Becoming a branch manager & senior gamesmaster at Escape Hunt


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Seeking happiness!

 

In response to my post about The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job, here is one of the career options that I had consided. I am writing this primarily for myself as I am a kinaesthetic learner and I learn from doing which includes writing things out in full. But I hope my thoughts may be of interest or help for others who are going through the same thing as I am.


The road to becoming a branch manager & senior gamesmaster at Escape Hunt

As alluded in my earlier post where I considered being an administrative assistant in a interior design firm, despite that position seeming to tick all the things I was looking for in a dream job, there was this deep down, there was a quiet but insistent feeling that was telling me to take a risk with Escape Hunt, a new business that was opening in Fremantle.

And dear friends, I dared to take that chance!

For the past month, I’ve been busy helping the family behind Escape Hunt get the business off the ground. During the times of stress leading up to the opening day, even though I had not signed any contract, employment papers, or received pay for a good few weeks, there was this strong, positive feeling that this was definitely the right path to go on. It was a plunge into uncertainty that I was willing to take. I was ready to make the choice and accept the challenges and lessons that I would learn from the decision if it ended up being a mistake.

However, Escape Hunt has just opened; and let me tell you, so far, this has been the best decision in my life.

When I look over the 5 intangible benefits from this job, I know that it ticks off all boxes:

Pros

  • I use all my prior professional and soft skills experience as a lawyer while undertaking the manager/admin role, but then I am also able to use my people skills, acting, and creativity while being a gamemaster. As such, I constantly feel growth.
  • I like, respect and care about my boss, his family and the casual staff employed. As such, I feel invested in them, their well-being and the success of Escape Hunt. So much so, that I constantly think about Escape Hunt and how to improve things outside of my working hours.
  • The wonderful people that I work with constantly collaborate with me on ideas and issues and I feel safe in voicing my opinions and receiving and giving constructive feedback. This has made me feel worthy and valued, and not like some insignificant, tiny, replaceable clog.
  • When I met for coffee with the owners of Escape Hunt in July this year, I voiced my vision as to how I would like Escape Hunt to be if I worked there. I had played similar games in London and had given a lot of thought about what I would do if I could get a job in a business like that. When I expressed my ideas and goals to them, they excitedly told me that they shared the same dream I instantly felt and I still feel like I belong.
  • Working at Escape Hunt has given me the opportunity to move from north of the river, to a more central area in order to make commuting to work easier, it has been the vehicle that has allowed me to design my lifestyle the way that I want it making me feel free and empowered.

I’ve never felt so proud of what I do. Never.

I was proud that I was a lawyer way back then, but I wasn’t passionate about my job. I had to rationalise to people that I had just met, that my job was awesome. Actually, perhaps I was really just rationalising to myself each time I explained what I did… Whatever it was, the pride was not 100% heartfelt. In fact, looking back now, the pride was more based on the idea that being a successful female lawyer was what I thought most people would be impressed by, and as such, that’s why I ought to be proud of what I did. I didn’t know what I was doing back then. Now I do.

For the Anna today is a completely different creature. I am so happy, and so proud of what I do, that when I tell people about my job, I can’t contain all my ecstatic and passionate energy when I do so. Happiness just oozes out, and I just have so much fun explaining what I do for life.

Ok, so what are the cons?

Cons

There are very little cons, so I’m actually scraping the barrel for these:

  • The uncertainty. This was a bigger issue earlier on when I was still waiting to hear back from the owners about the job. When I was going for interviews and being offered the job for Flight Centre, in the back of my mind, I was still thinking of Escape Hunt, and the uncertainty as to whether I will be offered a job with them did eat away at me.
  • Being a new business, there are times when it’s quiet.
  • I am working indoors for most of the day, and with no windows looking out (as the nature of the games require secrecy).
  • I don’t get an hour lunch break as I used to in the professional world.

To be honest, none of these are huge problems for me now. I’m just happy that I took the risk and rode the wave of uncertainty until I was able to get where I am at this point in time!

What do you guys think?

Have you ever had the choice between the safe job and the job that excites you but you don’t know how it’s going to turn out?

I would love to hear what happened when people chose the safe job?

I also want to hear about what happened to those who took the risk?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

 

Considering a job as an administrative assistant


In response to my post about The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job, here is one of the career options that I had consided. I am writing this primarily for myself as I am a kinaesthetic learner and I learn from doing which includes writing things out in full. But I hope my thoughts may be of interest or help for others who are going through the same thing as I am.


 

Anna the administrative assistant?

As part of my search for the dream job, I’ve applied to positions that I thought would use my experience and knowledge from working as a lawyer, but still allow me the time after work to pursue my passions.

