I hate to be a killjoy. So apologies in advance for starting off on a negative foot.
The bull run for engineering opportunities in aerospace has ended.
For most of the last two decades, good- to well-paying work opportunities in the western aerospace industry have not been hard to find. Indeed, the opportunities usually came hunting for you. and when one gig ended, there were five more lined up outside, waiting to snap you up.
Not any more.
Continue reading Cannibalize your present to optimize your future.
Just thought I’d do a quick follow-up to my last post, in which I was plugging the value of attending live events, like meetups.
Just last night, we had the first local event in the South West Aerospace Hackers meet-up. That’s one that I jointly kicked off, literally just a week ago, having publicized the meetup on Meetup.com and elsewhere, and on LinkedIn. Have already had about 20 people register, and 10 people show up, just a week.
There was a really really good buzz in the room. We met in a local watering hole. Good buzz! Lots of talk, lot of frustrations shared. People started to plot, and hatch ideas for how they can rejig, replan their own careers, but also other projects and initiatives. Lots of good stuff shared there. The next event is already scheduled for about a month away.
Continue reading See? Meetups work! Stuff happens!
I just saw something yesterday that made me realize:
Things are changing even faster than I thought.
Freelancer is a site that does just what it says on the tin: Connects people and businesses who need specific work done, with the people who can do that work, wherever in the world they are.
Nothing new. Guru, eLance and oDesk have been doing it for the last decade.
What came as a surprise to me was the kind or work being offered on Freelancer. The eLances and oDesks of the world have until now mainly been useful for copywriting, SEO, web dev, software coding, graphic design, etc. Never the “harder” technical stuff, and certainly not the engineering disciplines within aerospace. That has typically been packaged up and “thrown over the wall” to lower-cost firms, often in cheaper countries.
Not until now, that is.
Continue reading The game just changed for the aerospace engineer
Two different Flight Global articles posted in February alone argue that the scene is set ripe for a wave of aerospace mergers and acquisitions.
Apparently there was only (only!) US$9 billion in M&A activity in 2012.
The reason? The big players have been chomping at the bit to merge for a while. They’e been stymied so far by the politicians. However, those same politicians, mainly in the US, now desperately need to cut back their defence spending. Hence the shackles will probably be removed.
What does this mean for the lowly aerospace knowledge worker with aspirations to satisfy and bills to pay?
Continue reading Mergers on the starboard bow, Jim!
“Oh, the times, they are a-changing’ . . . . . . ”
It’s a necessary, if unfortunate, feature of the aerospace industry, that it is highly regulated. Of course. The flying public has this irrational desire to want to arrive at their destination in one piece. With their baggage. Therefore, the process of designing, making, and operating aircraft must be regulated tightly.
Which means, those working in it live in a very conservative little bubble. You tend not to have much clue of what life is like in other bubbles.
And you tend to attract people who are conservative and blinkered in outlook.
I’m still meeting people in aerospace who say, “Yeah, I’ve heard about this LinkedIn thing. What is it?”
In a fast-changing world, that approach to life is fine, as long as your nice little bubble stays intact.
Don’t count on it.
Continue reading Stay on the leading edge of the drag curve
We get overlooked and taken for granted, us aerospace techies. Most of the time, we don’t say much. We just plug along, design a few widgets (which happen to form part of an airborne inanimate object), write a few documents (o-kay, a lot of documents), attend a few boring meetings (o-kay, a lot of boring meetings), and send a lot (read: a lot) of emails.
Sometimes we shout in those meetings, and once or twice in a career we might even punch somebody. But mostly, we just let our noggins collide over the problem at hand, play Death by Powerpoint, and make the occasional decision. Towards the end, we pour ourselves another cup of 10W40 from the thermos and wonder if there are any doughnuts left. Then we drift back to the desk (Nope, none left), flip up the laptop, send a few more viruses by email, and around 4.30 when the office quiets down, start to get some work done.
Continue reading We have seen the enemy, and it is us
Um, welcome to Aerospace Nation. This would be the introductory post.
I’m starting this site on a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of whim. (Pun intended.) And as of yet, I don’t have a really clear idea where it’s going to go.
My motive stems from a comment left on my own personal blog by a young chap newly-graduated, and trying to land his first job in the field he’s gone into debt for.
It left me thinking, This sucks.
This guy should not be struggling like this.
Continue reading The spirit of Steve Jobs meets aerospace