I love my job (most days) but there are five things I wish I knew before becoming a flight attendant. Knowing these things would have made the transition into this life style so much easier.
- How mentally and emotionally taxing this job is – It’s frighteningly scary how easy it is to let this job wear you down. Working inconsistent schedules, sleeping in different beds, having to be up at all hours of the day and night, getting verbally abused by people you don’t even know for something that isn’t your fault and having an inconsistent diet can really stress you out. Anxiety, depression, and addiction are extremely common for flight attendants. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, flight attendants are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Flight attendants are also 2.5 times more likely to die by alcoholism. I’ve cried at work, am constantly checking in with my therapist and have been hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration. This job can get the best of you if you don’t make the time for self-care.
- The true physical aspect of the job – Those beverage carts and overhead bins are not light. A full sized beverage cart weighs over 200 pounds when fully stocked. Some overhead bins have a capacity to hold up to 120 pounds. I have quit my gym membership because I get a pretty good workout just doing some of my daily duties. I also like using the free gym at the hotels on our layovers.
- Your diet transformation – We live in airports and hotels and I constantly find myself going through different diet phases. Sometimes I find myself eating a lot of fast food as it is easy access when we are on the go. If I can find the time I can meal prep but then that means I need to take an extra bag with me on my trip so carry my meals. Our hotels aren’t guaranteed to have a refrigerator or microwave so that can also be a problem. Depending on where we’re traveling to sometimes bringing our own food isn’t an option. It is a struggle to maintain a healthy diet while constantly traveling.
- Your body transformation – My body does a bunch of different things now that I have been flying for a while. My skin tends to dry out when I fly a lot and then become oily when I have a break from flying. The more I fly I also find that my body bloats a lot more compared to when I’m not flying. It’s taken some time to adjust to how my body reacts to flying.
- Self physical expression is very restricted – I knew I would have to wear a uniform with this job but I didn’t realize how much my company would control how I look. My nail polish, hair color, hair style, and makeup are all regulated.
So if you have dreams to become a flight attendant, I hope these tips help you out.