Pros

When I looked over the 5 intangible benefits, being an administrative assistant/paralegal/legal secretary sounded like it could tick those boxes.

  • I would use all my prior professional and soft skills experience as a lawyer as well as develop skills in the supportive role and consequently,  feel growth.
  • If I were able to find a team that was involved in something that interested me, being an assistant will allow me to feel invested as I would have helped people achieve something great/complete a project for the greater good etc.
  • By assisting with the above I would feel worthy, as contributing to the company/society would give me great personal satisfaction.
  • If I were to find a team that shares the same visions and goals and one that I get along with and work well with I would feel like I belong.
  • As an administrative assistant, I would have a stable job, pay and hours that will provide me with financial independence and the time to pursue happiness outside of the work hours, making me feel free and empowered.

As such, I attended interviews with recruitment companies like Robert Half and Integrity Staffing, and an interview for a prestigious boutique interior design company in Peppermint Grove (which, I’ve decided not to publicise on here).

Unfortunately, even though I knew that I could be successful, the positions and opportunities offered by Robert Half and Integrity Staffing made my eyes blank over and mind shut down. Perhaps it’s because I knew where those paths would lead to, and I wasn’t ready for that yet.

However, the interview with the interior design company was a surprise.

When I walked into the office where the meeting was held (it was at a marketing company) and I met the owner, there was a completely different kind of professionalism in that room. They were very personable, engaging, relaxed and there was this feeling of freedom of true expression. Perhaps this was because this was in an environment with creative people and being creative myself, I felt like I didn’t need to act too differently to my true self (just a thought).

The work sounded interesting, and the boss was lovely. I looked him up online and saw his work on the Vogue Australia site and was inspired by his vision. I got excited when I received the call for a second interview and with the prospects that I could contribute by helping this team of creative geniuses get organised.

Cons

The cons were little, but they kept at me for a bit.

  • I will be back in the office and I didn’t feel ready to be a 9-5pm office worker.
  • I’ll be sitting in front of a computer for most of the day.
  • Unlike the Flight Centre job, I won’t be meeting new people every day.
  • Work routine could get stagnant.
  • I’ll have to wear professional clothes again (it sounds really silly, but clothes are a huge deal for me, and wearing black on black with a dash of colour where I can squeeze it in, does make me feel like I’m putting on a restrictive costume).

Epilogue

So, what happened in the end?

I had the second interview with the interior design company, and I had been waiting for confirmation of a job position with a new business opening up in Fremantle called Escape Hunt.

I ended up being offered a position with Escape Hunt on the Monday and after an hour of thinking to make sure I had made the right decision, I called up the interior design company to cancel my interview because even though the administrative assistant job could potentially meet all the 5 intangible benefits of the perfect job and the cons were minimal, deep down, there was a quiet but insistent feeling that was telling me to take a risk with this new company.

I’m experimenting, and am ready to make mistakes.

Perhaps this is the reason why I ended up straying away from the administrative assistant path?

If you want to know what happened in the end, you can read the result of my decision in my post Becoming a branch manager & senior gamesmaster at Escape Hunt.

What do you guys think?

Have you ever had the choice between the safe job and the job that excites you but you don’t know how it’s going to turn out?

I would love to hear what happened when people chose the safe job?

I also want to hear about what happened to those who took the risk?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do when you’ve lost the map and you’re in a ditch


Trying to figure out what's what.
Trying to figure out what’s what.

I started losing my map in 2008.

Over the years, holes started to appear and chunks with the direction of where my life was meant to head towards started to go missing.

Then in May 2014, on the return from my trip around Asia and Europe, whatever remained of my map dissolved before my very eyes.

It was a slow and disorientating experience and I fell into a ditch.

I would love to say that I returned home victorious. Alive! Bursting with happiness and excitement! A zest for life! Enlightened!

But I didn’t.

I came home feeling like I wasn’t ready to be back in Perth, but I had no idea where I wanted to go.

When I returned to my little room in my parent’s place wearing my worn out travel boots, my buff that smelt like Finnish snow and my backpack that contained my life for the past 7 months, there was this unusual and claustrophobic-like sensation.

I then took my time easing into meeting up with friends. All of them very happy to see me, and I too was happy to see them and catch up on what has been happening at home. But I felt like I was on a completely different page to everyone.

Everyone had their maps intact. People were moving up in their careers, they were engaged, they bought houses, they had kids. I didn’t know what I wanted.

I was at a friend’s get together, weeks after returning to Perth, when I realised that whatever map I had at the beginning of the trip, didn’t survive the flight home.

