And in the end it is not the years in your life that counts, it is the life in your years

Work

My working life is in some ways very normal and in a lot of ways a real adventure of amazing experiences. Through one job I travelled the world, through another I met the most important person in my life, my hotel time has provided so many great moments and so many low points, but over the past 25 years it has been the time spend in work that has provided me with so much more. I may even be addicted to work, and for a fundamentally lazy sod, which I am, it is quite amazing just why I have always loved to work.

My favourite two jobs, and no I can’t split them, were with Reed Travel Group, and The Cumberland Hotel. And although they were very different and provided very different things, the golden thread between them was the lifestyle element. I had to “live” my job, it was a lifestyle, something all consuming, really long hours, no social life, little private life, tiny home life. Today’s work-life balance philosophy just did not exist. And I loved them both.

Reed Travel Group was nothing short of an adventure, how could anyone really call it work. I travelled the world, stayed in some of the best hotels in the world, on full expenses. I ate in some of the planets best restaurants, drank great wine, spent the companies money, and in the main my company thought I was quite good at my job. And they were right. I was in some peoples mind a bit of a maverick, but I preferred the idea of an entrepreneur, I was and still remain, a creative thinker, love a challenge and get off on finding solutions others would never see. And to a very large extent it was my time at RTG that created that.
 
I have so many fond and special memories of my time there, the people I worked with were special, and considering I did not always do myself any favours with my mannerisms, I still feel I left there a better person, and someone who touched the lives, in a positive way, of those I worked with. I would love to meet up with some of those folk, but somehow doubt I ever will. There are a few I really miss, and yes a few I don’t.

As for the Cumberland, well that was somewhere I can call an addiction. And even after I left, I could not take myself away. Even now I miss so much about the place, it was real work with, for me, real reason. And I am not talking about the guests of the hotel, that’s another story, no I am talking about the people who worked there. I do not name people on this site, it would not be right, but for me there are so many people from my time in this job that I will forever have real feelings for. Even those who did not like me, and there were a few, still have a place in my heart, because they were part of this great big, wonderful, family. Sometimes as I write this site I think to myself I should name-check a few very special people, because there are a few that really mean so much to me, they had a real impact on my life, but rules are rules, so if you are reading this and you worked in the hotel while I was there, then thank you, a massive thank you for your part in one of the best jobs of my life.

What made the place so special was this sense of family, and while it is true that you don’t always love your family, in the working sense, what made this family so wonderful was the togetherness. We all knew what the place could be like, we knew how hard it was, how much we all relied on each other, and when the going got tough, this place always got going.

Yes I have also had jobs which I can say I hated. I think that is quite normal, but for me I have thankfully also learned a lot from even the worst of them. One hotel job, and one in a recruitment company were my two worst. But from both I learned that sometimes it is very important to hold onto ones own self belief, and two, carry an element of (positive) selfishness in your working life, that way you can always take something from anywhere.

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© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.