Dear All, Compliments of the day! I have been working as a Cabin Crew for the last 9yrs. Along with my flying career I completed my graduation and MBA in HR. I completed my education in 2012. Since then I am looking for a job in HR but not succeeded yet. Every place I apply or go for interview I get rejected because of no prior HR experience or because of the salary package.

I agree I have no prior HR experience but a fresher can also get a job somewhere. And I am not a complete fresher I have 9yrs of work experience where I have interacted with all kinds of passenger profile around the globe.

Salary package is my second problem. I agree my package is high today as compared to a person who is a fresher in HR, but I am not expecting the same package. i am ready to negotiate. Pls help me. Its demotivating now. Been almost 3yrs and nothing positive.

From India, Pune
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Neha Shrivastav
Hr Manager
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Workplace Assessment And Training
Retired From Air India
Manager Hr & Admin


First of all let me wish you best of luck in your job search and change in career.
Dont get demotivated at not getting offers of job at your package.
Your experience as a flight cabin crew is no doubt valuable and varied.
Present this experience in a manner which is appealing.
Showcase some example of how you dealt with a difficult passenger or some other highlight of your cabin crew career.
HR jobs have a inherent psychological basis.
Highlight your ability to interact with people in positive manner.
Half HR problems are due to the way interaction takes place between employees.
Probably have a lower expectation of salary package.
Prepare well when you go for the interview.
Study the company and show your awareness of the general industry in which the company works.
Also try and analyse where you could have lost out in the interviews.
Once agains best of luck and keep trying.

From India, Pune

further to my suggestions:
Also see it from company point of view.
They will have to pay a higher package as per what you are asking but they fear that you lack experience and will not be able to produce results initially.
If you can in your interview dispel the fear or doubt of the company,then they will hire you.
So your focus should be how your experience of dealing with new people on every flight can translate into good HR practise,since you have the theoretical knowledge of HR practises.
Your lack of experience in company HR practises can be made by your otherwise good experience in dealing with people.

From India, Pune
Thankyou Mr Nathrao for your reply. I shall keep all your points in mind for my next interview.
I agree I am a fresher with HR therefore I do not expect the same package I am getting now.
Sir may I even request you to help me with any vacancies you know of where I can go for interview.

From India, Pune
My daily reading of CiteHR never fails to intrigue me.

Here we have a posting from a person with no HR experience trying to get a job in HR, and no-one will employ him/her!

Yet, every week we have postings from people who without any experience or knowledge whatsoever, get a job in HR and have to come to us to ask how to do their job.

Doesn't anyone think this is strange?? I know things "are different" in India, but come on people, this is bordering on ridiculous.

Returning if I may to Neha's plight. Here is a person with 9 years experience as an airline flight attendant. Think for a moment what this person does all day, every day. The answer is simple, they deal with people and their problems. They deal with nice people, they deal with rude and uncooperative people, and if they are trained correctly, they must do this with a smile.

What do HR people do? To a great extent they deal with people and their problems. The only thing that changes is the workplace - an office or a factory instead of an aeroplane.

Neha may not have the knowledge of payroll, or pf, or all the other arcane stuff Indian HR people do, but I strongly suspect he/she has a wealth of other TRANSFERABLE SKILLS, that would be an asset to any organisation. The nuts and bolts stuff can easily be learnt with the right training, attitude cannot.

Flight Attendant is a SERVICE job. HR is a SERVICE job.

Neha, your resume and cover letters need to highlight your transferable skills, and what you can bring to a new organisation. Focus on your skills, not the fact you are a flight attendant trying to change careers.

I can talk about this with some degree of authority, as many years ago, I trained nearly 100 ex flight attendants from a failed airline, in job search techniques. Almost all were successful in starting new careers.

From Australia, Melbourne

Dear Aussie John,
My suggestions to madam Neha were on same lines.
People skills are very important,nuts and bolts of HR jobs as you nicely put it can be learned.
But remember that companies want readily employable people.
The person they hire should ready to work on Pyroll,PF and so,who has time for training the person.Call it short sighted approach where they miss the most vital skill of an HR person-people handling skill.
My advice to Ms Neha has been to highlight her existing Service skills and display attitude which will appeal to employers as a good prospect for HR job.A few days on the job and person will be good employee.Right attitude and willingness to learn is most important.
Salary package can be negotiated.

From India, Pune
Dear Neha,

Other seniors have given their valuable suggestions. Now let me analyse your post in my own way.

Following positive aspects about you can be derived from your post: -

a) You are highly career oriented. You wanted to bring positive change in your life in general and in your career in particular. For this, you have enhanced your education.

b) Cabin crew's job is not sedentary. It involves physical activities. In spite of this, you completed your graduation and further MBA. This shows that you are a hard working person. Kudos to you!

c) To pursue your career in HR, you are ready to negotiate your salary. This shows your accommodative nature.

d) Whenever other senior members replied your post, you have posted your view point also. You have not abandoned your post. This shows that you have communicative mindset. You have understood the essence of communication.

