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  • Writer's pictureDavid Soum

Being able to do what you love in a great environment shouldn’t be exceptional....

Sometimes you just have to dare and go for it!

I have worked for almost 15 years in the tourism and luxury hotel industry. This is what I always enjoyed doing although it was a quite hard and challenging sector, requiring at lot of investment and discipline.

I studied hotel management, worked at different position from receptionist to director of Food & Beverage, from Luxembourg to Belgium, France and French Polynesia. I had the chance to meet with famous actors, singers, head of government, kings/queens and so much more. I worked in 5-star hotels from business hotels in European capitals to luxury resorts with overwater bungalows in the Pacific ocean.

But it was hard and very demanding. Specially in terms of working hours and days.

When I was director of Food & Beverage, I was blessed with the birth of my daughter. I was working on average from 07:30am until 10:00pm, often later than that. 5 days per week on the very good weeks, 10 days in a row sometimes if needed. My wife would tell our daughter in the morning “Look this is the morning man!” Because I could only see her a few minutes in the morning before leaving to work. This has been the moment when I realized that I had to change job and go for something administrative. Spending time with my family was more important to me than having a career as a manager in a hotel. And I was really tired.

The first big decision we took was to move back to Luxembourg after six years spent on a remote island next to Tahiti. We wanted our daughter to grow up in a more international environment and closer to our families. I have been very lucky to find an administrative position in the hotel I used to work in before leaving to French Polynesia. But Covid came along and the hotel industry got hit really bad. I was on a partial unemployment and worked about 30 hours per month during the hardest times.

Besides, having this administrative position in a hotel, I lost what I loved the most about this industry, working for customers and being in direct contact with them, on the field. Being able to anticipate their needs, answer unusual requests, take part in fantastic events, … I had a lot of free time (too much to be honest, I felt useless at some point) and didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything.

Then an opportunity came up! Working in the relocation industry…I never heard about that before.

This opportunity looked great but several doubts started to arise: It was a very small company, a very young company (4 years old), I would be on a trial period again, in an unknown sector...Would it be safe to make this transition? Specially in Covid times, I could imagine that this sector would suffer from the pandemic as well! And I have a family now, it’s not only about me anymore!

I met with Sandrine and Stéphane on several occasions and had a great feeling immediately. Then I thought about all the people I knew who got fired from their big international companies where they had been working for decades…Working for a bigger and older company doesn’t make it safer… Sure, having another trial period is more stressful but hey, I always thought that you have to take your destiny into your hands and that everything happens for a reason.

So I went for it! Went back to a full time job, learned a lot of new things, now participating in a lot of projects (the good point of being in a smaller company!) and I still get to see my family every morning, every evening and every week-end!

Plus, I was able to do again what I lost in the hotel industry at an administrative position, working with humans!! Of course, every day has its challenges but that’s also what makes it interesting and exciting. It can be stressful quite often but also very rewarding. I would never have thought that before!

I can now say that I do what I love, in a great environment, within a team with a great energy and great spirit. And this doesn’t have to be exceptional, everyone should be entitled to work in these conditions…

Sometimes you just have to dare and go for it!


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