Every interview I’ve had this past year, no matter what the job description or where the company is located, has asked one specific question. It’s a question that demands a specific answer, and although simple, can yield to a trail of uncertain ramblings. They, these people in a power position, always ask; “What are you looking for?” ‘They’ are the interviewers. ‘They’ are the dates I entertain. ‘They’ are the new friends I’ve met at happy hour and the thirty-something gorgeous ‘retired’ Australian who said he will coach me on creating a lucrative income with my blog. ‘They’ are the web designer, logo creator, and little voices in my head that repeat, “Kara— what do you want?” Internal or external, clarity is always your secret weapon.
If I asked you what you are looking for, what would you say?
When you have clarity, disappointments don’t hurt so bad. When you know what matters, you are less influenced by distraction. When you know exactly what you are looking for, you see it when it appears. I find it interesting how many readers email me, asking for advice on what airline, tell me all of the things blocking them from their dream of becoming a flight attendant, and everything else that is going to be a problem. What about focusing on all the reasons why it’s going to happen brilliantly?
I’ve been thinking a lot about being ‘unavailable,’ recently. We go through life, ready for a different job, a different boyfriend, a relationship in general, a life change, but yet, we hold so tightly to what we have, or have just left, that we truly aren’t able to embrace the goodness in our presence or what goodness is soon to come. We say we want to fly, but we show up to the interview thinking of everything that we will have to let go of and leave when we get the job, and then we wonder why the HR team wasn’t begging us to work in their airline uniform. We go on a date, and we really like this person, but we can’t stop talking or thinking about an ex. Or, we live in technicalities. Technically, I’m single, but if I ask myself where my heart is right now, I can’t avoid the truth that I’m dancing around unavailability.
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So, how do I personally answer the question of, ‘What am I looking for?’ I think that’s where personal mission and vision statements come into play. I’ll share with you what clarity I have in this moment. I’m so drawn to discovering a place to belong, create, and inspire. Even amidst a broken ankle and not flying, I have found pieces of that. I’m looking for long term relationships and valued commitments— in aviation and in love. I’m always looking for adventure and truly value freedom.
I have so many good intentions for myself and hopes, but I’ll admit that my actions don’t always follow up with my words. Do you understand what I mean? We say we want to be flight attendants, but never actually submit applications for airlines. We hope for the interview, but never follow up. We dream of meaningful relationships but continue to present the version of ourselves that moves too fast and yet holds back. We just don’t want to get hurt, and when we remain unavailable to our next best thing, we think we are protecting ourselves, but really, we just hold ourselves back.
We trick ourselves. Those around you— interviewers, lovers, and friends— see right through the facade you put up and sense that there is something you might be hiding. Even if they don’t see through any part of it, isn’t it better to show up authentically?
To show up authentically, let go of the expectations you have made for yourself, find your core mission and vision for your life, and arrive at every interaction completely present. Why I think I landed my first flight attendant job was because I was BEYOND available. I said, “I have nothing to lose. I’m all in.”
Can we be more ‘all in?’
I want to be more ‘all in.’ I want to step up my game in the way I am available every day. To do that, I need to change the way I have been acting and thinking. I desire to breathe faith, live courageously, treat people kindly, and maintain a confidence that says, “I don’t need you to pick me, like me, love me, or want me, but I will be here with the best version of myself.” The version that is available, full of faith, courage, and intention. The version that breathes from every part of themselves, “I know what I want. I know what I’m looking for.”
Because, did you know? That version of you is there, and that version is unstoppable.