Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What to Do?

I need some advice and input from my blog readers. Or some encouragement. Or something.

Matt works at one of the aircraft companies here in town, Hawker Beechcraft. Some of you may have read this article. Basically it indicates that a very large number of the HBC jobs here in Wichita may be leaving Wichita over the next two years.

Matt works in "flight" on their biggest jet. When the planes are fully assembled and come off the production line, his department runs it thru pre-flight checks to get it ready for its first flight, and then does whatever needs to be done to it after the flight to make it perfect. He's an FAA licensed airplane mechanic (to keep it simple).

Speculation ranges from general outsourcing of the smaller jobs, to them sending everything except final assembly and flight test (matt's stuff) elsewhere, even as far as selling off entire product lines. Whatever happens....things are looking a little dicey in the career outlook... and looking like Matt probably won't retire from Hawker Beechcraft.

Here's the million dollar question(s). What would you do? Would you start looking for other jobs now, before there are 1000s more people also looking for jobs and trying to sell their house? Would you wait to see how the cookie crumbles because you think your position would probably be one of the last ones effected? Would you wait because maybe in the end you would get offered a chance to relocate with your airplane or at least get a severance package? In a sense, buying more time? And is buying more time good when you have a kid in school? Would it be easier to move as a first grader than say, a 3rd or 4th grader? What do you do? Do you ride it out to the end, then take unemployment while wifey goes and finds some job in town?

The market in Wichita is going to be (even more) saturated with airplane folks looking for jobs. Matt thinks that if/when he leaves HBC or whatever, that we'd have a tough time getting out of the "low man on the totem pole" spot if he were to just go to one of the other companies. Since 9/11 there has been layoff/rehire/layoff/rehire cycles like crazy. We've been okay at HBC thus far because he has 13 years in. It might take 20 years for him to build up 13 years of seniority again locally. So relocation is likely if all this speculation turns into reality.. perhaps to work for a company that owns a few of the jets, etc.

We don't really want to move. We love our house. We love our school. We love our friends. We love having Matt's parents right down the road. My girls would be devastated to leave grandma and grandpa. Would they relocate too? Can we find something that is not any further away from my family than we already are? Could we find somewhere with a decent cost of living and salary so I could continue to stay home with the girls? There are so many unanswered questions, and we just don't know what to do?

Actively look now? Just put out some feelers? Ride it out and hope for something good in the end?

What would you do? Have you been in this situation? What did you do? Please impart some advice or wisdom or encourgament. This is probably the biggest predicament / decision/ don't know what to do moment either of us have ever had, and definately ever had in our marriage!

Help. Pray. Buy an airplane. Whatever you can do to help!


Sarah B said...

I'm pretty sure you know what my answer would be... look now!! I'm firmly of the mentality to have lots of irons in the fire and be in the position to chose what's best for you rather than left with no options because you waited too long. (Jay says his mentality is more info is better! If you think Matt might be laid off, go looking!)

Don't be afraid of relocating! I know I'm totally in a different place than you, but I'm also living proof that it's not so bad! I was the ultimate homebody, hometown-girl and we're doing fine... every few years! You are an amazing woman and you have a wonderful family. Moving will give you a strength you never knew you had. Don't be afraid and don't sell yourselves short! My advice is security is most important! Do whatever it takes to put Matt in the best position to respect his experience and ability. The rest will work itself out, even if it's a little scary!
I can call you if you need to talk. :) *hugs* Sarah

Cynthia Nodland said...

I would say, pray pray pray!!! First and foremost. Then yes, I would say start looking for another job. My hubby's company closed on March 2009. He did not get a new job until Feb 2010. It was a tough time, but we were able to pull through it, stay in our house, and stay afloat thanks to freelance for him, unemployment, plus my part time job, Avon, and my sewing business. But believe me if we would have even had an inkling it was coming he would have started looking WAY before!!! Blessings to you, God will make a way, when there seems to be no way...

Jennifer Gragg said...

Sorry, we can't buy an airplane, but I can pray for you! I think we'd ride it out if we were in your situation. But we're not. You'll do what's right for your family. God will provide, so just put your faith in Him and allow him to carry these burdens while things work themselves out. Just my 2 cents worth. Hang in there Angie!

Gina Snider said...

Well, we've been in this situation more than once now. If Matt is in a good position and he's NOT the bottom of the totem pole, then I say wait. Get more information. It's a HUGE risk to jump to another aircraft company or a private hanger, because they are all in the same boat. If they like him where he is, and he's a good worker and an asset to his area, they'll hang on to him. (A move WITH the company wouldn't be out of the question either.)

Everything will work out. You have your family anf your faith to keep you afloat. As for the girls, if you do have to relocate they will be fine. It's easy to make new friends when you're young. It'll be harder on you, Matt, Grandma and Grandpa than the girls. I moved 4 or 5 times before the third grade, and my kids have had to endure the same. It's been tougher as an adult.

Stay strong, Angie! You will survive this. (Don't worry, I'm not going to start singing.)