Amongst all the excited discussions about house renovations and wedding plans, when the conversation fell into my corner, I just said,

Well, life couldn’t get much worse. Got no job, got no money, got no house, got no boyfriend…got no idea what I want to do with my life.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I just tilted my head back and laughed loud and whole heartedly.

It was only a little over a year ago that I had everything sorted. I had a successful job in a corporate law firm, I was in a long term relationship, I was playing state indoor beach volleyball and I had paid off my car loan and was saving for a deposit for my first home. Life on paper was good.

I think my friends thought I had gone a little crazy and perhaps a little scary. But the feeling while I said it was just so funny. Given what I had, it sounded ridiculous, but it was so true.

I also felt relieved.

I realised that once I had acknowledged this fact to myself and openly to others, I was no longer feeling ashamed. And in fact, even though my previous life on paper seemed good, I was miserable. In light of this revelation, I thought back to one of the most honest statements I’ve ever heard. It was something my friend Anne would say all the time while Kev and I stayed with her and Jian in London.

It is, what it is.

Yup. It is, what it is. This was my ditch. And now I had to get out of it.

What made me smile was knowing that getting out of a ditch without a map meant that anything was possible. I didn’t have anything holding me down, I didn’t care about other people expectations anymore, which on hindsight, I realised, was what my old map was based on.

After the initial sadness, regret, anger and the tragic moments of me crying out ‘Why?!‘ I became excited because it dawned on me that after losing my direction,

I can draw up a new map!

So I spent weeks chatting to my best friend, Chia, about goals, life, love and about what makes me happy. I became a little overwhelmed with all the possibilities, and I reached my first hurdle of becoming stuck.

I didn’t want to make a mistake when drawing up this new map and that fear caused me to avoid making any definite choice/decision.

But Chia helped me draw out my very first draft of my new map.

The beginnings of a new map, a new life, a new direction!
The beginnings of a new map, a new life, a new direction!

I teared up in happiness when I saw it. It was simple, but that’s what I loved about it! It was the start of something new. Something that didn’t have any input or influence by family, friends or society expectations.

It was mine.

So what to do when you’ve lost the map and you’re in a ditch? – Draw up a new map! 

From trial and error, I’ve identified 5 things that I try to focus on during this scary-exciting period:

1. Admit to yourself and accept that you have lost your map and you are in a ditch.

If I continued to pretend to myself, my family and to my friends, then I was going to continue to hold on to the ‘idea’ of my old map and remain lost and in the ditch;

2. Put aside pride to ask for and to accept help/directions.

Most of my life, I kept my problems to myself. I am all good with being fun, happy and all open with people, but the true gritty, hard issues I had always figured out by myself. Yes, it teaches you to be independent, but being lost and in a ditch is already emotionally and psychologically hard, making it even harder to think straight. Be nice to yourself and seek out your partner, family or friends to help you bounce ideas around and to at least let them know where you are at, so they can be supportive and not demand more of you during this time; This leads into:

3. Be a good friend to yourself. 

I know that I am the meanest, bitchiest, slave-driver to myself. I expect immediate results. I do not accept mistakes or changing my mind or ‘piking out’ on commitments once I’ve committed. Though this is great work ethic, it’s not great for when you are trying to figure out what you want to do. You are starting something new, something not done before! You are an explorer, a scientist even, and all those explorers and scientists have tested, tried and failed at things and that’s ok. You learn from those experiences. So make those choices, make those mistakes and give yourself a pat on the back for trying.

4. Dare to think and do the things that makes you happy. 

When you don’t know what you want, focus on what you do know, and pursue the things that make you happy. So long as you’re doing what makes you happy, you’ll be… well.. happy. This sounds easy and wishy washy but it’s actually the hardest, which is why a lot of people either look over it, dismiss it and make up excuses for not doing it. I know I did (and still do at times). I’ve tossed and turned over going back into law or a professional office job because I have the experience, some elements I enjoyed, and I needed to make a living if I were to be able to start my life again (and to travel). But when I thought about it and when I interviewed for it, it made my stomach sink. So I knew that this path was not going to make me happy at this point in my life.

By exploring and reconnecting with things that make me happy, it has helped me tailor my job search to something that I will enjoy doing and the job search journey has become exciting for once! You can read up on how that’s going in the Work part of this site and you can see what things I’m considering when I’m looking for the perfect job in my post on The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job.

5. Understand and remind yourself that the map is a work in progress.

Circumstances change all the time. I’m beginning to realise that, that’s life. If your map does not evolve to reflect the terrain that you’re currently on, the map is wrong. Having the wrong map is worse than having no map at all. If you have the wrong map, it will take you to a place that you don’t want to go to, or it will just make you even more lost.

When Google maps tells you that the restaurant is in front of you, but then you look up from your phone and see no building, from my personal experience, it is a lot more productive and fun to turn off your phone and let your self wander – you never know what you may find!

