Your job is a huge part of your life. For some it's their whole lives, and it can go one of two ways. It can be all consuming, running you ragged stealing you away from all that you love & the people in your life. Or you can make it the best part of your life. You can put all you have into it and in turn it can become the most important and worthwhile thing that you have going for you. For me, it's been the latter. For he last 18 months I've been lucky enough to be part of an organization I believe in with my whole being. A community of people who support the same ideals, who challenge each other to make every decision the best it can be, and the most supportive group of people I've ever encountered in my career (and maybe my life).
When I arrived in Vancouver mid summer 2015 I had a job in mind and did my damnedest to get back into the hotel industry and when that didn't go the way I wanted I settled for any work I could get until I just couldn't bear it anymore, and as my luck would have it while scouring Craigslist one morning I saw a posting for a job with an organization I was familiar with,Hostelling International Canada.
I interviewed, I anxiously awaited call backs, there was nothing more I wanted at that time than this job and I got it. It was a contract position (that turned to permanent) when I started and I never imagined in a million years I would be sitting here now on my last few days feeling so emotional to be saying goodbye to this job, and the people. I spent a portion of last week on Vancouver Island experience my first ever National Annual Managers Meeting for the organization. I was able to connect with people from all over the USA & Canada, from hostel managers, to members of marketing teams & central offices. I was able to connect with people I've spoken to every week for the last 18 months but had never met before, and for the first time I truly understood what it feels like to be truly valued by an employer. I heard things like "you will be greatly missed", "your work matters",from a lot of people.simple things like "thank you for everything". Now, I've been working since I was 15 years old, and never once have I felt as valued and appreciated as I have while working here. There have been a few jobs I've really enjoyed, and a few proud moments, but none will compare to telling people that I worked for Hostelling International.
You may wonder why the hell I'm leaving then if I love it this much? And let me tell you this is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. As much as this job filled my life with something amazing, it was truly the only thing that kept me in Vancouver this long. I wanted so much to love this city as much or even half as much as I loved my job, and that unfortunately never happened. I needed to be selfish and make a choice that would make me happy even if there was something being sacrificed. So,yes while I love this job & this organization, I am leaving knowing that my work & my time here was valued by the most amazing co-workers & now friends. I was given this amazing opportunity, and put everything I had into it, I was supported every step of the way by the most incredible senior management team & knew that they, along with the rest of the staff valued what I had to offer. I've learned so much during my time with HI, and have been lucky enough to explore more of Canada & the States than I thought I would when I first arrived here. This job has truly been my saving grace in these almost two years and a I'm leaving a huge piece of myself with the company.
I can only hope that somewhere down the line I find a job that fires me up like this one did, who knows maybe my path will lead me back to Hostelling International somewhere down the line, but for now I'm leaving with the happiest of hearts knowing that I had an impact. Leaving thankful beyond compare for the opportunities I've been given, and knowing that no matter where I end up there will always be a little piece of HI wherever I go. So I leave you readers with this, if you should ever be on the hunt for a job and come across a position with HI, jump at it! The experiences you'll have and the people you meet will be well worth it!