If I Knew Then.....
I have been interested in human factors and how they affect our jobs for roughly 20 years. D.O.M. magazine contributor Gordon Dupont, known as the father of the Dirty Dozen, shares his knowledge on human factors with our readers each issue. Earlier this year, I signed up for the Aviation Human Factors Industry newsletter from Roger Hughes. In his newsletter this past Sunday, he puts forward an interesting question — "If you could go back, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self?" You can read the newsletter by clicking HERE. You can sign up for Mr. Hughes' newsletter at www.decodinghumanfactors.com.
Looking back, I'm thankful for the path I have taken and the opportunities afforded me. For those that know me, there have been some interesting turns in my career path. I started out studying Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University. The petroleum industry recession of the late 1980's forced me to reconsider my options. I stumbled into aviation by chance, and ended up enjoying it. I earned my A&P and Inspection along the way. I had many great mentors along the way. If I were to go back to my younger self just after high school and tell him he would one day co-found a magazine for aviation maintenance managers and would be writing and editing for a living, I don't think he would believe me!
I sometimes ponder, "What if?" What if I would have known how much I would love aviation and studied aerospace engineering in college (Texas A&M has a great aerospace engineering school, and one of my college buddies was in the program)? What if I would have taken advantage of the flying club at NAS Corpus Christi and earned my private pilot certificate for a little fuel money and work on the club's T-34B's?
In the end, those "What ifs" don't matter. I am grateful to be where I am today. Even one change in what I did could have prevented me from meeting my wonderful wife Marie when I transferred to Alabama with my company. I could have been working in the oilfield industry — which has recently seen a prolonged recession. I could have been stuck in a cubicle designing parts for some aerospace manufacturer. I could have been a private pilot.
OK, so that last option is still on the table. Since Greg Napert has been taking flying lessons recently, it has rekindled my yearning to fly. That might just be a project for next summer!
So what about you? What advice would you give your younger self?
Thanks for reading, and we appreciate your feedback.