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So You Want To Become A Flight Attendant

With shows like Pan Am, Mad Men and everyone's favorite Gwyneth classic, View From The Top, showing the fabulous world of the flight attendant, everyone's suddenly itching to wear the uniform and dive into the aviation industry. But before you show up to your interview in a cute little side hat and high heels, you may want to take a look at the reality of this career. It's not for the faint of heart...

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1. Research Your Airlines

@TheEverydayJumpseater

Every airline is going to be different. There are mainline and regional airlines, luxury companies and low-cost carriers, big operations and small, contract airlines. Ask yourself what you want from this job: fabulous international overnights and long days (and weeks) away from "home," or less-exciting domestic overnights and more time with friends and family. Talk to cabin crew from various airlines. Explore Flight Attendant Job message boards and ask questions. Make a list of your top ten airlines. Go apply.

2. Prepare for the Application Process

@TheEverydayJumpseater

Airline job applications are INTENSE. Prepare to devote anywhere from two to ten hours a week for applications and resume writing. My advice: Write up a word document with your entire (think ten years worth of employment) job history, old employers' contact info, salaries, hire dates, job descriptions and any applicable information. That way, when you are filling out the endless airline job applications, you can simply copy + paste past job info into the online applications, instead of attempting to remember your boss from that one ice cream shop you worked at when you were eighteen.

HINT: Try to save your online applications as often as possible, because sessions will sometimes time out after a while and erase all your hard work!

3. Don't Lie...

@TheEverydayJumpseater

With most jobs in the past, we've been tempted to sweep things under the rug a little bit. With airline jobs, divulging any skeletons in the closet will just make things easier. Background checks, drug tests and an entire department devoted to researching your life history will find out if you shoplifted when your were fifteen. So don't lie. Present your traffic violations and teenage rebellions with honesty.

That being said ... you do have the option to present any past job terminations in a more favorable light. I'm not saying you should lie. I'm just saying that you might opt to present that one time you got fired from an ice cream shop when you were eighteen as a "schedule conflict."

4. Be Patient and Keep Trying

@TheEverydayJumpseater

The application process take a long time for airline jobs. For example, I applied to a mainline airline in December of 2013. I got an invitation to do a recorded video interview in February. I received an e-mail in April that I was "still being considered." I received a phone call in May asking if I was still interested in the position. In August I received another phone call, asking if I would like to be part of a group interview in September. I was offered a job in October, with training slated to begin in November 2014. In the end, I actually turned down the job because it wasn't the right airline for me.

The moral of the story is keep trying, be patient and don't quit your day job until you have an actual job offer and firm invitation to attend training. And don't worry, it will eventually happen. <3

Get Ready for The Flight Attendant Life(style)

@TheEverydayJumpseater

Okay, so you researched, applied, didn't lie (pretty much), waited, FINALLY got a job offer and an invitation to training ... now what?! You are wrapping up your current job, saying good-bye to friends and family for 4-8 weeks of training (possibly longer) and trying to wrap your head around that fact that your life is about to change FOREVER.

Take a moment and breathe. This is going to be a big shocker.

The Flight Attendant Lifestyle is not for everyone. You may get to training and realize that the junior bases that you will be assigned to for the first three months to three years of your career are Kansas City, Minneapolis or Charlotte, NC. You will be away from your best friends, your parents and maybe even your significant other for days, weeks and months at a time. You will barely be making minimum wage your first year of work. You will max out credit cards, lose track of bills and probably drift away from a friend or two. You will have a breakdown at some point and cry.

Is this for you?

But after your wipe those tears away and look in the mirror, you will see someone you didn't know was there. That person looking back at you is stronger and more adventurous than you ever thought possible. That person is a fighter. That person is the flight attendant you were meant to be.

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