Heads up: This is more of a life post. No review, no travel tips, just a very personal update 🙂
Five years ago I met a group of wonderful people one evening. I was on the hunt for a new job and having started a very basic looking travel blog, I wanted to explore the idea of moving into the travel industry. Could I become a travel writer? Travel the world telling my stories?
Well I wasn’t quite ready for that, I mean this was the very first post I wrote >
No need to read it now, but if you want to, it’ll take you the whole of two seconds to finish because it’s RUBBISH. I know most normal bloggers would have deleted and banished it into some black hole, but I like the fact that I can look back and see how ridiculous I was. ?
Anyway the point is, that writing was in no way a direction I could have taken as a career. But having met this wonderful group of people in Cheshire, another opportunity in travel presented itself.
Mr Munro and Mrs Evans invited me to interview for a position titled ‘Travel Alerts Coordinator.’ Let’s be honest, you don’t know what that is and at the time, I didn’t know what it was either. All I knew was that I loved both of them and everyone else I had met and I wanted to be part of it.
I took the job at Portman Travel and looking back, it was the best thing I ever did in my entire career.
As travel alerts coordinator, I monitored social media and many other official sites searching for travel incidents that would affect business travellers around the world, compiled the data into reports and sent it out to all our business travel consultants. Many people looked at this job as mundane, I was wasting my time, why did I stay for so long… well what people didn’t realise was that I actually LOVED it.
I learnt about the world. I learnt so much and felt so up-to-date politically, culturally and also learnt a lot about the travel industry. All this added knowledge gave me the inspiration to write more. To work harder on my blog, I was able to balance work and blog life hand in hand. It was never easy, Mo put up with a lot during the first few years as I threw myself into Jet Set Chick – all the while testing and improving my digital skills, social media awareness and starting to integrate my very basic marketing knowledge.
Years passed, my team in Mobberley became like family and my blog grew from strength to strength. I was being hired freelance outside of work to consult, help manage and create content for other companies – building my personal brand up to become something I never would have dreamed of.
Then in 2016 Portman was bought out by Clarity Travel Management. And things were beginning to change.
I’m not going to lie, company mergers are never easy, especially if you’re the one being swallowed up so it was inevitable that this was going to be a testing time. My first impression of our new company wasn’t great and I’ll be honest at the time I was convinced that my job was at stake. My freelance work was taking off and I faced a bit of a conundrum.
Our new company had a head office based in Manchester City Centre, after many nights thinking long and hard about what to do I decided to ask for a transfer to the city, thinking it would give me the opportunity to build up a bigger client base before taking the plunge and going full time freelance. I had the conversation with my manager, a decision that didn’t come lightly as I knew I would be leaving an office that I had fallen in love with. But I needed to think ahead and I knew this was right for me. We had a chat and the moment, the EXACT moment I sat back down at my desk… a twitter post popped up for an in-house marketing role at the head office I had just asked for a transfer too. Although I was set on the freelance plan I had prepared for… this almost seemed like fate.
I had to apply.
Sure enough, I got the job. Saying goodbye to Mobberley was hard. Even though my job was a solitary one, it was always comforting to know they were in my corner and always asked – how can we help. I had never worked in an office where everyone was there for one another, not just in work but in life. I had been through many hard times during my time here. My Dad being submitted to hospital, heck even I had a traumatic hospital experience and whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on, back up or even to celebrate milestones, like turning 30, I knew they were there for me.
(Not everyones in the pic, but I love you all)
Time for my new role as a Marketing Executive at the newly branded Clarity. Wow, there was a lot of work to do but if there’s one thing I’m not scared of its hard work and I threw myself into this job. It became my world. As a freelancer I was used to working with many different companies… and now I was able to concentrate all my efforts into one. And I’m not gonna lie, I thrived in this environment.
Not only did I throw myself into the work, but years of blogging and networking had built up my confidence and having gone from years of working in small offices or teams, I needed to somehow take that ‘family’ mentality to my new big office and build up my new work family all over again.
And that I did.
I learnt a lot of lessons during my time at Clarity. The most important one was to not ever build up impressions based on first meetings. My goodness I made that mistake so many times, usually with our Company Exec team. I still remember the first time I met them all, and I remember feeling nervous and cautious and all the usual feelings you get with meeting very senior managers. Working alongside them over the years, well they became the reason everything fell into place for me and I’m so glad I didn’t hinge myself on those initial pre-conceptions and that I pushed forward and carried on doing my best. Because at the end of the day, if you work for a company and your goal is to be the best you can be, why wouldn’t the leadership team help and support you?
I found my new family, of course they became an extension of my Mobberley one. My Marketing team, we went through a lot together but my gosh we always pulled it out of the bag and we really could do anything! As the time passed, my network grew and grew… all those people I would bump into in the kitchen and chat to. The ones I would walk over to talk to rather than send an email. The teams across the country that I visited, chatted to and tried to get to know. The people I met on the amazing trips I was so very fortunate to go on. I genuinely wanted to get to know everyone and in doing so I made some fantastic new friends, besties and people that I know will forever be part of my life…
Alas, now comes the time where after five years, it was time for me to take on a new challenge. To test myself further and take my skills, knowledge and experience to the next level. With my interest for tech growing (and my commitment to Clarity stopping me from pursuing a rival company) I have a new opportunity ahead that takes me away from my work family and onto a new one.
Friday, was my last day. Of course I cried, goodbyes have never been something I can handle (Dear Lord, it’s making me well up just writing this).
EUGH. Right let’s try again.
I really do hate saying goodbye, to anyone! Even if I’m going to see them again soon. I just can’t stand being away from people I love and it really was one of the hardest work things I’ve had to do. But hey I survived, I had to go straight to BBC Manchester straight after and although I knew I would probably see them again at some point in my life, it was always going to be sad moving away from people and places I know so well.
And I knew I had to put all this down on here, on my space, so that I could always look back and remember how amazing this chapter of my life was.
And remember to thank everyone that helped me. Thank everyone who supported me. Thank everyone who gave me their time. Who trusted me. Who laughed and cried with me.
No company is ever perfect, and if you think it can be, well personally I think that’s quite naive. What I do believe is, that so long as you know in your heart that you love what you do and who you work with then you are in the right company. And I totally felt that whilst I was at Clarity.
I am so excited for my new chapter at Mobica, having met and gotten to know nearly all of my new work colleagues and having been treated by new leadership team already, I’m hoping that over the next few months I’ll find my family extended once again.
A new adventure awaits ❤️
Mobberley crew – See you soon for lunch!
Legacy Portman – we’ve had some great times and real dramas but you guys are troopers
Travel Alerts EKB – Look forward to using your updates! So proud to see how much this has grown
Marketing fam – Let’s not let this be the end. (hashtag-ant-and-dec-4eva)
Manchester ops – I’ve loved all my random chats and even though its hell-a annoying, I’ll secretly miss those famous words… ‘E****i down’
To all the Managers that have supported me (Portman & Clarity) – You all know who you are and I will never forget your part in helping me grow
Clarity Events – The most positive group of people I know! (Keep up those smiles Andrea!!! ?)
Exec – Such a great team, I hope everyone gets to see the side of you that kept me at Clarity (Boy, will I miss hearing the echo of a certain laugh)
And to everyone else that I worked with internally and externally… it’s been an absolute pleasure.