Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:19
There are no universal rules for success in this biz, sorry. The one constant is that it takes years of work, plus a little luck.
I know civilian pilots who worked hard, saved their money and did it in 'bursts', ie private in one go, next commercial/ifr, then CFI/I, then... I know some who started their own business, then... Some who carried a bunch of debt for a while. Thy are all persistent, smart, hard workers who had the qualifications at the right time and right place.
I also know civilian pilots who didn't....
I know military trained pilots (Theme music playing "Army! Navy! Air Force! Marines!" Oh, and Coast Guard!) who were in the right place, at the right time, with the right qualifications, etc.
If I was I your shoes, I'd plan for 3-10 years slurping ramen, chasing hours, whether in the service or civvie world before you are widely, competitive for the 'good jobs'. the one advantage of going military is that Uncle Sam will do most of the thinking, feed and clothe you, and could send you to foreign lands where you'll meet exotic people and kill or be killed.
And, there are some who think that the 'junior' military pilot (low time in civvie ops) is not the best choice. But that same pilot gets hiring credits at other operators.
You can complete your post-flight school service obligation and still not have 'the hours'.
The constants are diligence, intelligence, and being in the right place at the right time, no matter how often you do it before it succeeds.
Oh, and professional networking. Not that it will 'get you in', but knowing who, what, when and where will help you be in the right place, etc. with the right qualifications.
TomPPL and AS350 pilot like this
Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...