A flight attendant’s job is more than just glamorous and exciting. It’s a role loaded with multiple responsibilities, hard work, and long hours.
Unlike many other careers, becoming a cabin crew staff isn’t easy either. The recruitment criteria are stringent, and the hiring process is rigorous and tedious, involving many stages of interviews, training, and background checks.
When you consider the difficulties of becoming a flight attendant, and the work and stresses that the job brings, it’s natural to ask yourself whether this is really a good career option.
Top challenges you should be ready to face as a flight attendant:
Here are the top challenges that flight attendants should be ready to face if they have to give this career a shot:
- Non-traditional work hours: Now, while the idea of not being chained to a desk 9-5 may seem appealing, it also means a lot of hard work. A flight attendant’s job can take up nights, weekends, and holidays. Be ready to compromise on your social life because you will probably have to work during holidays and weekends and skip important family occasions.
- Training woes: Becoming a flight attendant requires you to undergo an elaborate training process. This may be long and tiring but the experiences and skills you inculcate during training are priceless. The job demands quick thinking and alacrity, calmness, and readiness. You must have the nerve to handle real-life emergencies and take critical decisions if the situation demands it. Training may be stressful and challenging, but you gain life skills that will help you excel in any other career that you may choose later on.
- On-call scheduling: As a flight attendant, you should be ready to work on an on-call basis. Don’t be shocked if you only get a 2-hour notice to report for work in case another employee calls in sick. The best way to deal with such unexpected duty calls is to make sure you get enough rest when you get the chance. This helps to keep you energized and your spirits up in case you are called for duty during reserve hours.
- Homesickness: Since you may have to spend days traveling at a stretch, you won’t be able to spend as much time as you would have liked with your loved ones. You end up feeling homesick and miss home and your family. That can be emotionally stressful but there are ways to deal with it too. Thanks to Facetime and other social media apps, staying in touch through video calls and instant messages is no longer a problem.
- Time differences: Having to work in different time zones can take a toll on your health. Such time changes are frequent and jet lags can be hard to handle. Be ready to battle the effects of lag like fatigue and headaches. The best way to keep yourself fit and healthy is by sleeping whenever you get the chance and opting for round trips. You can also consult a healthcare provider to know ways to reduce jet-lag effects.
- Unruly passengers: Stories of unruly or inebriated passengers creating a ruckus on board are quite common these days. As a flight attendant, you will be expected to deal with such passengers and take care of unprecedented situations with calmness. You may even have to get involved in resolving issues and conflicts between passengers to prevent escalations.
- Challenging growth prospects: When you start working as a flight attendant, you will realize that promotions are hard to come by. Opportunities for growth may be less but pay hikes are common. Your role may not change significantly but you can certainly earn more with experience. You should now aim to look for senior positions in the travel and hospitality industry.
- No remote work options: Flight attendants have to do their jobs in person; there cannot be any scope for working from home or remotely.
These are challenges no doubt, but these shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing a career in the aviation industry. What can be better than getting paid to travel the world and explore new destinations?