Let’s be brave and do some wandering together!


 

What do you guys think?

Have you ever had the experience of your life becoming unclear? What happened? How did you cope with change?

I would love to hear the stories of people who have come unstuck from a situation that initially felt hopeless, or even stories where you may be currently in a ditch and don’t know where to start?

Are there any other tips to add to ‘What to do when you’ve lost the map and are in a ditch’? This is a work in progress for me!

Let me know in the comments section?

 

 

 

 

 

DIY weekend road trip around Scotland


So going back in time and revisiting where I left off in the travel posts – in February 2014, after a ‘exciting’ week in beautiful Edinburgh, Kev and I realised that we had to figure out a way to Aberdeen to visit our friends-from-home, Siska and Robin.

DIY Road Trip around Scotland in a long weekend. Can do!
DIY Road Trip around Scotland in a long weekend? Can do!

Now, we didn’t want to fly. So we explored different options from taking a bus to hopping onto a train, to joining a tour group. We ultimately decided to DIY and drive ourselves to Aberdeen to make the most of exploring the Highlands.

The next decision was to figure out where we were to stop, as there are just so many things to see in Scotland. Kev and I had an in-joke about ‘The Mull of Kintyre’ so we both were keen on going there for the sake of saying that we’ve been there (if you look at the map, The Mull of Kintyre is at the tip of the phallic-looking landmass right where the ‘G’ of Google is so fortunately placed) – what a surprise Google!

The expectations from the road trip

After getting a little overwhelmed as to how many must-see natural wonders in Scotland, Kev and I had to sit down and knuckle out what were our essential and personal expectations from this road trip. We both wanted to go hiking and skiing in the Cairngorms, see Lochs, try out the seafood from Oban as highly recommended to us by Jenna and Brett, and we also wanted to visit the Isle of Skye as that was an absolute must as recommended by tour brochures and TripAdvisor, not to mention all the breweries and distilleries too; and we only had the weekend.

We ended up streamlining our road trip to the following – Edinburgh; Perth; Fort William; Torrin; Inverness and then to Aberdeen (no Mull of Kintyre sadly). We had forego skiing in the Caringorms and keep the itinerary lean so that we still got to spend quality time in the highlands, try seafood and see the Isle of Skye too.

So we packed our rental car 

…and said goodbye to Jenna and Brett. They were such wonderful hosts and unfortunately I don’t have a photo of both of Jenna and Brett, but here’s a photo of Kev and Brett with their own little Northern lights in the living room (thanks Gareth and Elina for recommending the Lapland application).

Kev and Brett having some bro time under the 'northern lights'
Kev and Brett having some bro time under the ‘northern lights’

We were happy to find out that we could rent a car from Edinburgh at Europecar and return it in Aberdeen at Alamo. One of the first stops on our road trip was to a little town called… Perth! Brett and Jenna advised us that there wasn’t really anything to see there and they were 100% right.

With streets named Hay, William and Barrack, Perth UK amused us with the luxury of calling out street names that we had not needed to use for 5 months.

We had a chat with the tourist information attendant who laughed when we told her we were from Perth, Western Australia. She told us that a few months back someone walked into the tourist office looking for a hotel on Hay Street, only to be horrified to find out that they had booked for the wrong Perth!

Perth in the UK
Perth in the UK

From Perth we navigated around the narrow with sharp bends of the unlit A85 and A82. The scenery disappeared with the sun and so we were pretty happy once we arrived at our overnight stay.

Finding accommodation on Airbnb in places other than the main cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen was hard as there wasn’t a lot of listings. However, we rang some of the local bed and breakfast places and booked a night at Myrtle Bank Guest House over the telephone for a great rate. Don’t be worried if the B&B’s don’t ask for a last name or credit card details when you book. They seem to be based on a honour system and when we arrived at the Myrtle Bank Guest House, ‘Kevin‘ was enough to confirm the booking and a smooth check in.

Saturday

Our drive around Scotland just kept surprising us around each and every tight corner.

The reveals were amazing.

I’m going to let the photos do the talking for the leg from Fort William to the Isle of Skye.

Overnight stay, breakfast
Our view during breakfast at Myrtle Bank Guest House.

 

A beautiful shot that I made Kev pull over for.
A beautiful shot that I made Kev pull over for.
The road before us.
The road before us.
Beautiful little streams found sporadically trickling down mountains as we drive by.
Beautiful little streams found sporadically trickling down mountains as we drive by.
It is only us and the road!
It is only us and the road!
Snow on one side, green on the other.
Snow on one side, green on the other.
Eilean Donan Castle! A wonderful surprise pit stop just before entering the Isle of Skye.
Eilean Donan Castle! A wonderful surprise pit stop just before entering the Isle of Skye.

