For the past four years, I have been cruising the skies at 37,000 feet.
The last year was not too different, just with masks on.
I have laughed, cried, broke up verbal and physical fights, dealt with emergencies, and been soaked in all sorts of bodily liquids. It has been a wild ride, to say the least, but with everything that is going on in the world—the pandemic and overall economic uncertainty in the travel industry, many of us are looking to branch out to more stable grounds.
After all, many of us have been facing uncertainty toward the security of our jobs, and the United Kingdom’s government is not giving the travel industry many answers or a clear plan on how they will continue to support it yet.
Overall, cabin crew members are often perceived as the glorified wait staff who must always smile no matter how horrible you are to them. However, that is not really the truth of the situation. I am not just going to give you a diet coke when you are having a heart attack or when there is a rapid decompression.
So, here are…
The seven reasons why hiring a flight attendant for an office job will be the best decision your company ever made:
1. Common sense.
Whether in an emergency or from an organizational standpoint, common sense is a must in the cabin. There are a million things to do, two million things happening, and three million things that need organized before landing or during the flight—and in little time. If we do not have common sense, we will simply struggle and be clueless with even the most mundane of tasks, not to mention teamwork or communication.
Common sense will go a long way in any job.
Sometimes it is as simple as asking someone if a passenger is okay when they seem upset on board, other times there are more serious things like a medical situation—which are extremely hurtful for family and friends of the casualty to witness. No matter the situation, empathy must always be on a high level when dealing with people in such a small space.
The main thing we remember is that we are all human and that there are deeper layers to us. People just want to be heard and understood, even if it is sometimes only by an exhausted crew member.
3. Resourcefulness and resilience.
Even if it does not always seem like it, we constantly run out of stock and things do not always go to plan. However, we cannot just pop down to the supermarket to get what we need when in the air, so we need to get creative and resourceful when facing long delays or demanding and hangry passengers.
Whether it is thinking of activities people can do on board while waiting—like dressing children up in aprons and scarves to help with services—or offering our own clothes when someone has had a medical emergency.
Fear not, a seasoned flight attendant will always come up with solutions in any situation and will not crumble when things do not go to plan.
4. Ability to learn quickly.
Just in case you were not aware, the cabin crew has to go through extensive training for their jobs in very little time. I personally had to sit through 36-37 practical and theory exams in the space of four weeks. Even though I have a double bachelor’s degree, it was no piece of cake. It is not to be taken lightly since even small mistakes can lead to an accident, worsening of a situation, or even an emergency. Not to mention that new rules and procedures are constantly introduced in aviation, so we need to learn them immediately.
Whatever you have to throw at a former flight attendant, as a new starter, believe me, they can handle it.
5. Multicultural and multilingual.
It is no secret that the cabin crew encounters people from all walks of life and from all different cultures and backgrounds. We have to be inclusive and respectful—no matter what. On top of that, not everyone speaks the same language, not everyone can hear or see, so effective communication is crucial no matter what. I personally am fluent in three languages, so that gives me a good advantage in terms of effective communication.
Therefore, a multicultural and multilingual person can bring some significant advantages to any company.
6. Making split-second decisions.
This one is also quite an important one. When you are dealing with potential life-and-death situations, there is no time to hesitate or to consult your manager. We have to act now and to act assertively, as well as be present and take responsibility. While teamwork is also essential, the ability to make those quick decisions ourselves is crucial.
All in all, you will not need to worry about having to hold the hand of a flight attendant during every inconvenience at work—we’re more than capable of taking initiative.
7. Sales, Sales, Sales!
Most airlines sell all sorts of products on board and at tax-free prices—which for them is quite a reasonable chunk of the profits. While we are mainly there for people’s safety, we also often feel like salespeople. In my airline, we get paid commission, have to meet targets, and must learn about products and sales techniques as well as about the corporate side of the company.
Basically, by now, I could sell a scuba suit to a seahorse. Those are high expectations, but I meet them.
There are many layers to this job, and we all have plenty of individual traits to bring on top of that. Personally, I have also gone to university, and am fluent in three languages. I am a writer, a photographer, and most importantly, a kind and honest person. I could also list all of the other cliché adjectives that make a good candidate.
It is no ordinary job being a flight attendant. It requires a lot and is not to be underestimated.
It has made me the strong person I am today and for that, I am truly grateful.