Ellen Ferrari's inspiring flight path holds some interesting lessons for financial advisors.
Being a pilot is hard, but my friend Ellen Ferrari loves to fly. Ellen started flying as a personal hobby at age 26, and within a decade she found herself flying corporate jets all over the world. Flying had turned from a hobby to a passion and then to a career.
In January 2006, she was hired to become a pilot at FedEx Express, one of the largest airlines in the world. Beginning her career as a flight engineer on the Boeing 727, she now holds the position of first officer and has been flying Boeing 727s for the last six years. Ellen is a mom, a wife, and a full-time pilot.
I guess we all have some idea of what a pilot might look like, but not Ellen--she is petite, with long blond hair and high cheek bones. She loves kayaking, water skiing, adventures, and dogs. She looks like a model.
From a work/life balance perspective, one of Ellen's favorite parts of flying for FedEx is the flexibility she has with her job. She has the ability to make her career suit her life. And she recognizes what a rare and wonderful gift this is. In 2006, she was a single parent, and over the next few years many events transpired in her personal life: her daughter was beginning college, she would become married to a wonderful man blending their families, and her mother would develop cancer.
Working with FedEx she was able to choose:
--How much money she needed to earn in any given year based on flight schedules she bid on and the plane she chose to fly.
--How she needed to balance her time between making money and being with family.
--And even how much time she needed at home vs. her love of travel and adventure.