THE LIFE OF AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ATTENDANT… HOW I LANDED MY DREAM JOB!
When I first set my sights on the sky, my ambition was to travel the world! But securing a role as an International Flight Attendant at any airline is not quite that easy. Read on to discover how I landed my dream job!
Aviation is a highly competitive industry and the recruitment process for International Flight Attendants is extremely gruelling.
Ironically, this would have been quite helpful for me to know when I prematurely quit my corporate job! (Read that story here.) At the time, though, I was completely naive to this fact. I had no idea that landing a role as an International Flight Attendant would be a challenge within itself. (Not to mention the fact that openings do not come around all that often).
So, unemployed, I suddenly realised that I desperately needed to secure an income source whilst pursuing my new dream job!
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be successful at the first recruitment day I attended for an Australian airline. Although it wasn’t exactly my career path or airline of choice, I decided to take whatever work I could get!
For the first year and a half of my flying career, I was employed as a Domestic Flight Attendant.
Operating on a casual contract basis, I felt like I had very little job security leaving a full-time corporate career. In fact, everyone thought I was crazy moving interstate for the role. Especially since it wasn’t guaranteed to lead to a full-time contract. But I took a risk and two and half years later it certainly paid off!
Of course, some first time candidates are lucky and get straight in to Emirates. Or Etihad. Or, any one of the other leading world class airlines that recruit International Flight Attendants from all around the world! But my flying career certainly started at the bottom.
Initially, I worked the domestic route. I’d spend my days flying throughout Australia, working as a Flight Attendant on a budget airline. (Which is not exactly glamorous!)
Occasionally, I would enjoy a night away in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or my hometown of the Gold Coast. I loved overnighting in a different city and having the chance to explore. But most nights, I would return to my apartment in my new home city of Melbourne.
Until one day everything changed.
I was in Vietnam on vacation at the time, surrounded by new friends that I’d met on my travel adventures. We’d been travelling South East Asia for three weeks and my trip was nearing to an end. The reluctance of returning from holidays was hitting me and I was already dreading the post vacation blues!
With limited access to Wi-Fi, I was checking my emails occasionally. But, the trip had been action-packed! So I’d only had the chance to quickly check my social media accounts each night, before falling asleep. On this particular morning, however, I had a moment to spare. (Whilst waiting to meet up with the others, before we sent out on our next adventure!)
Standing in the hotel lobby, I was scrolling through the spam that had overtaken my inbox while I’d been away. And to my surprise, there was a company-wide press release that would completely change my career as a Flight Attendant.
The airline that I work for announced that it would be expanding internationally!
Instantly, a wave of excitement overcame me! Finally, the past two and half years of hard work flying the domestic route for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week with limited travel perks had paid off.
I knew at that moment, fate had placed me on the right career path waiting for this moment to unfold. Finally, I would become an International Flight Attendant and get the chance to see another part of the world whilst travelling for work!
At that point, I was not particularly excited about the first destination, Bali!
I’d always perceived Bali to be tacky tourist haven, so it was not on my bucket list. But it did make commercial sense for our airline, since Bali! is a favourite amongst budget-conscious Australian holidaymakers.
Over the past three weeks, though, I had travelled throughout nearby parts of South East Asia for the first time. I had already fallen in love with the laid-back way of life in this region of the world. When I returned to Australia, my sense of wanderlust was so strong. So when expressions of interest opened, I didn’t even give it a second thought. I completed an application and submitted it straight away!
In fact, you may think that all of the cabin crew would have jumped at the chance to fly this popular short-haul international route.
But, in actual fact, the airline had to beg many of the other Flight Attendants to do it! See, the funny thing is, people are creatures of habit and most people resist change. Especially when it involves uncertainty and taking a risk!
This was a new venture for our airline and there was no guarantee that it would be a success.
So once again, I faced job insecurity, as there was a chance the operation would not make it off the ground. Many of my fellow Flight Attendant friends felt worried that they would not like the longer flights and did not want to face another Ground School! After all, Flight Attendant training is very vigorous. And flying internationally meant another six weeks of initial training on a new aircraft type and new operating procedures.
Plus, the international lifestyle is not for everyone. Many Flight Attendants have partners, young families and pets. So being away for up to six days at a time, each week, would be difficult. Personally, though, being single and carefree, I jumped at the chance! And I am so glad I did, as working abroad in Bali was the best career decision I ever made! (Read more here).
Up until this point, I have shared stories in this blog about how I was inspired to start my career as International Flight Attendant in the first place!
From here on in, I’ll be posting about my adventures flying to Bali!, during what was without a doubt, the best year of my life!
I hope you enjoy experiencing the journey with me and above all, that it serves as a timely reminder to never stop chasing your dreams! It may not always seem like you are on the right path, but you never know what may be just around the corner!