Commercial to Corporate.. easy transition?
One of the biggest questions I get from people pursuing a career as a corporate flight attendant/ cabin attendant, is: ” How easy or hard is the transition from commercial to Corporate?” There is no simple answer to this question because it depends on YOU ( and how hard you are willing to work at getting a job). If you are interested in a job in corporate aviation, The process is pretty much the same coming from commercial or another industry all together. The only acceptation to that statement is the fact that your initial safety training may be a bit shorter and less expensive. The actual FAs job on a private plane is NOTHING like the job on a commercial one. Not only are the rules of the “game” different, your job responsibilities ( outside of safety), are completely night and day!
Now remember, I made that transition myself, so this advice I am about to give, comes from experience!
First, The day you decide to to leave your salaried with benefits commercial FA job, you better have done your research! Know the facts about the industry job market country wide and pertaining to your own geographic area! Also, don’t be in denial of how unstable it can be.
I started my career in CA but returned to NY because I preferred the east coast. I was working out of NY area when the stock market crashed.. oh boy! Planes were repossessed left and right! People were barely flying private (the brokers were broke!). I had to return to CA in order to continue working.. A couple of years later, CA slowed down and I was then getting job offers from the east coast! I have moved back and forth from the East to the West Coast 3 times just to follow the wave of employment in my career ( and the countries economic state).
Bottom line, be prepared for a scenario like mine.
Also, research the skills needed for this job, peanut slinging is not one of them. JK! 😉 .. If you have some first class serving experience with your airline, that is a plus. But if you don’t, prepare to beef up your culinary skills and learn the necessary serving and etiquette skills. We spend our time planning, ordering, cooking, serving, and planning some more!
Harsh honesty warning:
Third, some corporate aviation companies look at commercial airline experience as a “minus”. They seem to think that you will get on their private planes and start playing ” cell phone hitler” or have bad habits like sitting on the jump seat ignoring passengers.. I have honestly heard this verbatim from an owner of a private jet company who was very hesitant to hire from the commercial side. Now we all know he was generalizing but the truth is, some commercial FAs don’t make the transition well because they have been “programmed” in the commercial world for so long that their expectations of the new job are a little off base from reality. IE. We DONT sit on a jumpseat reading unless its 3 am and all our pax are sleeping! Even then, we are still taking care of our pilots, cleaning, and preparing for the next meal service.
Now before any commercial FAs out there get mad at me or misinterprets the above statement, Let me repeat: it takes one to know one! And I definitely had no idea what this job entailed until my first trip!
Finally let me say that in my opinion, having commercial training in your backround makes you a far more safety oriented corporate FA (than someone transitioning from a different career), which is really what we are on that plane for at the end of the day!
In the end, the pursuit of this job is work in itself coming from ANY other career!
Cobblestones and Heels