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Leaving the Air Force for Something Other than the Airlines


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13 hours ago, FLEA said:

Ok so I thought I was set on the Airlines but something just came up and I'm just doing my due diligence to weigh it. I may have a pathway to an M7 MBA program (Booth). However, I would be finishing it at 38 years old. I'm not really sure it would be the "oompf" i'm looking for to take my career to the next level. Anyone not doing airlines care to weigh in? Would this be a huge opportunity for me? I've heard it both ways. 1.) By the time your in your late 30's you are much older than typical MBA candidates and employers expect you have already held the entry level positions an M7 MBA would grant you access to. 2.) For a transitioning vet an M7 MBA says you possess both the skills and the talent to function well in a high end corporate environment. 

From my experience in the .civ world (both in large multi-national sportswear companies and a technology manufacturer), age doesn’t matter with regard to the “MBA entry level”. 

At least in my side of the world, everyone has a different career path and isn’t completely pigeonholed. 

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Up front: Not personal experience, but from guys I know who took a similar path and my perceptions.

Ski’s comments describe what I see from these guys. They have excelled rapidly in pay and perks (sure I’ll watch a free baseball game from the company’s skybox with unlimited booze!) But they work a shitload, tied to their work phone 24/7, at the boss’s beckon call 24/7, and travel constantly for work.  So are those “cons” of the job worth the pros? No right answer, but something worth some serious thought. I personally cannot imagine living their work lives and having a family who’s anything beyond a status symbol/trophy wife. But on the other hand, if you’re a single-for-life kind of a guy who wants to try to emulate wolf of wall street, then have at it!

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57 minutes ago, brabus said:

But they work a shitload, tied to their work phone 24/7, at the boss’s beckon call 24/7, and travel constantly for work.

I’m coming from a little different angle, but experienced this, as well, and it’s certainly something to consider. When getting my MS I interned for a real estate investment company and briefly considered juggling both that and the FD, or maybe even jumping ship and vesting out, because the money was solid. The above quoted was one of the biggest issues that kept me from doing it.

We’ve kinda been…institutionalized…with the life and culture of the AF (more FD for me, obviously, but it is similar mentalities). After spending 10+ years in, getting used to how things work, getting used to the schedule/work-life balance/etc., and getting some rank/seniority, going back to a “real job” where you’re locked into 40+ hour, set schedule work with a boss that may likely be younger than you from a drastically different background can be a tough shift. They likely won’t care that you were in a negative 4 G inverted dive, were dropping bombs while they were dropping Social Studies, or have a chest full of medals; they need you here 60 hours for no extra pay to get those TPS reports done. That’s how they climbed the ladder and you’ll be expected to do the same. 

That can be hard for folks that are used to ruling the roost, having more of their way, and having people laugh at their stories and jokes.

Not saying anyone couldn’t be capable of adapting, or interested enough in the work that it was exciting/fun/worthwhile at all, though. If it’s something you’re passionate about, it can be great. 

Just giving my .02 and experience (from a slightly different perspective/background) to add to the logs. Personally, I just realized coloring and hammer jokes were more my speed. YMMV. 

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