This post is written by Karalee, a certified SkyAngel.
Everyone believed I “had it all” as an international flight attendant and that I was living my dream. I had international flying, long layovers, and a new airplane. The lifestyle did seem unreal at times, but over the course of a few years, my commercial airline job wasn’t the vibrant and exiting existence that I wanted for myself. I desired a fresh adventure, and that’s when I became a SkyAngel.
With almost ten years of commercial airline experience— both domestic and international— I’ve been surprised by the “slow take-off” to my new career in private aviation. In many moments, I have been frustrated and discouraged. I’m qualified. I’m trained. I’m ready, and still, I haven’t flown in private aviation. I know you hear me. I know you understand what I am saying. I know many of you Baby Angels are going through the same exact scenario.
You are beautiful, intelligent, creative, a culinary master, cocktail wizard, and solve pending problems with grace. I know this, because not all can be a SkyAngel. I know this because in my training, everyone I was surrounded by was so talented; even more so than myself. You were picked for a reason, but what both you and I have to remember is that— regardless of how many people we know, our extensive expertise, and what we offer, our success in this industry lies heavily on three things:
I can be frustrated at my slow path back into the sky, but if I am honest with myself, I know I could work harder. If it’s my goal to do A, B, and C, than my spirit should be unrelenting and laser-focused. Has it been that? Well…
Hunger. Persistence. Resilience.
Your success as a SkyAngel does depend on much more than those three cornerstones, but those three are the fuel to power you through the low moments and help you soar into the better ones. Your resume is great, but let’s take a look at the approach. How much do you want this flying life? How many times have you called the manager at the FBO or the pilot who you gave your resume to months ago? How many times have you taken ‘No’ too soon? Have you let that one ‘No’ crush you? That fourth, fifth, or sixth one? How much do you want to be a SkyAngel?
Your answer to ‘how much’ will answer how successful you will ultimately be as a SkyAngel.
If your path is slow like mine has been, so be it. Of course I wish I was flying already, but I’m so proud of myself because no one said there was one way to make it and in my own way, I’m making it. I making it work for now, and although it’s not what I want for the longterm, I’m on my flight path. Your way may not be my way, and that’s totally fine. The more important thing to remember is that you are going and growing.
It wasn’t until I quit my full-time airline job two months ago that doors began swinging open for me. It wasn’t until I didn’t have the fallback and distraction of another job that I was able to throw myself into being ready for “the next thing.” My “next thing” has meant working on the ground full-time at a private aviation company. This means that I help the cabin attendants with their dishes, grab their ice, and make their coffee. Then, I get to watch them fly away while I stay. This is the most humbling position. It’s so humbling. I really hate that I have to stay and they get to go. I hate that so much, but I am also equally grateful. When you have to wait for something, work for something— invest sweat, tears, and time, you appreciate it more. When I fly, I will know all that I threw away, all that I gave up, and all that I gained.
I don’t know when the company I am with will let me fly, but if I want something (hunger), am determined to get it (persistence), and keep pushing forward (resilience), I will get to decide when I fly. What I mean by that is often we need to prove to ourselves what we are capable of doing and accomplishing.
Personally, I know that there is so much more that I can do to reach my dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you want because you became a SkyAngel and not another company trained cabin attendant. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or won’t or it’s too soon or you’re too old. Some people sadly give up right before an incredible breakthrough and if they only had resiliently persisted one more time, they would have found their wings. Create a different story. Keep reaching and believing.
Can you imagine what our lives will be like in three months from now, eight months, one year? It only takes one yes to have a radically different life— one that has you living a dream adventure all over the world.
P.S.— you’re not failing at this. It’s just difficult to get into, but you’ve already gotten this far. Keep going forward. You got this.