People are conditioned from a young age to think about what they’re going to do with their lives. The carefree days of childhood are rather short lived when from the moment you’re able to speak, people are asking you what you want to be. This in itself isn’t a bad thing. People should be encouraged to aim for the stars and reach their dreams from infancy, but when it’s accompanied by a pressure to conform to societal standards, make a certain amount of money, or aim for job security, the innocence of the question gets lost.
While life should be about your dream, you also have to come to terms to reality. The proper age for this reality to be grasped is up for interpretation, but in any case, if you’re looking around at your options and you’re trying to settle on what you want to be as a teenager, young adult, or even as an adult well into their adult life, you’re reading this now because you want to know if the life of a pilot is right for you. It very well could be. It very well could not. Here’s how you can find out:
Do You Like Airports?
The biggest question is also the most obvious one. If you want to know if the life of a pilot is right for you, answer the question: Do you like airports? If it’s a point blank “no”, you don’t want to be a pilot. If it’s a “not really”, you might be able to manage and learn to like them. If your answer is “yes” or anything in between a hard “no” and “I live for them”, you’ve got a shot.
Airports are the life of a pilot. You live, breathe, work, and dream security, airport food, and aviation attire built for a life on the go. If you can’t see yourself spending the rest of your life in transit in a noisy, crowded, sometimes smelly airport, piloting is not for you. If you see it all as an adventure, it could be perfect.
Do You Have Solid Work Ethic?
A career as a pilot is anything but a breeze. The hours are long. The workload is heavy, and you’ll spend an uncharted amount of time studying just to meet the qualifications it takes to become a pilot. It’s a serious career, and while it’s dreamy and the idea of spending your life in the clouds and getting free travel and seeing the world might make it all worth it, if you don’t want to put in the work throughout the process, you won’t make it.
In the end, there are many more questions you’ll have to ask yourself to determine if you want to become a pilot. Talk to some people who are doing it now. What has their experience been like? Do your research, evaluate your motives and the what you’re willing to do to make the dream a reality, and if it all lines up, congratulations, you’ve found yourself a career. If not, keep looking. You’ve got this.