By Griffin Bruehl
I have been asked about my choice of resigning as a commercial flight attendant. Now, don’t worry. I am still flying. Resigning is actually a really great thing for me, but the decision was NOT easy. The full story of how I got started in Aviation is something special to me. There were many key players who were involved, including Kara, but there are a couple people in particular (and a certain company) that catapulted me to where I am today.
I was around 18 years old. I had met an amazing woman— named Marci— who told me she worked for JetBlue and how much fun she had as a Flight Attendant. At the time, I never really thought about flying as a Flight Attendant. I never really considered it, simply because where I am from, men don’t necessarily become Flight Attendants. It is just not standard, but she made it sound fun and exciting.
She talked about how she gets to fly to all of these cool places and experience many incredible people and things. She encouraged me to look into the career. Conveniently, I was scheduled to fly to NYC that weekend. It was on my flight back that my life changed forever. I arrived back to LaGuardia Airport and boarded Flight 83 with service to Orlando. The Lead Flight Attendant, Stephanie, greeted me at the door and directed me towards my seat— which was the very last row— by the galley. In the aisle was Lisa, another Flight Attendant, and in the back was Jason. Every single one of them had the biggest smiles and sense of passion for their jobs. They were so friendly, calming, and elegant to everyone who boarded the aircraft. About an hour into the flight I started to observe everything. I thought it was so cool that they spent their jobs flying around on airplanes and having a good time while doing so. Stephanie noticed I was peeking my head around my seat, slightly ease dropping (Whoops). She walked up to me with a big smile on her face and said, “Well, you can come hang out with us, you know.” I thought to myself, “How cool is this? The flight attendants want to talk to ME!”
We started talking, and I began to ask questions about flying and how they liked their jobs. I told them I was considering but wasn’t sure. Stephanie looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You are going to become a Flight Attendant!” Her words were powerful and direct. It really wasn’t until that point that I finally realized that this was EXACTLY what I wanted to do. I was not of age to fly just yet, but the amazing crew assured me, I was going to fly. Stephanie took down my information and she began to mentor me along the way with the hiring process. She introduced me to many people and Marci did as well. The encouragement I received from everyone at JetBlue was simply remarkable.
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I became so heavily invested in the JetBlue brand. I even wore JetBlue T-shirts. This was the company I was destined to fly with. Although I was unable to fly with JetBlue yet because of my age, I was encouraged to fly at the regionals until I was old enough. At 19 years old, I went to American Eagle Airlines, now Envoy Air, and began my aviation journey. Although I loved my Eagle family, my goal was to fly with JetBlue. After almost a year at Eagle, I was coming up on my 20th birthday, which was the age requirement for JetBlue. ONE WEEK after my 20th birthday I was hired to fly as an Inflight Crewmember with JetBlue. I was ecstatic! My dream had finally come true.
My friends at JetBlue quickly became family. I became engrained with their 5 core values Safety, Passion, Integrity, Caring, and Fun! I was also able to experience different aspects of the company such as marketing and corporate communications. I was even featured on a YouTube commercial. Then, there came a time when I stopped growing. I wasn’t passionate, I wasn’t having fun, and my overall morale began to weaken. I started to look for something to re-inspire me and that’s when I found Business Aviation. See, the thing about the people at JetBlue— they care about you as a person. I received encouragement from colleagues that I flew with and many in leadership. Some colleagues even picked up my JetBlue trips so that I could work Corporate trips.
I began to work a lot in Business Aviation, to the point where I requested leaves from JetBlue. I hadn’t worked a JetBlue trip in over five months, and I realized I wasn’t missing it. But why? Why was it that the company that gave me so much, and I was so invested in, was starting to vanish from my mind? I started to contemplate the idea of leaving completely. I was told by my mentor Scott, “When it is time to let go, you will know.”
About a month after my conversation with Scott, the person I was flying asked me what my goals were. We discussed my goals, and after they stated, “It will not be easy. You will have to make very tough decisions to get there, but trust me. It will be worth it.” One week after that conversation, I was flying back from Europe on a corporate trip. I looked out of those big Gulfstream windows overlooking Greenland, and I thought to myself, “WOW! I am flying at 47,000 FT, cruising along while seated in a private jet, with amazing passengers, and an amazing crew. I am truly lucky, and I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” I had this overwhelming peace in my life. It was at that point where I felt God pushing me, “It’s time to resign.” This was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my career thus far. To let go of the company that inspired me to be where I am today. I realized I was growing in a different direction. God was calling me elsewhere.
Wherever you are right now in your career, you will have to make tough decisions to take yourself to the next step in achieving your goals. Each of our journeys are unique. Your story will be different than mine. This doesn’t mean that you are giving up on the company, position, or the people. This means— that in order to be a better you— you have to get uncomfortable.
If you want to be great at something, you have to take great leaps of faith. If that means resigning, you have to be willing to take that step in order to grow. One thing I want you to know is, never forget where you started. Each job you’ve ever had and each challenge you have faced was there to make you better and to strengthen you as a person. I know that if it was not for Envoy Air, I would not have had such a smooth transition to JetBlue. If it wasn’t for JetBlue, I would not be the flight attendant I am today on corporate jets. Take each opportunity you are given, and run with it. Be the best you can be at each opportunity you are given. Trust me, there is a purpose.
I encourage you to be positive with where you are today. Just because you are not where you want to be, doesn’t mean you are not on your way there. With hard work, personal growth, and time you will get to where you want to be. Stay focused, stay hungry to learn, and be the change you wish to see in this crazy world.
To the airline that inspired me to fly, “Thank you!” Without your people, I would not be where I am today. To my JetBlue family, thank you for the many memories, and many more to come. Never forget that you have the power to change someone’s life with each and every flight. Never be afraid to go out of your way to encourage someone, to listen, or offer a shoulder to cry on. Our position as an Inflight Crewmember is extremely unique and can make an impact in so many ways.
Wishing you all many tailwinds and blue skies ahead!