Contributed by Mary Clare Inonog
I had always dreamt of riding on a plane, going to my dream destinations, seeing the places I only see in the movies, while reaching my dream job and having a successful career for my family and my future. I never experienced riding one until I got accepted as a flight attendant. Needless to say, I never knew that I will face tons of depressing moments in those 6 years of chasing my dream. Please be ready folks with the story of my journey towards my dream, a dream that started when I was 18.
After graduating college, I started applying as a cabin crew at different airlines. I can still remember my 1st attempt and my 1st rejection at the first airline I applied. I went there with my Dad, praying and hoping I will be accepted so I can make him proud! I will never forget what happened in that interview because I didn’t have the chance to talk and to prove myself to them. I got rejected. I never thought it would hurt so bad, I went home crying with my dad but it didn’t stop me. So I tried my luck at a second airline and, for the 2nd time, I got rejected again. It made me think why they didn't like me. Third attempt was with the very first airline I applied for, then a third airline. I never knew they would accept me for the interview. I learned a lot from that interview that day. It tested my ability to be confident in front of other applicants and the panel, to talk about myself wholeheartedly, to talk about my job experience and it tested my communication skills that time. It was scary. They had a lot of questions. Unfortunately, I again did not make it.
As time passed by, I said to myself that I need to gain work experience, I need to improve my skills, my personality, etc. I promised to myself I will not stop until I get it. I landed a job at a reputable company in Manila. I worked for 6 years in the hospitality industry but I still wanted my dream job which was to be a flight attendant. I tried again, this time at a fourth airline. That application for me was the funniest yet insulting one. The interviewer told me she cannot accept me because I was overweight. The funny thing about it is that time I was 54kgs only and my height is 5’4, hence, another rejection, another failure.
It didn’t stop me. I still had my job to keep me going on, but while working, I was still pursuing my dreams to be a cabin crew. Due to all the rejections though, there came a point that I stopped applying for months because I needed the time to make sure that I am better, that I would have enough courage and strength to face new rejections again.
I researched and made my own interview Q&A, practiced every now and then how to interact, sell myself to the panel, improve on my grooming for the interview, and practiced my communication skills. My training ground that time was my work with my alma mater, STI College Taft. It honed my communication skills and had me speak in front of hundreds of students. That made me somehow confident to talk in front of an audience.
At 21 years of age, I started to apply once again at different airlines. I can still remember that I tried eight times for this certain international airline. I always ask my mom to come with me during the interview but during my third attempt at that particular airline, I did not invite her to come because I felt so ashamed. I always fail them. I never reached the final interview for that particular airline. It was so heartbreaking! Maybe it’s still not the right time for me to be a cabin crew. Maybe God is preparing me for something else. Despite all the setbacks, I told myself to never stop and never give up even if it seems like I am being broken down to pieces.
I started applying without telling my parents because I don’t want to fail them again. I only shared my secret to my boyfriend. I gained my courage again to apply.
Sometimes God will test you and you will never know when that time will come. I can still remember hearing bad things from other people that I you are not qualified to be a flight attendant, I don’t have what it takes to be one. I am not that tall. I am not good looking. Quite depressing, right?
I prayed to God and he answered my prayer. I was always with my boyfriend in every application. I can still remember crying in the parking lot where I had my exam for one of those airlines I applied at and I didn’t pass. I even questioned God if he still wanted me to continue because I felt hopeless. I came prepared at every application. I improved everything from head to toe. I even asked myself should I change my dream job? I wanted to give up but then came Qatar Airways.
My first attempt, I only reached the second part of the interview. After that interview, on the same day i had an interview with one of those airlines I applied at before again. As always I got rejected. That time I prayed to God whatever airline it is, I will be the happiest. I tried again to Qatar airways for the 2nd and 3rd time but I only reached the 2nd to 3rd stage of the interview. Then came my 4th and last attempt at Qatar Airways, that was September 2016. I can still remember that time I was sick and suffering from a trauma in my legs. Again, I felt God was testing me so all the more I pushed myself. I never knew I will reach up to the final interview for the first time. Every stage I was praying to Him. I said, “God whatever your plans are, I will follow your lead”. After my final interview with QR, one of the airlines I formerly applied at asked me to have my interview a week after. That nerve wracking interview almost gave me a heart attack, out of 20 applicants, only 2 of us passed the interview.
The time came when I had my final interview for an airline and medical for Qatar Airways. It happened on the same month but received a bad news, the other airline I was going for suddenly called me and said they will need to reschedule my interview to 2017 (the following year that time) because there was a conflict.
I then continued with my QR medical process and finally got the golden mail in December 2016! I almost fainted when I received the text message and the email. I immediately said the news to my boyfriend and we both surprised my family that I passed!
After all the failure, the stressful interviews, the negative things people, the trials and the challenges, I finally made it! Finally, I got accepted.
That same day I tried summarizing all my applications & rejections. After 24 attempts, 22 rejections, twice at airline 1, eight times at airline 2, three times at airline 3, six times at airline 4, once at airline 5, and four times at Qatar Airways, it made me realize that God really made things so hard for me because He wanted me to improve my skills, my personality, my weight, to prove myself to the people around me, and to learn in LIFE as well.
Sometimes, failure can be your partner but for as long as you do not give up, it will break up with you and you will meet success.
God has a reason why all of these things are happening, and for me, it made me realize that there is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve, the fear of FAILURE.
Don’t ever be afraid to fail, because it is always a part of the process of success. God will always guide you in every way. For my experience, I realized that God has a deep reason why I failed a lot of times before I landed my dream job as a flight attendant. He has prepared me for the Best Airline in the World!
It is true that someday, everything will fall into place. Don’t ever rush, when the time is right, it’ll happen. Just be super patient, always have faith and believe in yourself.