I’m super excited and couldn’t wait to post this.
This magnificent, beautiful, and historic building will be my new post! You can see it from everywhere. I guess working at hotels that you can see from the city skylines is a thing.
If you will allow me, please indulge in my story of God’s goodness through my past experiences, social media, and prayer.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
Since I have no idea what the social media policy is for this place, I’ll just call this hotel.. Hotel 1 (but you can guess where I’ll be working 😉).
When Andrew and I decided that we were going to move to Edinburgh, I was ok with it. I’ve always wanted to live in another country and in my career, I can work anywhere. It was pretty important that I would be able to work for budgeting reasons and because I know that I get bored and lonely easily.
After closing my beloved MO, I started praying. I decided to be very specific. I prayed that I would get a job at a 4-5 Star luxury hotel that was convenient (close to the tourist spots, transportation, & shopping) within walking distance from our apartment, with a well-respected international hotel brand (with locations throughout Europe) and that I would get a job within the first month of arriving to Edinburgh.
Before we left, I would periodically check hotel websites for open positions. It looked promising, but scary. Even if I applied online, who would want this American girl to be working for them? Two weeks before we left, I actually did apply for a job online, emailed the Director of Human Resources, received a response back that they directed my application to the Reception Manager, but received another email the next day that they filled the position. It didn’t look promising. Since I didn’t have an Edinburgh address or phone number, I didn’t want to apply for any other positions. When we left the US, I had no leads, no “CV” (I had a resume), and no knowledge of the hotel scene in Edinburgh.
Once we arrived to Edinburgh, got a mobile number, and a UK address, I started working on my CV. In Europe, they use CVs more, which includes your entire work history so I had to go through a lot of emails to find little blurbs to write about each position I’ve held. I also remembered later that I needed to change the format to A4 paper and spell-check with British English so I had to fix all that.
From our Airbnb, I started applying for jobs. There are a ton of hotels, hostels, and Bed & Breakfast places in Edinburgh so it felt overwhelming. Thankfully there is TripAdvisor that gave me reviews on hotels and I had an awesome list of the best hotels in Edinburgh from my former GM. Edinburgh is a HUGE international, tourist city. I honestly hear at least 5-6 different languages spoken just by walking into the supermarket.
Andrew and I went to church on our first Sunday in Edinburgh where we met another international student. His wife worked at a hotel. I will call this hotel “Hotel 2.″ He gave me his email address and his wife sent my CV to the HR department.
I also spent some time doing some good LinkedIn stalking. I ended up finding someone who worked in the MO corporate office who used to work at “Hotel 1″, so I messaged him, not knowing what to expect. He was so nice and helpful. Apparently, his mentor is the GM of the hotel and he introduced me to the GM through email who asked for my CV to send to the right people. I also found out that my old sales manager from Taj is the West Coast Director of Sales for the company of the hotel.
Since I was so focused on “needing to get a job” and getting our paperwork and flat all settled, I thought I needed to lower my standards. I thought God was asking me to humble myself. On one of my walks with Andrew around the city, we saw a “Help Wanted” sign in front of a sushi restaurant. I walked in, inquired about the position, and gave them my phone number. The next day, they called me about doing a trial shift. Trial shifts…I think that’s a “thing” here in addition to an interview. I said yes, but ultimately cancelled because I was so stressed out with moving and getting settled. I felt even more stressed and even guilty that we were spending money without new money coming in. This just goes to show what an idol my financial security is to me. I hate that feeling. Even though I know that God provides, I have this huge guilty complex that makes me feel terrible for buying food when I didn’t earn any money…even though we’ve saved money for these 3 years.
The following day after my cancelled “trial shift,” I got a call from a hotel (Hotel 3, a 4 Star Hotel) asking for an interview! Two days later, I got a call from the hotel (Hotel 2, a 4 Star Hotel) of the student’s wife that Andrew and I met at church asking for an interview and 20 minutes later, I received a call from Hotel 1. In three days, I went to three interviews. For the most part I thought they went well, but they all told me that they had other candidates to interview and did not advise of any next steps except to hear back from them. In all of my past hotel interviews, I would generally have 3-4 interviews for one position. In all three of these interviews, I only had 1 interview.
By the end of the week, I had heard back from Hotel 2 and Hotel 3 with positive news, but asked to get back to them in a few days so I could wait for the news from Hotel 1. Of course, God would have me wait 3 extra days before I heard the news from Hotel 1 and I kept telling Him that I’ll be happy with Hotel 3 and make the most it…but I really actually wanted to work at Hotel 1.
I think it is super crazy how God can give us exactly what we ask for. I don’t know about you, but when I’m stuck in these situations, I tend to be fatalistic and think, “Maybe God’s plan is for me to NOT get a job. Maybe God wants me to know what it feels like to live with less. Maybe God wants me to just focus on Him more so I don’t work.” But I know that God knows our needs and what is good for us…and his answer to my prayer was that I needed a job and he provided the best one for me.
Okay, so the pay isn’t that great, but I don’t work in hospitality to make a lot of money, but God gave me everything I prayed for.
I prayed for:
- A 4 or 5 Star Luxury Hotel – He gave me a 5 Star Hotel…and it’s rated #7 on TripAdvisor, which is pretty high (in my opinion).
- Convenient – The hotel is only a 20-25 minute walk (1.2 miles away) from our flat. It’s only an 8 minute walk from New College where Andrew studies (less than half a mile). It’s on Princes Street, the main shopping street mile away from our flat) and right next to the Princes Mall Shopping Centre. Also, it’s next door to the Waverley Train Station with many bus lines close to our flat that would drop me off right in front of the hotel.
- International Hotel Brand – The hotel is part of the luxury hotel group that has a sales presence in the US, with an office in San Francisco (that I know the Sales Director there) and 10 properties throughout Europe (cause you know…I like to travel and stay at nice places).
- First Month of Arrival to Edinburgh – I got my verbal offer 21 days after arriving to Edinburgh, my official letter 24 days after arriving, and will start 27 days after arriving here (I’m starting tomorrow! EEEK! 😳) .
God’s grace comes to us in many different ways. This time, I see God’s grace through good timing, LinkedIn, MO & Taj colleagues, through church, and through the Lord preparing me for interviews.
Praise God. This girl’s got a job! 😄
Of course, please continue to pray for me, my job, and my hotel. I know very well that beautiful hotels don’t always equate to beautiful work environments. Please pray that I have a positive work environment, friendly and nice coworkers, and opportunities to make friends.