On the very first day of my SEP training, my trainer, Billie, mentioned something about flying that resonated with me, and has happened to be true! She divulged that most crew end up staying with the company for a year or two, or even a whole contract (3 years) before returning to their home country to get a “proper job” and settle down.
If you stay longer than your contract, you will stay forever!
The Grass isn’t Always Greener
There are many pros and cons of flying, but the most notable upside is the fact that you are literally paid to fly and travel. The only catch with this is that you are away from your home for long periods at a time, especially if you are based in a worldwide hub, as many Cabin Crew are.
It is human nature for us to idealise the things that we don’t have – when you are away all you want is a roast chicken dinner and a night on the couch. When you are at home and working a “normal” job, you just want to go out for dinner and be lost in a sea of strangers!
The important thing to realise is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Before making any big decision, think about what is right for your situation and yourself. If you want to conquer your fear of flying – cabin crew is most likely not the role for you. If you want to be hurtled out of your comfort zone, flying from one time zone to another while meeting new friends and foreign obstacles, then it’s the job for you!
Most of my friends have since left the Middle East, and have returned to Australia, and in an attempt to “have it all” they have joined an Australian airline, like me! They are mostly flying, but I have met some who have traded in their wings and work on the ground as I do. They have either grown tiresome of the sky or are simply filling time before the relevant training schools and medical requirements can be met before it is wheels up again.
Tips for Making it Easier
- Focus on what you love. If you like the aviation industry, stick to it! If you want to work with children, pursue that! Think of coming home as a fresh start to add to or change your career. Pick up a new skill, start a course or a side-job, such as tutoring, freelancing or volunteer work too keep your mind active between permanent work and round out your CV.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. It took me a good six months to assimilate back into a “normal” life and a “normal” job. It was after this period that I realised I wanted to continue on with my shift work lifestyle- it just works for me!
- Stay Current. Read blogs, sign up for newsletters, research the things that interest you and whatever new role you’d like to pursue on the ground. Just because you are no longer flying doesn’t make your knowledge, or relevance obsolete!