 

Sunday

We stayed overnight at an Airbnb place in Torrin, near Portree and the Isle of Skye. Torrin is a very small town, and the house itself was located off the main road.

It was windy, it was narrow.

Drivers would politely pull over to one side of the road to let an on coming car pass by. There’s no real ‘system’ to follow. I would describe it as a civilised, polite game of chicken. Kev enjoyed this and would beam the biggest goofy smile at the guaranteed friendly wave that you would receive after pulling over, or after driving past. It did make us both feel very community minded.

Torrin - our driveway
Torrin – our driveway

We decided to spend this day hiking, and the place that captured our imagination was The Old Man of Storr. There’s just something about that name that made me want to visit it. It sounded like a place out of A Song of Ice and Fire series or from The Lord of the Rings. Reviews stated that it was a wonderful hike and that it can be a little dangerous during icey/wet conditions. Ha ha! That didn’t deter us.

IMG_4323
Skye Bridge. Breathtaking views all round.

The drive to The Old man of Storr was just as varied and as grandiose as the previous drives. The weather kept changing with pockets of glorious sun, followed by heavy clouds.

Old man of Storr.
The Old Man of Storr.

I just love the above photo.

This view of the famous rock formation was like a trophy being dangled before us. As we drove with that view ahead, anticipation of what we were going to achieve grew – we were going to get up that mountain and visit The Old Man of Storr.

The hike took a few hours as the trails had been covered snow. It was quite exciting and thrilling looking up at the rocks and figuring out how to get up there. At the beginning it was sunny and calm. This was the most enjoyable part of the hike for me as everything seemed to twinkle.

Slightly frosty stream.
Slightly frosty stream.

However, that soon changed. When we started ascending the steepest part of the hike, large dark clouds rolled over The Old Man of Storr, strong winds started billowing against us with shards of icy sleet. I kept looking up at the top and I could feel myself get all… whats the word? – Terrified.

Just think about those movies where someone freaks out and wants to turn back when the right decision is to keep on going. That’s who I was at that moment, while Kev was happily bounding up with not a care in the world.

I started to freak myself out, reverse vertigo, that feeling of being blown over, the fear that I’m going to die. Everything just seemed to make me spiral into this out of control fear. Though Kev was fine.

I attempted to rationalise my fear for a good period of time, taking photos and videos and anything to distract me from the huge freak out party that was happening inside. I think I did pretty well to hide too.

But eventually fear got to me and I just stopped. I stopped right in the middle of a ledge. I couldn’t move forward or backwards. I was just so scared. Poor Kev, he had no idea what was happening and asked me if I was ok.

I just ended up failing at trying to politely and calmly tell him that I couldn’t do it.

I could tell Kev did not want to stop, and I didn’t want hold him back so I said ‘just go without me’. I had that mental block. Kev told me that he would go ahead and then come back to show me the way, but as soon as he turned around, I regretted my decision to stay put. I couldn’t believe I was tapping out. This just wasn’t like me. I got extremely frustrated and angry at myself.

I ended up slowly getting up, and just focused on Kev’s back as he continued onwards to the top. So long as I ignored the wind, the sleet and my crazy thoughts about being blown off, I was able to put one foot in front of the other. Kev kept turning around to see me, and he smiled when he saw that I was cautiously following him.

I am proud to say we made it. It wasn’t the highest or toughest hike we’ve done, but it was definitely the scariest experience for me. I don’t know why. So when we got to the top, it was sweeter and it was a glorious view! The clouds passed, the winds softened and the sun came out.

I don’t doubt that I would have turned around if I were there alone, so I am forever grateful that Kev was there to keep me going and to make us get to the top.

IMG_4289
Kev at the top and in his element.
IMG_4281
…and we did.
cropped-dsc00907.jpg
Kev took this magnificent panoramic shot, capturing my first sight of the view.
IMG_4252
Kev chilling on a rock.

The way down was a lot easier psychologically. Haha! While we were both just casually strolling along around the mid point of the hike I asked Kev

Do you want to build a snow man?

 

Kev’s eyes lit up, and he looked around at all the nice ‘damp’ snow that we had around us. We were unable to build one in Finland as the snow was dry like powder and wouldn’t stick. He then eagerly said

Yes!

And that’s how Mr McHaggis of Storr was created.

DSC00916
One happy family.

It was such a fun, relaxing activity for the both of us. We were sheltered from the harsh winds and sleet that passed over, so nothing interrupted us and time flew by without us really noticing.

After playing around with Mr McHaggis of Storr, we made our way back to the car to continue on with exploring the area.

