How To Change Careers After Being A Flight Attendant - Need Ideas??

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BlueBlue in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

45 months ago

I am asking exactly the same question.. And as I see there is no answer in 5 months. Does it mean, that there is no hope for us? Do we have to keep our wings forever? :(

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brambleton in Ashburn, Virginia

45 months ago

Do you wish to go back to school for a professional degree or go to vocational school for a skill?

Your other options include entry-level positions, possibly using your customer service skills.

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JetNYPDBlue in Holbrook, New York

45 months ago

If you have Microsoft Office skills, you will be perfect for a corporate executive assistant position. I am a former flight attendant who transitioned into the corporate world as the assistant to the President of a multinational corporation with over 14,000 employees. Once the people in Human Resources see that you were a flight attendant, they KNOW you can handle pressure and stay graceful under fire. The only hard part is transitioning to the 9-5 office world. There is a big difference in free time. If you think you might be interested, you should work for a temp agency first on your days off in between flying. It will enable you to sharpen your skills AND you will be able to determine whether it's worth the change before you actually quit your flying job. Many of the temp agencies provide free training on Microsoft Office software. Plus, you will get your foot in the door to some really nice companies.

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superstew in Minneapolis, Minnesota

44 months ago

I'm also an FA looking to switch to a regular job. I have experience in banking, retail, clerical work. But its hard trying to find a job right now, or at least a job that pays good enough.

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Maxine Drake in Honolulu, Hawaii

43 months ago

I might have a few ideas. I left American after 911. I am also from Chicago, originally...

Email me

Bamboopink1@gmail.com

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jld13072 in Venice, Florida

41 months ago

I recently took a temp.LOA from a Major US Carrier. I've been flying for 5yrs and been waivering for the past 3yrs about getting out. I have a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and did that prior to flying. Between flying and SW I thought I would be able to find a wide range of jobs, prob back in the day when jobs were available we would have a plethora of choices. I always wanted to do Pharmaceutical Sales, but at my age 39 it seems out of the question and it's impossible to break into unless you know the right person. I found this thread while doing a search about former FA's. so maybe this will give you some more ideas.

www.pprune.org/cabin-crew/375385-career-changes-ex-cabin-crew.html

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Steve in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

41 months ago

If you like the travel industry you could break into the hotel industry and possibly work in management! Lots of the skills you used as an F/A are sought after in the hotel industry!

Steve

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Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona

32 months ago

I am a former flight attendant with AA and was based in NY and BOS. If anyone is interested I will share with you what has been successful for me.

lawlorjm@aol.com

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Hello in Dallas, Texas

31 months ago

Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona said: I am a former flight attendant with AA and was based in NY and BOS. If anyone is interested I will share with you what has been successful for me.

lawlorjm@aol.com

Please share. Thank you.

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hany in Jakarta, Indonesia

27 months ago

i'm about to start my career as F/A in SIA as soon as im graduated from University... do you have any advices or tips for newbie like me? is it possible for F/A to continue education? i'm thinking about taking postgraduate school while being F/A. Thank you so much =)

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Sunshine in Los Angeles, California

27 months ago

hany in Jakarta, Indonesia said: i'm about to start my career as F/A in SIA as soon as im graduated from University... do you have any advices or tips for newbie like me? is it possible for F/A to continue education? i'm thinking about taking postgraduate school while being F/A. Thank you so much =)

Hi hany,

I was thinking about that, too but I think the only way to get
an degree under the circumstance(irregular flight) is by online. I've heard that online is a little higher cost than regular class, and harder to catch up with so you need to be very desciplined to graduate but I think YOU CAN DO IT !!

- Let me know if you find any further info. on this. :)

Cheers,
Sunshine

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Dianne in Camarillo, California

26 months ago

I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona said: I am a former flight attendant with AA and was based in NY and BOS. If anyone is interested I will share with you what has been successful for me.

lawlorjm@aol.com

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Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona

26 months ago

Oh no I'm sorry you are having such a terrible time. I'm a licensed aesthetician and loving it! With our FA connections it's a perfect biz to get into and start your own practice.

