My cousin had her quick layover in Singapore who’s working as a flight attendant with Emirates. We took the opportunity to see each other and tour around the city. We had this life, goals and relationship kind of conversation while we were having our dinner. And I even asked her regarding her job as a flight attendant for almost 4 years.
Everyone dreams to have that kind of job including me. It’s such a fulfillment to be working and traveling from different countries at the same time. So, I asked her some questions. I am going to share her story with you because I know this can inspire a lot of people. Here it goes:
1.) What made you decide to push through that kind of job?I have always been a traveler- through books and my imagination back when I could not afford it as a student. As a young girl, I’ve spent weekday afternoons at our local city public library gazing at photo books of places showing people of different colors, clothing costumes, interesting food, architecture and even natural wonders. It amazed me that beyond my beautiful island there exists a much bigger world to see and experience. Traveling was a luxury and a fascination that I was attracted to. I decided to push through trying to get this job as for me it provided the best opportunity to actually do what I love, and get paid for it. I was ecstatic to learn and experience many things that I had only known via reading or television. The idea of all the exciting new places and cultures that I will get to discover was my main motivation.Traveling was a luxury and a fascination that I was attracted to. I decided to push through trying to get this job because it provided the best opportunity to do what I love – that is to travel and get paid for it. I was ecstatic to learn and experience many things that I had only known on television. The idea of all the exciting new places and cultures that I will get to discover is my main motivation.
2.) What are your struggles before you got the job?
I lived in the provinces all my life. When I got my degree and professional’s license in Nursing. As a daughter of a ‘probinsyana’, my mom was too concerned about me going far to get to all these interviews to chase my dreams. I struggled to convince her that I was an independent grown up lady who can manage myself– but still, she ended up tagging along last minute to make sure I was secure. Nevertheless, I am glad to have an extremely supportive mother.I had no passport yet when I applied for the job. It was another challenge (and advice to those who aim to go for this job – secure you passport firsthand). I had not been inside an airplane nor traveled abroad during that time, so I was a bit skeptical of my chances to get hired against the other applicants. I was disappointed when I got rejected when I applied to a local airline in the Philippines. However, I kept moving forward and applied for other local and international airlines until I finally got my opportunity.
3.) 3 things that motivate you every time you fly?
- THE DESTINATION: There’s always something to look forward to in every place we might end up- a cuisine to try, a festival to attend to, a scenic spot to gaze or maybe seeing family or friends living in the area!
- THE VARIETY: Everytime I fly, I meet new people. I get to work with colleagues from different parts of the world and we take in basically people from many places. There’s always some change in the daily routine or time for work. We go to work sometimes at night, early morning, late afternoon- It is almost always never the same and surely the only constant thing is change. It’s perfect for me as I like the challenge and excitement variety brings.
- THE JOURNEY: Every day and every chance I fly is an opportunity for me to experience and enjoy life. There can be great moments and I enjoy that but when there are difficult challenges these are the chances to apply what I learn or to remember the appropriate solutions to these situations. The experience and memories that I am going to have when I fly is something that inspires me to go on.
4.) The best thing you have as an attendant?
I’m very happy to have been able to travel with my work but being with the people that matter most to you is priceless. I’m grateful to be part of a company generous to give me good travel discounts that I can extend to my family. I may be base away from my family but I am blessed to be able to go home or have them come visit me in Dubai for a fraction of a cost normally. 5.) First flight experience
Oh, I still remember. (I actually missed my first flight Dubai to Jeddah because due to my excitement, I did not know what to do when I reached the office. (We had to sign in with our badges before the check-in time) It was too late when somebody helped me on what should be done. Crazy enough my friends have documented my getting ready for first flight, photo ops when I left my room, taking the transport to the office for my first flight.. etc, only to end up missing my special day.Next day, I was flying Dubai to Narita. I was lucky to have a kind and excellent colleague to mentor me- otherwise, it would have been a disaster. Her name was Shiela and she walked me through the actual scenarios very well. Everything seems to happen so fast and whatever happens in theory or in the classroom is way much different in actual reality. We managed to have a smooth and perfect service so it’s all good. We then went out for some sightseeing and authentic local food- sushi and ramen. I was just having an overall feeling of gratefulness as it was my first time to experience winter- just cool weather but no snow. The people were extremely polite and gentle- you would feel it even if you understood nothing of their language.
6 . Your message to aspiring women who want to become like me
Have faith that God will take you to where you will blossom. You don’t have to be exactly like someone, be like me, or be better than somebody else. Do your best in your career and keep looking for the opportunities. Just aim for excellence, beat your own goals and be your own best version.7.) 3 things that the only attendant would understand
- JETLAG AND TIMEZONES. We don’t judge you when you take your omelet at dinner time in
Australia and your coffee when it’s midnight in New York. We either adjust to the time zone or we
follow the home base time zone or just get lost in between. It doesn’t matter, this is a constantly
changing life. Sleep if you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry. Your body needs it.
- SCHEDULES. Working as a flight attendant will give you the flexibility but also present you with an
unpredictable life. Be prepared to miss special days, holidays and celebrations with family.
- SLEEP IS LIFE. This is an ultimate luxury for us. With the constant change in our sleep-wake cycle, to
have a good snooze is a treasure.