Shocking deforestation. We were told by a local that this used to be all forest and it was all cut down.
Shocking deforestation. We were told by a local that this used to be all forest and it was all cut down.

 

We decided to drive to one more spot before heading back as it was getting dark, and we drove 15 minutes more north to stop at Kilt Rock.

Kilt rock
Kilt rock

This is a nice pit stop if you are around The Old Man of Storr or if you are driving up to Quiraing or to visit the fairy pools.

So our Sunday ended on a high note and we drove back to Torrin for one more night. The next day, we gunned it through Inverness and stopped by to see if we could see the Loch Ness Monster (we were unlucky) and soon the mountains and lochs disappeared and the horizon was filled with flat green meadows. We arrived in Aberdeen on the Monday at 2pm, nice and early and in time to pick up the keys from a friend of Siska and Rob at Starbucks on Union Street.

What a weekend! :)

 

 

 

 

 

Considering a career with Flight Centre


In response to my post about The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job, here is one of the career options that I am considering. I am writing this primarily for myself as I am a kinaesthetic learner and I learn from doing which includes writing things out in full. But I hope my thoughts may be of interest or help for others who are going through the same thing as I am.


To be or not to be… a Travel Consultant with the Flight Centre Group

I responded to an advertisement for an ‘online travel consultant’ for Student Flights. When I got the telephone interview, I was advised that when I applied for this position I was actually applying for any position available within the Flight Centre Group. Fast forward to today,  after going through a 5 hour induction/interview a few weeks ago, I have been offered a position as a travel consultant at Escape Travel located in a shopping centre 11 minutes drive away from my parent’s home. So here it is, do I want to be a travel consultant?

Pros

  • The content of the work as a travel consultant is travel – selling the idea and inspiring the courage to far away destinations to people. You would think that this is THE perfect fit for me. I love travel, I’ve traveled to so many places (you can check out my posts on under the Travel part of this site)  and I’m great at meeting and talking to new people… especially about travel.
  • There are opportunities for travel consultants to go on ‘research trips’ with other consultants – Hooray!
  • There is a great company culture of celebrating your successes.
  • You have a uniform so you don’t have to worry about what to wear every day and it helps you feel like you belong.
  • HR also makes efforts to place you in a store that is close to your home (which is what they did).

From the sounds of it so far, it meets most of the 5 requirements. So why am I hesitating?

Cons

  • Apparently the hours are long and most of those hours are in a chair behind a computer.
  • There is a lot of over time that is unpaid. Salary is low and with most of your earnings coming from commissions.
  • There will be times when I will have to work weekends which will throw me out of sync with everyone else who works Monday to Friday, who I may want to catch up with.
  • They do not encourage personal travel as much as I had expected, as naturally, the longer you are away from the desk, the less money you will be making, and this is especially so in the first 12 months.
  • I also want to get out of my parent’s home and working only 11 minutes drive away from their place makes the idea of moving out a little counter productive. However, if I am offered a job at another store that is more central and in the area that I would like to move to, then obviously moving out of home is no longer an issue.

Thoughts

The job will use all the administrative, and professional soft skills that I have developed over the years as a lawyer, while using my communicative and personal skills on a daily basis – I like.

But, I want to avoid sedentary jobs where I am sitting in front of a screen all day as I personally need to move a lot of the time (I need to have outside office work/errands as a bare minimum).

I do like the company culture, and I love the idea of being sent on research trips on work time. It means I get to travel while on the job! However, I do imagine that the travel is not the slow, intimate, independent travel that I love, and that it will be a trip of 5 star accommodation and the best tour groups etc – I know I’d have fun, but I won’t be completely satisfied.

I like the idea of belonging and being in a team. But there’s something that doesn’t feel right when I think about going through 2 weeks of training and then being popped out at the end being just like every other new Flight Centre travel consultant.

Perhaps I don’t like the idea of being moulded into something uniform?

Overall, I am just not sure and I do have a niggling feeling in my stomach that does not make me feel elated.

What do you guys think?

Has anyone out there worked as a travel consultant either with Flight Centre or for another company? Have I got my facts right?

I would love to know what other people’s experiences as a flight consultant was/is like. Love it? Hate it? Still work in it?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!

The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job

The perfect job would be on a pristine beach on a tropical island with turquoise waters.

The perfect job would be on a pristine beach besides turquoise waters while on a hammock of course.
The perfect job would be on a pristine beach besides turquoise waters while on a hammock of course!

I am in the midst of finding my perfect job.

Yes, I was a lawyer before and no, I do not want to be a lawyer for the time being.