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dianne in Los Angeles, California

26 months ago

Jeanne, I wrote to your email address. I had thought about an esthetician but I have been told its tough to start on your own? Did you go to school when you were flying? I was on a leave for 2 1/2 years so my contacts have dwindled from the industry. How did your get clients Tucson when you were based elsewhere. Are most of your clients FA's?

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Hany in Jakarta, Indonesia

26 months ago

Sunshine in Los Angeles, California said: Hi hany,

I was thinking about that, too but I think the only way to get
an degree under the circumstance(irregular flight) is by online. I've heard that online is a little higher cost than regular class, and harder to catch up with so you need to be very desciplined to graduate but I think YOU CAN DO IT !!

- Let me know if you find any further info. on this. :)

Cheers,
Sunshine

Hi Sunshine,

Thank you for your comment, yes i think the same too, its quite possible to do postgrad offline while being F/A. But i'd still consider it and believe that i can do it! Thank you for such spirit. If i get any further info about this i'll let u know ASAP.

Cheers,
Hany

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Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona

26 months ago

dianne in Los Angeles, California said: Jeanne, I wrote to your email address. I had thought about an esthetician but I have been told its tough to start on your own? Did you go to school when you were flying? I was on a leave for 2 1/2 years so my contacts have dwindled from the industry. How did your get clients Tucson when you were based elsewhere. Are most of your clients FA's?

Hi Diane, I went to a fabulous school here in Tucson, Pure Aesthetics. (www.pureaestheticstucson.com) You can always work for someone and build a client list. At PA we are all organic and holistic. We actually have people come from other states to attend.

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dianne in Ventura, California

26 months ago

Jeanne, I like the idea that the school is teaching natural and the holistic approach...but...I was told that it didn't really matter what school you went to it was about passing the boards and that's it. That you really learn on the job....and don't really learn technique but focusing on into to pass the boards?

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Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona

26 months ago

dianne in Ventura, California said: Jeanne, I like the idea that the school is teaching natural and the holistic approach...but...I was told that it didn't really matter what school you went to it was about passing the boards and that's it. That you really learn on the job....and don't really learn technique but focusing on into to pass the boards?

Yes, the boards are super important. But we do State Board Bootcamp throughout and everyone is super ready by the time they go for the exam. I really do think the school curriculum is imporatnt because it's the foundation of your practice. So we are far from a "beauty school" if you know what I mean ;)

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UALSW - LAX in Los Angeles, California

26 months ago

Dianne in Camarillo, California said: I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

I wished I could have spoke to you before you left. Why did you quit cold turkey? Which Airline? Many people I knew quit only to come back and start over. There are also some that transitioned without looking back. It just depends if you have direction. I know what you must be going through. A friend of mine left after 12 years and is now with Virgin America. She regretted leaving, but sometimes it's in us to be in this industry. How do you feel about starting all over with another airline? How do you feel about working as a corporate flight attendant? They make very good money and will reward you for your airline experience.

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FormerWorkerInTheSky in San Francisco, California

24 months ago

Hi Dianne,

I too, found myself in my 50's and wingless. I guess the question is do you want to continue flying (starting over with another airline) or ready to start a new chapter?

You may want to start by visiting a career center at a local college or a career center through your EDD office for career interest testing and skills assessment. (that's how I started)

Do you have any hobbies or interests? Example: if you liking baking or sewing, you can take some classes to fine tune your skills and have it as a sideline and develop into something full time.

If you have the option to retrain for another career, go to school full time. If circumstances don't allow for you to attend school during the day, you could sign up with some employment agencies and attend nights or weekends - there are also some online courses.

Err on the side of caution, do your homework researching schools and training programs. I went through a base closure; I attended and graduated from a medical training program that left me unqualified to work in the field - time wasted!

