I’m taking this month’s Flight Attendant Secrets Revealed in a different direction. I have just now rounded in on a year with this new career, and the lifestyle has fully set in.
To say it’s all been easy would be a lie. I’m here to be nothing but transparent, and invite you into the reality of what life is really like in a suitcase.
Dreamer Meet Doer
Anyone will tell you becoming a flight attendant (or pilot for that matter) is an absolute lifestyle change. No one just accidentally ends up in this career, it takes a lot of intentionality to get that pair of wings (read about my tips on how to get hired here!).
Immediately this transition was a call to action. I moved from being a dreamer to a doer, and sought to not only succeed in my new environment, but thrive. The most unexpected part was how much the job made me feel like I was working for myself. Although there are certainly rules and levels of power, success as a flight attendant requires the individual’s commitment.
No one walks with you hand in hand with this career. Although each flight attendant is assigned a supervisor, you never really hear from them unless you’ve done something wrong. Beyond that, you’ll never interact with them in person unless you’ve done something REALLY wrong. So responsibility is on you day-to-day to know your schedule, and keep up with any changes.
I feel like my own motivator now than ever before. On assignments, you are completely responsible for yourself. Your check in time, location for hotel transportation, and services performed on different flights are things you are expected to know (or look up). Because every day is different, you have to always be on top of things. Honestly you feel like your own boss most of the time, even though it’ll eventually catch up to you if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to.
Making a Name for Yourself (Every Single Day)
Chances are when you start a new assignment you won’t know anyone you’re working with. It’s even less likely you’ll know any passengers! Defining yourself each day is the name of the game.
It’s super important for a flight attendant to be confident in new situations. Sometimes crew members will become your closest friends, and others will be impossible to connect with. Regardless, those passengers need to get where they’re going, and you’ve got to find a way to work together. No two flight attendants do everything the exact same, so it takes collaboration and respect to create a healthy work environment. Some flights are easier than others, but it’s just another day in the life.
This is probably the most important factor to consider. Sometimes, the ability to be alone can make or break whether one should be a flight attendant. For me, adjusting to increased levels of alone time proved the most difficult part of my transition.
You have to become comfortable with anonymity. Every day you interact with hundreds of people, and hand-deliver them to destinations all over the world. Although small talk is pleasant and your exposure great, it’s easy to feel alone from time to time. You may not participate in a single community, but you have the privilege of extending your reach to people across all cultures in a way unmatched. A sense of belonging is a daily effort in expressing and connecting with people as you jet set along.
I’d like to say my journey this past year becoming a flight attendant has been an easy, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Nothing can prepare you for the transition a new career brings, especially when you enter the aviation world. Irregularity becomes your norm, and you faces new challenges each day. The reality of life behind a suitcase is sometimes a rocky road, but one providing so many opportunities that otherwise may have been missed. I wouldn’t give it up for the world!
Have you felt any of these ways (inside or outside of a flight attendant career)? What adjustments does a travel lifestyle bring to you?