In early 2015, The Flight Attendant Life will be adding more content specifically to help YOU become a flight attendant, and most of the content will be created and managed by our newest editor, Meghan. Connect with her on Instagram, and please subscribe to the newsletter, and our YouTube channel so that you will know what’s happening. Also, if you want a head-start, download Kara’s eBook, “How To Land A Job As A Flight Attendant.”
Enjoy Meghan’s flight attendant life story.
By Meghan Hemingway
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I did everything the way I was supposed to. I followed the recipe for happiness. I went to a top school in my state, had a stable boyfriend, and got a great job after earning my four year degree, topped with a double minor and honors to boot.
These feelings of trapped and suffocated wouldn’t go away. I had completed the motions and requirements the way that was expected of me, and yet, I was unhappy. Was this normal for a young woman in her first full-time job to feel this way? Did everyone hate their first job after a fun-filled college life? Or was I different? While my feet were firmly on the ground under my desk, my head was not. My mind wandered during my workdays. My head was full of dreams, and I wanted to follow and fulfill those dreams. The reality was that there was no way for me to accomplish my goals by staying in my comfort zone and not straying from the “right” path.
Too much flair for the typical
It took me a few months to figure out that following a traditional path might be right for some, maybe even most, but it most certainly was not right for me. After a few miserable months, I started doing some research on other career options; anything that would better fit my untraditional personality. I had loved working one-on-one with people in all of the part time service jobs that I worked to put myself through school. I was dying for something more flexible and exciting than the mundane 8-to-5 office routine.
Finally, I stumbled across a blog that gave me hope. The very blog that you are reading this post on. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I poured over it for hours on end trying to soak up the flight attendant lifestyle via Kara’s words and pictures. Once I had gotten my fill of the blog posts, I still had more questions, so I debated emailing her. Right next to her email address were the words “totally approachable.” I felt so awkward reaching out for advice and help from a stranger, but I figured, what did I have to lose? Luckily, her page did not lie. She WAS totally approachable. Kara responded to my email, and that was the beginning of an infrequent pen pal relationship that turned into a friendship. We exchanged phone numbers, and I began updating her on my progress towards my goal of becoming a flight attendant, and she kept me informed about the happenings in her life.
Flight Attendant interviews began happening for me a couple of months later, my first being with a mainline carrier. I did surprisingly well for having absolutely no knowledge of the intimidating flight attendant interview process, but ultimately was not offered a job. I was disappointed, but continued on towards my goal. I applied to all the airlines that I could find hiring flight attendants. I scored two regional airline interviews and accepted my first offer. I was in a bad situation, and I did not want to wait any longer to make my dreams start happening. My regional carrier called me a couple of days after the interview and offered me a class date just ten days later. I quickly accepted.
What had I just gotten myself into?
This was the biggest leap of faith I had ever taken. This regional carrier didn’t have a base in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, so I found someone to cover my lease, sold all of my furniture, and packed up my belongings in my car. I look back on this and still cannot believe that I performed all of these gigantic tasks in just ten short days. I drove my packed full car up the East Coast to my mother’s house in New Jersey, where I left it and all of my possessions for the duration of my training.
Fast forward about a year:
I am still a regional flight attendant. And, I still love my job. Being a regional flight attendant has forced me to grow and taught me so many things that I never would have learned about the industry and myself had I started out somewhere else. This was exactly where I needed to be. To some of you reading that might sound like the most absurd thing as how could a job make you grow and teach you so much when, “It’s just a job?” But that’s the thing about working with people and working as a flight attendant; just a day can feel like a week and just a job can be a sort of serendipity. Like these people that you meet and the places that you go were always meant for you.
There is a little secret about the industry, though, and I am going to let you in on it:
The flight attendant life is what you make it.
Many flight attendant’s make the job miserable for themselves, and that shows in their attitude toward passengers. As I stated at the beginning of this post, I have grander aspirations that my little airline cannot fulfill. I have spent the last couple of months interviewing, and after a lot of practice, and patience I have landed (pun intended) at my dream airline.
And now, I am the Careers Editor for the blog that motivated me to pursue a flight attendant career. So how did I get this spot? Well, I asked for it, and Kara happened to be wanting to find someone to take on the part of Careers & Flight Attendant Job Interviewing. I have the experience and interest for the topic, as I have completed several airline interviews and done extensive research in this area (credit michael). I have a passion for helping others, and I want to help you decide if this is the right direction for your life as it has been for myself, for Kara, and for many others.
Being a flight attendant isn’t everyones’ answer, but it has been mine so far. This noncommittal lifestyle is definitely not for the faint of heart. Don’t be fooled. I won’t tell you this job is all sunshine and rainbows, because most of the time it is not. I have spent many hours crying over the sometimes crippling loneliness and the days where everything goes wrong, all happening when you are already at the brink of collapsing from exhaustion. Most days are draining, the passengers are rude, and the pay atrocious. If you think you can accept the major flaws that come with this lifestyle, and you desire a job with the potential to be more than just making money, you might be at the right place after all.
That is the tale of how I became a flight attendant. I hope you find it inspirational. Now maybe it’s your turn to join me, Kara, and a group of fantastic other stews in the skies…