With accelerating pilot migration processes around the world, it becomes a common rule for many pilots to change their work geography several times per year. Though it may seem to be fascinating, but moving and working abroad is a serious decision in one’s life and career. What should pilots consider before accepting a job abroad? How should they act while working for a foreign company? How to ensure the best possible conditions away from home?
‘The profession of a pilot implies the internationality by its definition. The training process and the requirements in the majority of countries are standardized thus meaning that a skilful pilot is fully prepared to operate an aircraft anywhere in the world. For instance, while working for a charter air company, it is quite possible that you will be asked to work for a while, for example, in the SAR, then – in Eastern Europe, and in Italy afterwards, ’ commented the CEO of AviationCV.com Skaiste Knyzaite.
The first and most important thing to consider is whether you are psychologically prepared to relocate. This not only includes the separation with the family issue, but also the cultural factor. For instance, living in the Middle East countries requires from a foreigner a certain level of discretion. If you are capable of accepting the traditions of other nations then you are already a half way to an international career. In other case, whether you’re a perfect pilot or not, you are sure to get fired should you demonstrate an improper behavior either at work or outside the cockpit.
Another factor is one’s professional skills and the relevant documents. One should always think of his career for a year ahead. Different employers and CAAs have different requirement for the documents’ validity. Since a pilot may never know when he may suddenly be approached with a tempting job proposal, it is always advisable to keep one’s license up-to-date, as well as to pass class 1 medical clearance in the country of one’s inhabitancy. Furthermore, a pilot should objectively evaluate his Aviation English knowledge. Working in an unfamiliar area, communicating with other foreigners (not English native speakers) may imply extra stress at the beginning, and you are ought to ensure that you will be able to express yourself and understand others with no limitations.
‘Medical issues are one of the most common within the pilot community. Relocating to Asia, Africa or any other location may frighten off some of the pilots due to different climate or sanitary conditions. However, one may always consult with both his recruitment agency and the local medical institution concerning possible health issues while working in a certain region. And as long as the pilot passes all the medical checks and is properly vaccinated – there is nothing to worry about,’ comments Skaiste Knyzaite.
Should a pilot make the decision to relocate and work abroad, he should always pay the attention to working and living conditions, provided by the employer. He should have minimum tolerance for any improper actions from the employer and/or unsatisfactory accommodation conditions. Though a pilot-foreigner usually is union-free employee, still he should always remember that he has someone to rely on. If a pilot was employed through a recruitment agency, then it is his first choice to address the agency should any issues appear in his employer-employee relations. Unfortunately, many pilots prefer to handle the issues on their own and in the majority of the cases the consequences are not favorable to the pilots.