If you decide to start your job search with the airlines, you will need to show flexibility. Let's face it, they(the commercial airlines)think we can't learn new procedures because we've worked for one carrier for a number of years and will revert back to old habits. I disagree. Senior Mommas can learn new procedures. I've done it and you have too - when new equipment is introduced and you have to get certified to work on it. (and that was not recurrent training). You also deal with all the different personalities - that's a job in itself! You can also check with the charter airlines; they prefer experienced F/As. Warning they (charter airlines) are very different from commercial airlines - you'll either love it or hate it.

Whatever path you choose, you will need to reinvent and market yourself. I believe things will go well for you.

Best of luck to you!

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Diana in Niles, Michigan

23 months ago

So, I'm starting to think I'm barking up the wrong tree! I see several of you are saying you are without a FA job and over 50. Does this mean that they "let you go"? I'm 54 and was just thinking of getting into it, but I'm wondering now if they'd be interested. grrrr.....

Thoughts?

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CJA 5R in Anaheim, California

23 months ago

Diana in Niles, Michigan said: So, I'm starting to think I'm barking up the wrong tree! I see several of you are saying you are without a FA job and over 50. Does this mean that they "let you go"? I'm 54 and was just thinking of getting into it, but I'm wondering now if they'd be interested. grrrr.....

Thoughts?

Actually, the opposite; they chose to leave. Many flight attendants find themselves after flying for an extensive period of time that they should be doing something more with their lives. Do understand, there is quite a bit of down time in this profession. And it makes you think about life in general. This "thinking of doing something else" is common to many flight attendants I've flown and worked with - wondering if they could do something else more gratifying. Many quit only to find themselves lost and having to return. Many go back to school only to find out it wasn't for them. And when they do come back to flying, they find themselves having to start all over again in pay, seniority, and the possibility of being based elsewhere. This is a huge disadvantage when one decides to return to flying.

You are fine at 54 of age. A few friends I know were hired in their mid 50's and are doing fine. My advice is for you to research the airline you want to work for. Each is different. Choosing the right one will make your career pleasant and rewarding.

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WOHL in Michigan

23 months ago

CJA 5R in Anaheim, California said: Actually, the opposite; they chose to leave. Many flight attendants find themselves after flying for an extensive period of time that they should be doing something more with their lives. Do understand, there is quite a bit of down time in this profession. And it makes you think about life in general. This "thinking of doing something else" is common to many flight attendants I've flown and worked with - wondering if they could do something else more gratifying. Many quit only to find themselves lost and having to return. Many go back to school only to find out it wasn't for them. And when they do come back to flying, they find themselves having to start all over again in pay, seniority, and the possibility of being based elsewhere. This is a huge disadvantage when one decides to return to flying.

You are fine at 54 of age. A few friends I know were hired in their mid 50's and are doing fine. My advice is for you to research the airline you want to work for. Each is different. Choosing the right one will make your career pleasant and rewarding.

Thanks for the info! This is still Diana, I just changed my screen name. I think I might be ok then. I've been self-employed (hair designer) for many years and haven't been diligent in saving up for retirement. I need something for the short time that I have that will be good for helping me with that. I only have an assoc. degree so can't do many other things. I like being of serving others and feel I'm fairly creative in helping resolve problems, so assume I'd like this. I appreciate your vote of confidence. What do I look for in an airline to know if it's for me or not? Thanks!

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WOHL in Michigan

23 months ago

Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona said: Hi Diane, I went to a fabulous school here in Tucson, Pure Aesthetics. ( www.pureaestheticstucson.com ) You can always work for someone and build a client list. At PA we are all organic and holistic. We actually have people come from other states to attend.

The only thing about becoming an aesthetician (self-employed or most salons) is that there are usually not going to be benefits, but if you have a spouse that has that covered with their job then maybe it's ok. I say that because I have worked in the beauty biz and unless you're successful (developed a good client base [takes awhile] and make good $) and very disciplined to contribute to an IRA, etc. it won't happen too easily.