During my year of unemployment, travel and generally just living life, I started thinking and searching for clues to the question of ‘What do I want to do with my life?‘. I no longer wanted to pursue career in law, and after over 10 years of study and work in that profession, I did not know where to start looking. Everything I had done up until that point of leaving my career was, well, building up that career! Do I go back to university and re-train for something else? Do I just try applying to any old job advertised?

What . Do . I . Do ?

What to think about for when you are searching for the perfect job? 

On my travels, I observed and talked to lots of people about their lives, dreams and their jobs. The people I met included marine biologists who lived abroad for months for their research, and then would return home for a few months to their regular job, others were government employees, accountants, engineers, historians, tutors, hosts, tour guides (most of them being writers or historians too), a nurse, a part time dive instructor/ part time traveler, chefs working at michelin star establishments and many more. Each person had their own journey, own lifestyle, and their own goals and values.

From this amazing montage of lives that I had connected to, the stories of those who were happy in their chosen profession showed me that they all had unknowingly gained 5 intangible benefits from their job.

All of them were able to:

  1. Feel growth – The work nurtured their natural abilities and strengths while giving them the opportunity to challenge their weaknesses;
  2. Feel invested – The subject matter excited, inspired or engaged them;
  3. Feel worthy – Completing the work gave them a sense of pride and accomplishment;
  4. Feel like I belong – It had a great work culture, environment and people; and lastly
  5. Feel free and empowered – The job itself gave them the means to have a balanced life style by allowing them to be financially independent as well as having the time to pursue their passions (this part wasn’t necessarily evident in all the people I talked to, but I decided to add it to the list as it was something that I needed in my job).

Sounds simple yes? – Yes.

Is this obtainable? – Yes.

Am I going to test this theory? – There’s nothing better than a little experiment!

Though, from my experience over the past month of job searching, it is actually quite difficult to figure out if a job meets those all requirements as it requires you to constantly check in with yourself and either reaffirms or challenges your personal belief systems (I can’t be a XXXXXX because its below me), values (does reputation override happiness?) and goals (do I really want a family? Do I want to live in a large house?).

Other tough questions include: will this job fulfil requirements 1 to 5 even if the pay is amazing but the hours are super long? Or even if it’s located on the other side of town and commuting there will be 1 hour? How about even if the pay isn’t that great, but the job provides you with an outlet to pursue your passions while on the job? Or, can you compromise on any of these 5 requirements and still be happy?

Hard questions? Well I think so.

Wish me luck for the search for the perfect job!


What do you guys think?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!

Edinburgh, hauntingly beautiful. Who wants to go ghost hunting?

Beautiful, but eerie golden mile

Moving out of the Schengen zone, Kev and I started our United Kingdom part of our trip in Edinburgh, Scotland.

We arrived around 8pm by plane and I was amused to hear our native tongue being spoken around us. It was welcoming not having to worry about communicating with others. We quickly hopped on to the bus to head into the city centre where we had booked our accommodation.

Driving through Edinburgh at night on the bus didn’t really show us much of the city. But once we stepped off the double decker at Waverley train station, it was as if I had stepped into some eerie, gothic mystery. The buildings were dark, damp, almost black in colour. They had the dim, yellow glow of lights, which Kev pointed out, did not illuminate the city, but shone upwards and into the buildings themselves, creating shadows in the dark corners of the streets. It was by far one of the most intriguing, thrilling and spine tingling feeling I’ve ever experienced from just walking down a street. I couldn’t help but be both confused and excited about my reaction.

Beautiful, but eerie Golden Mile
Beautiful, but eerie golden mile

 

Victoria Street at twilight
Victoria Street at twilight

Our apartment was in the city centre, and like the rest of the buildings in Edinburgh, it was a beautiful, old building with the ‘original’ fixtures, walls, ceilings etc. Our hosts, Brett and Jenna had set up the apartment so it was fresh, clean and modern but it maintained that wonderful ‘old soul’ feeling. We were greeted and welcomed by Jenna as Brett was away at a Lacrosse competition for the first few days of our stay.

I don't have a photo of our exact apartment, but it is in the building complex behind Mr Sherlock Holmes here.
I don’t have a photo of our exact apartment, but it is in the building complex behind Mr Sherlock Holmes here. Our bedroom was on the third row of windows looking out to Mr Holmes’ statute (we didn’t realise he was there until a good 4 days into our stay!).

So we got ourselves settled in and soon we were both exhausted and ready for sleep. We turned off the lights and snuggled into the bed. As I got comfortable and started to dose off, I was surprised to feel a gentle sensation brush across the left side of my forehead and face. I opened my eyes in the dark and felt Kev’s arm move to touch his face.

Did you feel that?‘ I asked.

