“How I Got the Job I Love”

September 05, 2018


I’m always amazed when I read or hear that one “really enjoys what they do for a living.” Why? Because so many people who go to work every day hate their jobs – I find this very sad. Personally, I think part of this issue is “attitude.”

When I was 15-years-old I fibbed about my age and got a Saturday job at Woolworth’s – now gone. I worked in the houseplants, gold fish and budgie bird department (if you can imagine). I loved every minute of it but my greatest moment was when I discovered a little bottle with a sponge applicator of (drum roll here) PLANT SHINE.

The minute I hit the floor on Saturdays I’d whip around and shine up every green leaf in the entire department. You could see yourself in the split leaf philodendrons. A couple of disgruntled, long-term female employees would see me coming and start mumbling, “Oh God, here comes the brat with the bottle.”

A Split Leaf Philodendron


This brings me to today’s subject: an enterprising female named Rohaise Firth-Butterfield, who has a private pilot license from Texas Central College. This is a community college that offers flight training. I came across her story in Air & Space, May 2018 that is put out by the Smithsonian Institute.

After acquiring her pilot’s license Rohaise found that she could apply these hours of flight training as credit hours for a college degree so she transferred to Texas A&M to earn her bachelor’s degree in aviation science. Smart girl.

Rohaise Firth-Butterfield – photo courtesy of Air & Space, May 2018


What’s next? After giving it some thought, she decided to apply for advanced flight training, so she applied to become a Reserve Officer Candidate in the U.S. Air Force. “The people were very friendly and welcoming,” says Rohaise. “It didn’t feel like a job interview. They told me they were just trying to make sure that I would fit in with them.” Note: A “reserve” typically serves one weekend a month and two weeks per year.

In May 2018 she began her advanced training in Lackland, Texas. “This training is the type of flying I really wanted to try as a civilian but I never had the opportunity,” she says.

A Grand Prize-winning photo taken by Angela McLain-Toland – a female photographer in El Centro, California who says, “I was photographing the Blue Angeles’ winter training. I knew they would fly their diamond formation takeoff right over these hay bales. I walked the bales eight times to guesstimate where to stand – I could not see the planes approaching. Thanks to the skilled flying of the pilots, they lined up perfectly for the shot – photo courtesy of Air & Space, May 2018.  


Brace yourself. This is a single-engine, two-seat aircraft that places one crewmember in front of the other: student and instructor positions are interchangeable. A pilot may also fly the aircraft alone from the front seat.

Now, here are the nitty-gritty details:

  • The aircraft can perform an initial climb of 3,100 ft. per minute
  • It can reach 18,000 ft. in less than six minutes
  • It goes up to 320 MILES PER HOUR and it costs $4.3 million


After her training she will be following her dream. “I really like the fact that I will be helping people on the ground by flying humanitarian missions. I really want to be useful.” She’s a young woman who is heading into a very unusual occupation – here are two more mavericks that we’ve written about.

CLICK TO READ ABOUT the first female coach in the NFL – now THAT’S impressive!

CLICK HERE and learn how a female children’s book author (who started with a big idea and an old typewriter) became a billionaire.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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