Reasons for not getting job in HR (this will involve my frank opinions, please do not get put off by reading them): -

e) I feel that your career ambitions are misplaced. You have chosen wrong direction. The right direction for you would be to pursue career in sales or operations in the Airlines industry. You could choose your career in (Airlines) Training also.

f) Career is built by taking benefit of the competencies built in the past jobs. In contrast, what you would like to do is to start something fresh thereby making these competencies redundant. The cause of your rejection in HR is quaintness of your approach.

g) Before doing MBA in HR, I doubt whether you had made your career plan. Acquirement of certain degree is just a part of career plan. It appears that you have done MBA (HR) under the assumption that acquisition of this degree would give a passport to enter the world of HR.

h) The career plan should have been made after doing market research. Why candidates in HR are selected or why their candidature is turned down that you should have found out and then pursued MBA (HR). Look around and you will find that be it ordinary factory or IT company, for every 100 employees, there are 1-2 employees in HR department. Therefore, what made you to think that you would be given welcome in this miniscule percentage and that too with no prior experience? Above all, you must have done MBA (HR) through correspondence. It is a well-known fact that those who do regular MBA course gets priority over correspondence course. When candidates who have done MBA (HR) through regular course are abundantly available why companies will select a candidate who has done correspondence course?

i) There is big difference between course curriculum of MBA (HR) and what average HR professional does. Probably, you had no idea of it.

j) You have been searching the job in HR for the last three years and then raised this post. In your MBA (HR), you must have one of the subjects as Organisation behaviour. In this subject, you must have learnt theory of decision making or managerial decision making. Why you did not assess your own decision (of the choice of job search in HR) based on this theory? You need to revisit the concepts of management constantly. We do not learn management subjects only to get good score. We have to implement the learning in day to day activities also.

What is the way forward? - Do not get put off because of my above said critical review of your post or career. I have tried taking dispassionate view. From my point of view, you have following options:

k) Though you are MBA (HR), nothing wrong to pursue career in sales. As such cabin crews have good command over English and they have pleasing personality too. Secondly, for the nine years you have been doing a job that demanded physical exertion. Therefore, going to a field on sales call should not be a problem.

l) One more option for you is to apply for the post of Faculty in MBA (Aviation Management). Who would not like to employ a person who had been in thick of operations for the nine years?

m) The next options is to apply for the job in ground operations in your own industry. It could be in cargo operations also. I say so because you have overall understanding of the rules of safety of air cargo.

n) You could choose job in hospitality industry in the sales department. Initially you need to work at lower salary, however, you will be able to catch up with old salary very fast.

o) Are you good in Maths? If you are good in Maths then you may work in the department that optimises the flight utilisation.

p) Go and approach HR of your company. Ask what are the avenues available to grow. If there is hesitation to approach HR (for most ops staff, they have hesitation), talk to HR of some another airlines. Talk to some senior in the Ops and take his/her views on how to scale ladder of career. Possibly some better suggestions may come.

Final comments: - Hope my reply will satisfy you. It took one and quarter hour for me to type this post. Have a belief on yourself and do not get put off. You will grow surely. Thousands of years ago Greeks use to say "Man know thyself first". Most of our problems arise because of lack of self-awareness. More you understand yourself, more the success will be. Come back after 5-10 years and it would be our pleasure to read that you are holding some senior level position.

For additional reading, go through my following reply:

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

I agree that "companies want readily employable people". It is the same everywhere. These days organisations are working harder with less staff, and the pressure is on. Often there is no time for training. In an ideal world, they want to employ people who can "hit the ground running" on Monday morning when they arrive to take up their new job.

And incidentally, that is a good selling point in an interview. If you have the skills, then you need to tell interviewers that you can be productive straight away. That will be music to their ears.

However, you know as well as I do, from reading this forum, we have many members placed in HR jobs with absolutely NO experience or knowledge of HR, and who are posting on here for help in simple, basic functions. So that notion of employing people who are up to speed flies straight out the window.

You are right in that NOT training staff adequately to do their jobs is shortsighted, and it comes back time and time again to bite employers on the bum. They never learn. All HR people here on CiteHR should be working hard to convince their management that training staff is an investment, not an expense. A fully trained and productive staff will ensure a healthy bottom line, and good profitability for any organisation.

From Australia, Melbourne
Hello Neha,

In the first place you deserve to be appreciated for getting graduated and also getting professionally qualified in HR. A gamut of ideas has been shared by the learned members of this forum. I am sure by now you have plenty of avenues to think of and get busy. Enough motivating messages are already in front of you.

Unless I missed this specific point, you must focus on getting noticed. While an employment in HR may be tough and employability is not an issue ( from your side) because of your skills learnt and experience, you should look for opportunities to project your candidature differently.

Right now money is not an issue to you whereas Passion is unfulfilled.

You can approach many NGO organizations that will arrange for free lectures to be given by you. Why not try this once a week? Get local body membership of Management Association to develop contact and promote your cause. Your bio data will have new additions.

Eventually you can take training sessions on a part time basis to start with and later build a career.


From India
Dear all,
Thank you for your reply on my post. All your words of appreciation is highly motivating. I am trying my level best to workout on all your suggestions. However I would request you to keep me posted with an job openings you come across and you think it is applicable for my profile.
Thank you once again, looking forward for your help and support.

From India, Pune

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