Kev said ‘yes’ and rolled off to sleep. I asked myself, ‘Was that a spider? No. My hair? No.’ No, it didn’t feel like any of that. I started to feel panic rise up in my stomach. I told myself to sleep and stop creeping myself out. I had a hard time convincing myself to do so.

At breakfast, I was joking with Kev about the ‘paranormal’ experience we had. We were laughing and I was playfully trying to convince him that it wasn’t my hair has Kev had thought. Jenna walked into the kitchen and asked us what was up, and I said we were laughing about our ‘experience’ that night. Jenna looked amused and curious at the same time and asked me to explain what happened. Once I had finished with my story, she didn’t laugh. Jenna then went on to explain that we were not the first guests to have had an experience like that in her apartment. I stopped laughing. So, I wasn’t just being paranoid and silly as I had told myself?

Apparently, two other guests had experienced the ‘friendly spirits’ in the apartment as Brett so casually called them when we eventually met him. The first instance was when a guest woke up to go to the toilet in the early hours of the morning and saw a dark figure (and assumed it was Jenna) standing at the bookshelf. When she returned to her room, she looked across to the bookshelf and saw that ‘Jenna’ was no longer there. When she asked Jenna the next morning, Jenna was baffled because she and Brett were definitely not up looking at books in the dark that morning. *Shudder!*

Second experience was when another guest was playing a guitar in the living room. She heard and saw someone walk down the hallway and called out to them, but there was no answer. A few hours later she saw Jenna and said ‘Oh! I called out to you earlier on.’ Jenna had no clue what she was talking about as she had just arrived home and Brett was still at work. *Gasp!*

Jenna concluded ‘Well that’s what you get when you live in the most haunted city in the world.’

Jaw dropped. Eyes bulging out. I must have been the silliest goldfish in pjs. I was mystified that I had not heard or at least stumbled across Edinburgh’s haunted reputation, but it made a lot of sense why it was labelled that. Jenna informed us that it is so haunted, that a lot of the tours in Edinburgh are ghost and haunted tours. Gah! On hearing that, I felt the heebee-geebees crawl up my spine. These stories made the fresh and lively apartment that we were staying in a lot more spookier and to be honest, made the rest of my week there very difficult for me to sleep.

Despite being freaked out for most of the week, we ended up taking a Sandemans’ The Dark Side night tour which was a lot of fun. Brett gave us two large bottles of beer from his Brewery to enjoy while on tour. Not a bad idea Brett. Not a bad idea at all – it was cold, but that was great so the beer never got warm; as an Australian, I would never pass up the opportunity for legal street drinking; and the alcohol helped settle my nerves and enjoy the tour instead of getting too spooked out.

A night stroll in Old Calton Burial Ground with the Sandeman's Night walking tour.
A night stroll in Old Calton Burial Ground with the Sandeman’s Night walking tour.
Despite it being dark and spooky, the stars were magnificent that night.
Despite it being dark and spooky, the stars were magnificent that night.
Kev and the apparently haunted castle/observatory on Cartlon Hill.
Kev and the apparently haunted castle/observatory on Carlton Hill.

The tour was a lot of fun and I won’t give away the things we saw, but the stories were all about old myths, stories of murders, body thieves and executions that happened in and around the city. I definitely recommend this tour for those who want a different kind of tour at night with some thrilling stories.

Sandemans wasn’t a real ‘ghost tour’ which I was grateful for. There were other ghost tours as listed on this site but given that we were spending a week in our own little haunted apartment, I was very, very, very happy with Sandemans tour.

Kev maintains that there were no friendly spirits in our apartment, even though he too was wired and freaked out that week. He remains adamant that the feeling of something grazing our faces on the first night was my hair (which I still don’t believe because my hair was cut so ridiculously short at that time that it couldn’t even reach his face at the same time that I felt it) and he continues to tell himself that the reason the kitchen door opened by itself when he was walking down the hallway one night, was due to ‘a change in air pressure‘ or ‘the floor boards pushed it open‘. Yea keep telling yourself that buddy, I’d like to know if ‘air pressure’ or the ‘floor boards’ also turned the door knob.

In meantime, here are some more spooky photos for your pleasure.

A nice stroll through Greyfriar's kirkyard. Because that's just what people in Edinburgh do ;)
A nice stroll through Greyfriar’s kirkyard. Because that’s just what people in Edinburgh do ;)
An eerie sunset in Greyfriar's kirkyard.
An eerie sunset in Greyfriar’s kirkyard.
Nice... wall facade. Very cheerful. Must have been in all the rage during that time.
Nice… wall facade. Very cheerful. Must have been in all the rage during that time.

 

Our footprints: http://spiked.it/SBagtB9