited about them. I like technology, but not enough to do it all day everyday. 


Work towards your Goals

I have taken jobs because they have been offered/handed to me because I had a little skill and the ability to quickly learn. This means I never really had to work for any of the jobs I had. At the same time, I never really spent much time to evaluate if I was pursuing a career path that I wanted to continue on.  As I was getting tired of a technology job and ready to move on, another was offered with higher pay that pulled me back.

I have decided that I want to: work towards a goal; work towards a career path that interests me; and work towards something that isn’t handed to me.

I want my hobby in technology to be a hobby that maybe occasionally pays for special projects/contracts on my terms. I have decided to pursue my goal of becoming a pilot and pursue a career in aviation.

Goal: Pursue a career in aviation as a Pilot

Run Up (part 1)

I have had a lot of jobs (see previous post). I liked all of them for different reasons and left many of them for nothing more than needing a change from the status quo of that season. Most of them I never saw myself in that position long term; I never had a clear career plan of where I wanted to be when I retire, in 10 years, or even 5 years. Ever since I got married and left Dallas PD, I have struggled with what I wanted to do job wise until I retire.

It took me 11 years of off and on school to get my bachelors degree. I was never satisfied with what I was studying in school as pointing me in the direction I wanted to take. I thought about Computer Science, but was bored in the classes. I tried Math, to pursue a math teaching career, but struggled with keeping up with the work. I tried Engineering, but didn’t like the program.

I finally finished a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science with a Business Administration/Computer Information System concentration.

I have always liked the idea of being an entrepreneur; The freedom to run and operate a business the way I want and the potential income that can come from having a successful business. I have had several small businesses through out my life, such as mowing yards, DJing school dances, web development, IT consulting, direct sales, and freelancer. Each of them would make a little income, but I would struggle growing them enough to support my family.

In the past several months of doing contract work, I have been looking for jobs that appealed to me. With months of searching and applying to technology related jobs, I was getting discouraged from not getting hired and from not finding anything that really excited me. This led to a lot of reflection, introspection, and thinking about my past and future career.  I began to notice a small thread throughout my life and reminded of a lost/suppressed love.


I love flying!

For my entire life, my dad has worked at a large aerospace company. My dad’s father worked and retired from the same aerospace company my dad is currently at. I remember at a young age having posters of military planes, building model planes, going to airshows, and occasionally getting to see my dad’s work. I loved airplanes.

In elementary school, I had the opportunity to go flying with a pilot as part of the Young Eagles program. I was fortunately to get to sit in the right seat of the Piper Cherokee and even allowed to fly the plane for a few mins. I loved flying.

Over the next several years, I drew pictures of airplanes, studied aerodynamics, and ready books and magazines on flying. Realizing I was too young to start flying lessons, I turned my attention to models and really wanted to build a Radio Controlled airplane. I read books and browsed catalogs of kits and parts. I loved airplanes.

I never got a radio controlled plane and never started flying lessons as soon as I was old enough. Both seemed out of reach due to the cost. I put the idea of flying away and focused more on what was in front of me.

When I started working at UPS, I learned that they hired from within for all positions, including their pilots. At bid time, I could bid to become an UPS pilot and they would pay for all of the training. I was excited! My dream as a kid to become a pilot could finally happen! Unfortunately I didn’t get it and was moved to an early morning shift, which ultimately led to my immature departure. While working early mornings, I had started the shipping associate job and was attending school. I over slept one morning and my supervisor at UPS called and asked if I was coming in. Half a sleep, I told him ‘no’ and he said to not worry about coming back.  I was young and dumb; and messed up my chances at UPS. I wanted to fly.

While working as a shipping associate, the company sold fiberglass, resins, glues, and etc. to several DFW aerospace companies. I was fascinated at how the companies used our products to make their aircraft. I would occasionally go with a delivery driver to one of the aerospace companies and wish I could just walk around admiring and watching aircraft being made. I began researching planes and flying lessons again, but didn’t have the income for either. I wanted to fly.

Several years later, while on field training at DPD, I had the opportunity to fly a shift in the Dallas PD helicopter. It was amazing! I was so excited and decided I wanted to pursue that as my career in DPD. I started researching helicopter flight schools. Being a newlywed and trying to establish ourselves, helicopter flight school was a little out of reach at that time.  Ultimately I left DPD. I loved flying.

A couple years later, while working as a Police Technology Specialist, Arlington PD purchased an unmanned helicopter. I was really excited and wanted to put my hands on it and be a part of the team that flew it. Arlington was working with the FAA on developing rules for flying the aircraft. One rule that was determined was the pilots of the aircraft needed to have a pilots license.  This was my chance! I decided, with the support of my wife, to pursue getting my license to be able to fly the unmanned aircraft. I got so far as to start flight school. I had a few hours of ground school and 2 hours of flight time. I wanted to do more, but the cost quickly caught up with me as I was attempting to finish my degree and purchasing a house. I loved flying!

Continued on Run Up (part 2)

Pre-flight Career

 

I have been very fortunate to have been able to grow up working with technology. Starting at a young age, I was building small websites and my own computers. This led to several computer related jobs that I didn’t have to work hard for, but paid well and kept me employed.

Here is a timeline of those jobs: Continue reading “Pre-flight Career”