I am still holding the one-way ticket firmly between my fingers while I take my seat on the plane. I have to admit that this is both, thrilling and scary, at the same time. When you are about to move to a country that you have neither visited nor heard about before. It is reassuring though, when your captain in command is from your hometown and welcomes you with a warm smile on board.
August 28th had been marked in my calendar since months and as closer the day arrived, the more emotional I got. I was aware of the fact that every farewell while leaving friends places or having the last day at work might have been the last one for a long time.
While the plane in Zurich is taking off, I let the last few tears dry and set myself ready for my new chapter. Therefore, I keep myself busy by observing the cabin crew and imagining the fact that I will be soon one of them. I make myself noticed as a new joiner to one of the crew, who in turn spread the word within the group. I then get the chance to explore my new workplace, the Airbus A380. What a huge thing of a plane! I am just speechless when I am being showed around on the upper deck where you not only find luxury and comfortable seats but also a social area with a bar and even a shower spa in first class.
I arrive in Dubai safely but exhausted. A middle-aged lady welcomes me and assists me through all the stations at the airport until I finally sit in the taxi that will take me to my company provided accommodation. It must be around 3 am – after an almost 24 hours journey – when I unlock my door to my new home.
73 new joiners from all over the world
On the first Sunday after my arrival, the introductory week begins. It is the beginning of a new chapter for me and 72 people from more than 20 different countries. From undergraduates, ex self-employers to an underwater photographer and those with doctor’s degrees – you find them all. A truly cosmopolitan mix of people and it seems that only a few already worked as a cabin crew in the past. Nevertheless, with my 21 years of age, I am definitely one of the youngest.
It matters who and how different you are
The introductory week is mainly about presentations and countless in-house medical appointments. Blood test, Drug Test, Alcohol Test and so on.
Apart from the tests we get familiarized with the general rules and conducts of the UAE and the airline itself. I am totally aware of the fact that once I am dressed in uniform, I am part of the image of the company and their brand. Therefore, an immaculate appearance (the so-called grooming) and a positive attitude are self-evident and the key to success.
By now I can tell that a lot is different from what I am used to and even though I don’t necessarily agree with everything, I don’t regret my decision at all.
‘Different is different’ – but saying that does not generally mean that this is something bad. I will have to step out of my comfort zone and stop comparing between habits and novelties. I am convinced that this kind of ‘different’ will carry me forward in my personal development.