Would you give up a chance at a career for a shot at a crazy, unpaid venture?
Those of you who read “FLUFF THIS. I’M GOING TO EUROPE”: THE RATIONALE BEHIND MY MID-20S CRISIS will know that about a week before my planned trip to Spain and the UK, I made a decision to stay on in Europe and take a chance finding work this summer by renewing my British Citizenship. When I was left with no commitments I was free to pursuit an unknown venture.
My “plan” was/is to go down to the Caribbean in the fall and find work, if not in my career, then at a bar or restaurant when the tourist season kicks off. I’ve been actively seeking a full time position in Marketing or Writing in the Cayman Islands for over a year and a half and although I’ve had some prospects, I haven’t had luck so far.
Well once I set off to Spain and then met with my family in the UK, I happened to get an email on LinkedIn advertising about five positions relevant to my professional work experience. JUST MY LUCK! Why couldn’t this have happened a few weeks ago?
I sent in my CV and cover letter for a role where the description closely matched that of my last job in Burlington. Quickly, I received a response from the recruiter who was eager to speak with me on the phone.
At this point I still had no set work arrangement lined up in Europe, although I’d applied at a few hostels and jobs with nothing confirmed. When I spoke to the recruiter he said that with me travelling it would be difficult to arrange Skype interviews with his clients. I explained to him that I could make it work (just have to excuse myself from family gatherings and coordinate the time differences), and I could return to Canada on the 23rd of June like I’d originally planned which would make the interview process simpler. Of course I’d give up a chance on a one-of-a-kind endeavour in Europe.
The recruiter and I chatted and he said “You know what Lala, go for it. Although your skills and experience match this position advertised, I think you should follow your plan to stay in Europe for the summer. When you’re back in Canada, get in touch with me. I’m sure I wont have trouble finding a job on the island for you.”
So I am about to start a very unplanned work-exchange position at a Hostel and Beach Resort on an island in Greece which I still wouldn’t be able to point to on a map. I’ll be working all day, seven days a week, interacting with guests and running activities and unfortunately I doubt I’ll have much spare time to write. Once I meet with the manager I am going to propose the skills I can offer to help with their marketing and social media. I’d love to be able to write articles and posts similar to what I do for my personal blog.
The position I discussed with the recruiter in the Cayman Islands wasn’t guaranteed of course, but I hope I made the right decision in choosing this willie-nillie venture rather than pursuit the potential career.
It’s crazy- I’m jumping into a scary experience not knowing anyone or much about the place. One thing I am certain is that I won’t be wondering in a months time “What would have happened if I stayed in Europe?” I’m taking a chance, and whatever the experience brings, I won’t regret it.
Love from Lala.
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