When you meet new people, make new friends, as we generally muddle through life, one of the key questions we always get asked is: So… what do you do?
It’s a pretty tough question right? When you think about it, in life we all do a lot of things. But usually when people ask, all they want to know is what job do you do. What pays the bills. I always wonder why that’s important. Why do we need to know?
When I break it down in my own mind, I know why I ask. Every job holds a certain stigma to it and I suppose by asking what people do, I can easily categorise them into certain characters or behaviours. Writing that down is quite shocking, I can’t quite believe I’m telling you that I’m allowing myself to be prejudiced. But I do genuinely feel like I ask the question hoping to find an exception to the mould. Just the other day I was chatting to a friend who was telling me about her bank holiday weekend at the bike track where one of the best riders was a 13 year old girl and we both took great pleasure cheering the young female going against the norm.
But in situations where they do fit the stereotype, am I making an assumption without getting to know someone? When Mo and I were in the process of being set up on a date, I point blank did not want to spend the rest of my life with a doctor, lawyer, banker… and lo and behold within six months I married a solicitor and happen to be best friends with a whole heap of law professionals!
I had a specific reason for writing this post. And that reason is although I’m questioning why we need to know what people do, there are a few industries where I’ve found generalisation and prejudice actually works to my advantage.
Blogging – well most of you guys reading this know how amazing the blogging community are. We’re do-ers. We try our hand at everything and anything and we are the biggest team going. We support each other’s successes and we lift each other up in the hard times (or we should be doing). Finding a blogger is like finding an instant friend because no one will understand you the way a blogger does.
But the industry that has taken me by surprise, the reason I got into blogging in the first place and the reason I’m still here – well it’s all down to TRAVEL.
Travelling has made up a major part of my life since the day I was born. But for the last four years I took this to the next level, starting a job in a business travel management company working as a travel alert coordinator and moving into the marketing department last summer. I’m in a job that I love, that drives me forward but most importantly, it’s one that I’m passionate about.
And the best thing about being in travel – is near enough everyone else you work with is passionate about it too! I am constantly surrounded by people with an insane amount of knowledge about the world. Destinations, travel routes, booking tickets, journey times… I have the most important information I’ll ever need available at my fingertips or a phone call away. I wrote a while ago about my struggles to find the best way to get to Rotterdam and the knowledge of my friends in travel really came into their own as they mapped out the multiple ways I could reach my destination.
Like most bloggers, I would love to be able to work for myself one day, I had the opportunity too, but I chose to stay on here (I had a gut feeling to keep going) as I do thrive better when I work with other people. Some of us can’t make the step to going freelance full time, or simply don’t want to – we have to stay in jobs that pay the bills, so we can crack on and do what we love.
But should we stay somewhere that makes us miserable? NO.
Life is too short.
Persevering and making a smart choice to stay on paid off for me. I found that I was working within a company that’s making changes, a job I love and in an industry that I have always dreamt of being in. I worked hard and was recently rewarded – in the best way possible for someone like me: an all-expenses paid FAM trip.
If you’re not already in travel, FAM stands for ‘familiarisation’ trip (yes the industry is full of acronyms) – where you are taken to destinations to explore and experience, so you know what you are promoting to clients (travel bloggers – it’s like a press trip). In most travel companies, these are usually only for travel agents, who are specialists in certain countries and are flown over to familiarise themselves with the products they sell.
Here in my company, although the FAM trip still has the same purpose, it is open to every single member of staff who has over performed.
If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you’ll see that I have just returned from mine. An ALL EXPENSES PAID trip to San Francisco with a group of colleagues – people from around the company, most of which I had never met. BUT because we all work in travel – it was inevitable that we would get on, and we did.
Hosted by British Airways and IHG, we flew out and spent five days in the golden state where two of our company directors accompanied us to make sure we truly had an experience to remember. The senior executives were with us from start to finish, and by the end of the trip we all very much felt like we’d known each other for years, rather than days (well I’m speaking for myself here obviously ?).
The one major bonus I realised when travelling with a group of work colleagues, is that in actual fact you’re making friends that will benefit your everyday life. Let’s be honest for a minute here, no company in the world is perfect. No workplace is perfect, but like life, work is what you make of it and the more chance you have of making it better, the better it becomes for everyone. Being on a FAM trip with people you don’t know is a great way to make areas of the business that may previously have been inaccessible, accessible. Opens up opportunities to improve standards, to potentially help each other, to be stronger as a team. I mean that’s pretty special no?
Over the next week I’ll be taking you through our journey, most of the itinerary was in fact arranged by the commercial team at our company, so I can’t take any credit for what we did on this fantastic holiday. But I can certainly walk you through in case you’re thinking of taking a similar trip to the West coast (West coast of where I hear my sister scream ?) USA.
In the meantime, I’m going to drop a little preview of some of the incredible activities we got up to as I didn’t get a lot of opportunity to share pics with friends and family whilst I was out there. So below is a little roundup if you will, of memories that I will treasure:
Next from San Fran: Flying transatlantic in BUSINESS CLASS
*** Thank you to Clarity, British Airways and IHG for going above and beyond to make this trip a success. And of course, thank you to my fellow travellers for turning this successful trip into a truly memorable journey. ***
If you happen to be looking to move into the travel industry, why not check out our nationwide vacancies (feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions about Clarity or other travel companies – firstname.lastname@example.org) > https://clarity.recruitee.com