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CJA 5R in Anaheim, California

23 months ago

WOHL in Michigan said: Thanks for the info! This is still Diana, I just changed my screen name. I think I might be ok then. I've been self-employed (hair designer) for many years and haven't been diligent in saving up for retirement. I need something for the short time that I have that will be good for helping me with that. I only have an assoc. degree so can't do many other things. I like being of serving others and feel I'm fairly creative in helping resolve problems, so assume I'd like this. I appreciate your vote of confidence. What do I look for in an airline to know if it's for me or not? Thanks!

I forgot to mention when a flight attendant decides to leave and returns back to flying, it is very difficult for some to make that adjustment because they're much older now and have more responsibilities compared to when they were in their 20's or 30's. Having to start all over to interview, train, make $20,000/yr, relocate and commute takes a toll. Here's a link I'd like for you to read. This flight attendant that posted speaks about the negatives of the job. He/She posts with humor, and the lifestyle as is written us very true of a flight attendant. It continues on to several more pages thereafter. Scroll through the page and you'll know which posts I speak of.

www.indeed.com/forum/job/flight-attendant/Continental-Airlines-Flight-Attendant-Group-Interview/t31418/p115

As far as choosing the right airline. I always advise the top 4 - American, Delta, United or Alaska. They have the means to pay for air fare to interviews and lodging during training. Their route system is comprehensive and offer more bases that will get you close to where you live now.

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CuriousFA in Nashville, Tennessee

17 months ago

Thought I would see how everyone is doing as a follow up to this post. I've been flying for almost 6 years - the first 3 with a regional, and the last with a semi-major airline. I am in my second bankruptcy, my airline is for sale and it has been completely unstable the whole time. I thought that I would fly forever and work my way into management. I did special projects at my current airline and realized that they didn't care about what was best for us - and just wanted yes-type pee-on people. I think the truth has been the hardest reality for me.

I am in my late 20's, and realize that I will never have the glamour life or schedules that those who have been in the industry for 20-30+ years have held. Contracts seem to be getting worse - we are usually at our 14 hour duty day followed by the minimum rest in hotels (9 hours), followed by our stay in an airport hotel. Passengers seem to be getting worse and I am beginning to feel like a low-paid slave (I made less than $20,000 last year flying my butt off).

I'm wondering if any of you have transitioned into nursing? I have been looking into this lately. I know starting pay for flight nurses is around $50/hr and nursing in general seems like a much more stable and rewarding career. I really wish I could say flight attending is a career (maybe at Southwest still?), but for someone my age I think I am just treading water.

I know if you go to LPN school a lot of hospitals will pay for you to get your RN (if you are employed with them). Just wondering what people's experiences are.

PS - Alaska does not pay for transportation to your interview or training.

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socalflyn in Renton, Washington

17 months ago

CuriousFA in Nashville, Tennessee said: Thought I would see how everyone is doing as a follow up to this post. I've been flying for almost 6 years - the first 3 with a regional, and the last with a semi-major airline. I am in my second bankruptcy, my airline is for sale and it has been completely unstable the whole time. I thought that I would fly forever and work my way into management. I did special projects at my current airline and realized that they didn't care about what was best for us - and just wanted yes-type pee-on people. I think the truth has been the hardest reality for me.

I am in my late 20's, and realize that I will never have the glamour life or schedules that those who have been in the industry for 20-30+ years have held. Contracts seem to be getting worse - we are usually at our 14 hour duty day followed by the minimum rest in hotels (9 hours), followed by our stay in an airport hotel. Passengers seem to be getting worse and I am beginning to feel like a low-paid slave (I made less than $20,000 last year flying my butt off).

