For many years, I've been inspired by a fellow French pilot now flying in the US for the World's largest airline: Delta.
He's kept on writing an online diary since 1998, and although we follow different paths, I share the same philosophy that contributes a great deal in leading to a successful pilot's carrier.
He once said, One of the best advice one could get, would be to not follow someone else’s advice.
If you do, you’re most likely going to end up disappointed and upset because someone not expert in the subject managed to persuade you he was right.
People don’t like to mind their own business. They feel like they have to share their opinion, even though you didn’t ask for it. They talk about a subject they do not master, but think they possess a great knowledge because they read newspapers and magazines.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so" (Mark Twain).
Those people tell wrong facts, and they tend to spread gloom and doom, this is why you should avoid them at all costs.
I’ve been told by countless people that the French education system was the best in the world.
Funny enough, none of those people experienced any foreign education system.
When I moved to England, I was told so many different stories about the country, the people, their culture and their way to teach; I was actually very surprised to realise most of those fairy tales were deeply wrong. Same happened when I went to the US.
And once again, none of those people ever experienced any of this themselves, however they are glued to their TV every single evening.
So, what's the deal about the French education system?
Some french people believe they possess a greater knowledge than people from other countries, especially America.
Having experienced both the American and the British way to teach, along with the french's, I believe the Americans are much more pragmatic when it comes to education, knowhow based (practical knowledge) rather than our fact-based knowledge.
And as Danny mentionned in his diary (link below), this is why no-one in America will end up flying a 737 with 200 flight hours, while this does happen in Europe.
The know-it-alls wander on the web forums and blogs, spread non-correct and depressing information, and use a confident tone while talking about the job they once dreamed of and failed somewhere along the way. Then, satisfied, they’ll switch off their computer and will walk off to their 9 to 5 job.
Without any doubt, listening to success stories is way more useful than taking any advice from those people.
I've decided, and this is where people started to disagree and shared that with me, to build up my experience in a way that is neither a job nor something you have to pay for, as well as keeping current my IFR and CRM skills as a safety pilot on the Kingair and possibly some other planes.
I have plans and opportunities, and once again, some people felt like they had to bring their own advice, arguing "this is not a good idea", because they have read otherwise in some random magazines.
Turn your back to them and walk ahead, this is probably the reasonable thing to do.
If I had followed any of the advice I received when I expressed my wishes to become a commercial pilot, I wouldn't be here today.
One reason to that: almost everyone whom I didn't ask any advice from, told me I should forget about my wishes and take up a normal carrier instead.
When I started my pilot training, those same people commented on how wrong I was to train in the UK and in the States instead of my own country. Today, I realise this is one of the best decisions I ever took.
Danny had below-average grades in French when he was in high school, and since then, he never stopped writing.
I was at the bottom of my class in English just 6 years ago, I never stopped working on it, and I am now close to be bilingual.
Fortune favors the bold, you have to act to make things happen.
Link (in french): http://piloteus.journalintime.com/2010/07/01-un-conseil-important
Thank you Danny.
Airborne life continues...