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Work / Life Balance

One of the first things I learned about being a flight attendant was establishing a proper work/life balance. Before, I'd worked jobs that had me at home every night. This is the first career that has me leaving home for multiple days at a time. And, I tell you...it took a bit of trial and error before my husband and I figured out what worked for us. Being a flight attendant is not just a job or career path. It's a lifestyle. If you come from the usual 9-5 grind, then becoming a flight attendant is an upending of everything you've become used to in a job. Everything. While crew life is amazing, I find it important to have a stable home life.

A Healthy Work/Life Balance

My work is a lifestyle, but it doesn't take over my life. I don't live to work. While I love my job and all of the craziness that comes with it, I make a conscious effort to not be consumed with work on my days off. I might look at my schedule or try and move some trips around, but usually work stays at work. It took me a little while to learn this. At the beginning of my career, I was constantly on my schedule trying to improve it. When our schedules released, I'd be on the computer for hours, searching for great trips. Nowadays, I'm on for maybe 30 minutes before I lose interest.

My husband and I had to lay down some ground rules as to what needs to be taken care of while I'm on a trip. Housework and errands. When I first started this job, I would come home from a three-day trip and my husband would ask me what was for dinner. The incredulous look on my face was so real. After that happened a few times, I explained to him that the last thing I wanted to do after coming home from a trip was plan and cook a dinner. Another parameter we had to set was about traveling on my off days. My husband enjoys traveling with me, but I told him that after a long trip, the last place I want to be is an airport. If I only have a few days off between trips, I'd much rather spend them at home.

My faith is also a huge part of my work/life balance. I used to not worry about getting weekends off, because I thought I'd have to work them anyway. Throughout training, I was told to forget trying to bid weekends off because my seniority wouldn't be able to hold weekends off. Well, I've held Sundays off for the past two months, and that gives me the opportunity to go to church. My husband and I attend a church that is welcoming and comfortable, yet also challenging. Putting my belief in God back in the forefront of my mind has significantly helped my work/life balance as of late. I feel a lot more grounded in my faith. And I needed that.

I make sure to have interests and activities outside of my job. You can always tell the flight attendants who eat, sleep, and breathe their jobs, even on their days off. Not me, no siree. Whether it's a good run, a good book, or a good chat with friends, I busy myself with non-work related things on my days off.

Fellow cabin crew, how do you balance crew life with home life? Non cabin crew, any questions about crew life? Drop a line in the comments!

Here's to not letting work invade life,

- j

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