I'm wondering if any of you have transitioned into nursing? I have been looking into this lately. I know starting pay for flight nurses is around $50/hr and nursing in general seems like a much more stable and rewarding career. I really wish I could say flight attending is a career (maybe at Southwest still?), but for someone my age I think I am just treading water.

I know if you go to LPN school a lot of hospitals will pay for you to get your RN (if you are employed with them). Just wondering what people's experiences are.

PS - Alaska does not pay for transportation to your interview or training.

Just to clarify, Alaska does not pay for transportation to the interview, but once you've been invited to training, they do pay to bring you to Seattle. They also pay $40 per day, per diem for each day of training, including weekends. Good luck everyone!

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Armelle in Dallas, Texas

16 months ago

Hello in Dallas, Texas said: Please share. Thank you.

I am looking to connect with flights attendants.

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tyksmith in Chicago, Illinois

16 months ago

Hello, I have been reading this entire thread as I am considering becoming a flight attendant. I found some openings with two major airlines here in Chicago. I am in my early 30s and unemployed for the 2nd time within the last 3-4 years. My background is primarily in banking, which I have grown very tired of due to the lack of stability. Some years ago, I did obtain an associate degree with a major in travel and tourism, because of the interest and passion I have for traveling. However, the only drawback for me becoming a flight attendant is the PAY! I am use to making a significant amount of money ($70K+) and just can't imagine waiting for years to come to reach a certain salary. My understanding is that everything is done by senority with the airlines. Please feel free to give any advice or comments on this possible career move.

Thank you and I appreciate it!

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LAMya in Los Angeles, California

15 months ago

I'm in my early 30's as well and have been in the restaurant industry and bartending for the past 10 years...making ends meet, even barely at times. Los Angeles is amazing and lonely, rich and poor, dirty and clean....but it's all I know. I have recently been offered to train with a regional. Everyone seems so excited, and like a few others my concerns are:

leaving my apartment
leaving my dog
leaving LA

I just got a better paying job bartending at the hotel but "better" pay means like consistently $2800 per month. I know I can live on this...anything less scares the crap out of me! I'm thinking of all the flight attendants I know that are extremely happy, but reading this forum shows me another side, a more realistic side? One poster stated she's in bankruptcy and makes 20,000 a year!???? I have never traveled, do not know much outside of Los Angeles, and I have a love/hate with this city. My plan has been to sublease my apartment for the summer so that for at least 2 months I will have no rent, but leaving bartending, to eventually get to burn out and not much money, seems not smart and a huge mistake!!!

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Flyniah in Spring, Texas

14 months ago

Dianne in Camarillo, California said: I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

I am in the exact situation you are.... I'm 51 flying for 25 yrs... Started thinking its time for something new. How are you adjusting.? I'm with UAL former CAL

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nik in Falls Church, Virginia

12 months ago

BlueBlue in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates said: I am asking exactly the same question.. And as I see there is no answer in 5 months. Does it mean, that there is no hope for us? Do we have to keep our wings forever? :(

i totally get what ur saying. i can relate coz i flew with QR for 5 years and im now married and settled in US.. my biggest hurdle is my immigration status tht does not allow me to work anywhere. unlike most of the people here who flew for decades & are in the 50s.. i only flew for 5 years and 27 years of age but still cant find my way forward. my education is bachelor level but not equivalent to a US bachelor degree.

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STEVE QANTAS in Pennant Hills, Australia

11 months ago

HI everyone just left international flying with Qantas Airways the airline with the big kangaroo on the tail here in AUSTRALIA, after 28 years of flying prior to that i was snow ski instructor for many years have decided to go back again and do all the courses to teach snow sking,its now classified highly as a customer orientated service,maybe some ex flight attendants should give it a go if you can guess it depsnds on your circumstances, well i dont miss flying at all the late nights and feeling terrible after flying all night and the emergencey procedures exams, well anyway please say hello sometime or email me at steveqantas@hotmail.com take care Kind regards STEVE/SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

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