Pilot's eye-opening story of perseverance after losing job during pandemic

25 July 2020, 16:50 | Updated: 29 July 2020, 07:10

By Seán Hickey

This caller explained how his tenacity meant that he landed on his feet after losing his job as a private jet pilot.

Viraj phoned in to Ian Payne to share his experience of being a career casualty of Covid-19, as the implications on the job market become increasingly clear. He described how he had worked his whole life and grafted hard to get himself to where he wanted to be, which was graduating University at 21 and becoming a pilot of a private jet company.

He went on to tell listeners that the pandemic turned everything on its head.

"When I came back from holiday in February, the company went bust and I started working for Tescos." Viraj explained that he had worked in the supermarket while funding his flying career and was welcomed with open arms.

Ian wondered what it did do to his ego to lose his job and wind up stacking shelves, where Viraj told him that he "learned not to have an ego."

The caller went straight to a supermarket to look for work after losing his pilot job
The caller went straight to a supermarket to look for work after losing his pilot job. Picture: PA

"Everyone that was coming into the store was someone I knew," he said and added that the conversations he had with these people stunted his confidence.

He then "went onto another company," as his contract with Tesco was temporary and they gave him a job "within three days."

"Because I was tenacious enough to just go to Tesco and just go to Hermes I was lucky" Viraj told Ian. He offered his advice to listeners, telling Ian that "what's imperative to everybody listening is just apply, apply, apply."

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