18 Jun The Bad & The Ugly Pieces of the Corporate Flight Attendant Career
Being a Corporate Flight Attendant is not all butterflies and rainbows. It is of utmost importance to be forthcoming with the negative aspects of the job, because many people enter the career completely unaware of what they could experience.
The only way you will survive in this business is if you truly love your job. This is a lifestyle that will not love you back – sleepless nights, unsociable hours, rushed meals, unpredictable schedules, and endless hours on your feet. It can take a toll on your body and mind. Passion will serve as your fuel, so make sure it’s in abundance.
Some of the most difficult aspects of being a CFA include:
How hard it is to land your first flight/job
It is extremely difficult to get your first job/flight. Take a look at any job listing for a CFA position and you will notice everyone is looking for a minimum of 2 – 3 years experience. It’s exceedingly difficult to convince hiring managers or Pilots In Command to take a chance on you when you don’t have any private aviation experience. Part of the goal of the Flightess Mentorship Program is to prepare new CFAs so well that the lack of experience isn’t apparent.
In order to strengthen your position with a hiring manager or PIC, your resume must be much more impressive due to previous employment experience. Hospitality or medical experience looks great! All it takes is that first “yes” for you to break open the gates.
Don’t be afraid of rejection and stay confident and steadfast in your goals.
Success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill
Finding a CFA is not difficult – the market is certainly saturated. However, there is always room for CFAs who are willing to work hard and be a constant professional.
There are CFAs and managers who will try to bully, threaten, or even sabotage new and even experienced CFAs. Don’t be discouraged. Keep your business to yourself when you can to avoid any vulnerabilities.
The reason Flightess exists is to be a lighthouse to change the industry narrative and move the needle from exclusivity to inclusivity, with shared knowledge and skills.
Your body will experience harsh physical conditions. Flying at 40,000 ft. in a pressurized metal tube around the globe does not come without consequences. Flight Attendants have the highest risk of getting cancer per occupation. Additionally, jet lag is a very real physical state for your body, which if not handled properly, can lead to chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue can often resemble depression.
Jet lag is frequently disguised as dehydration. The best advice for dealing with jet lag is to sleep when your body wants you to sleep and drink a ton of water. It’s as simple as that.
People look at the lives of CFAs and see the glamorous photos/lifestyle, but what people do not see is that you are with your two pilots, or by yourself, experiencing and witnessing a lot of the beauty while working.
Be prepared to be doing things by yourself – like dining out or exploring a new city – and be comfortable with the pleasure of your own company.
Toll on your personal life
In some job aspects, you might always be “on call” and therefore never know when you will be gone next, which those in your life may interpret as flakiness.
It is indeed very hard to maintain a personal life when you are always on-the-go. Surround yourself with people who understand and don’t hold grudges for missing their birthdays or special occasions.
Dating is also another cumbersome process, as you are constantly picking up and leaving, discharging any momentum on relationships you may be building.
Missing holidays and special events with friends and family is another piece of this too.
CFAs work in hospitality, so yes, they work weekends and holidays!
This isn’t your normal office job, there are very real (but rare) occupational hazards such as fires, decompressions, and health emergencies that may occur. CFAs are responsible for handling them with their safety training.
This career will lead you to the highest of highs and then humble you to the lowest of lows. Any job can disappear overnight, whether that be in the form of an aircraft owner discharging you or selling his/her plane, or a flight operation closing up shop. You must always be prepared for change and to pivot to the next thing. Stay in good graces with all previous employers and industry colleagues as the corporate flight industry is all about networking.