This article is the sixth in a continuing series.
A Career Change: Learning the Aircraft Brokerage Business
As I sit at my desk, every day, in a new city at a new job, I realize I really did change careers! It is a complete 180 from Hollywood, but I have hardly looked in my rearview mirror since making the decision. The hardest part of the whole move was leaving friends and my wife’s family, but the decision to learn an entirely new industry feels like the absolute right one. They say the average person these days could go through 4 or 5 career changes in their lifetime. I hope I only have two. The idea of working with family can probably freak some people out, but the family business is at the heart of the American dream. It is a special thing to be able to work with your family during the day, with all of the challenges that can arise and then leave work behind to spend time as a family at night. Although if you ask my Dad he would quote an ad we had once that said, “Businesses have hours of operation, families do not”. So to be truthful we tend to often drift back into airplane talk even at dinner. I am amazed at my family’s ability do that day in and day out. It is a feeling and reality that I had not understood as much before joining them at J. Mesinger.
So enough about working with family, the real question on everybody’s mind is how and what am I doing to learn this industry. For one, I am reading and studying all of our great industry publications. There are many that we receive at the office that I can take home and read at night or the weekends. They offer airplane comparisons, articles about technological upgrades and innovations, cost analysis and articles written by leaders of the industry about the business of corporate and private aviation. I am also doing market research, calling all of the brokers representing all of the planes in a specific market. This research allows me to compare different aircraft on the market and understand real value differences between them so we can help our clients value their aircraft or know which plane to go after and what to pay if they are buying. It also gives me an opportunity to get to know the other brokers in the industry and introduce myself to them.
I am also helping to work on big cost analysis projects that help our acquisition clients understand all of the expenses that will be incurred in a five year projection. These are very detailed comparisons. This work is time consuming, but also completely rewarding as it results in an amazing product providing clients with information they can wrap their arms around and use to enter the acquisition and ownership experience with eyes wide open.
I hope to soon write articles about the world of business aviation, and not just about my career change. My advice, however, to anyone thinking of such a change or entering a new field altogether would be, you cannot be afraid to be open and accepting to new opportunities as they present themselves to you in life. I am learning this business and doing new things every day. I am being trained by family that wants me to know everything they know, which is not always the case for people in the work environment. I am happy about my choice and looking forward to the continued growth and understanding of the airplane business. If you have any questions for me or would like me to write about a specific topic or aspect of my learning process, just respond to my blog and I will try my best to address your suggestion. Otherwise I will keep writing as the topics arise.