A few weeks ago we began a social media search for a new Social Media Specialist to work with us at Flight Centre Group UK. We put a call out on this blog and shared the message through our facebook and twitter channels. Hundreds of you applied to be the brain and voice behind our social media stategy – demonstrating your flair for writing, passion for travel and social media marketing skills.
As part of the recruitment process we asked applicants to write a blog post as if they had already got the job, introducing themselves to our readers. Here’s what our new recruit, Lauren Rayner, wrote to convince us she was the best person for the job.
The clatter of chopsticks dropped against china was followed by an abrupt silence. It was so quiet I could almost hear heads turning as I walked between tables across the room.
Fifteen pairs of eyes stared, unblinking. A man swallowed.
I approached an empty table and pulled out a chair. The scrape against the floorboards screeched like a chainsaw. I winced. I sat, glancing around me. Mouths were dropped open, chopsticks were held aloft, spongy ramen noodles dangled.
A waiter approached, his eyes trained on the floor. When I pointed to an indiscernible scrawl of characters on the menu he bowed and shuffled away.
I heard a whisper – “gaijin,” followed by a muffled giggle.
I guessed they didn’t get many foreigners in this traditional restaurant, off the tourist track in Tokyo.
It was here I first felt the thrill of being foreign, where everything I considered strange was the norm. It was the start of a journey that began five years ago and is yet to end. The start of fascination with travel that quickly became a passion.
Since that awkward meal, I’ve been travelling as often as possible using London as a base, exploring classic cultural hubs like Rome to wandering the souks of middle-eastern Doha. I’ve roamed the ruins of ancient Egypt and strolled through the shops of New York, writing about my adventures along the way.
I began submitting articles to blogs and travel websites, passionately pouring my discoveries out with words. If I wasn’t writing about my most recent trip I was planning the next, reading blogs, scouring Twitter feeds for travel news. It became an obsession, often keeping me awake into the night.
The hard part was, I was balancing it all around a full time job in advertising. Sometimes only getting four hours’ sleep. If only I could just do this for a living, I’d think. But dream jobs like that don’t exist.
Wait a minute.
A job to work at Flight Centre UK’s social media team appeared on my Twitter feed, wedged between a notice about Iberian pilots’ strike and a link article on Europe’s freakiest bone churches. Maybe I could do this for a living.
So here I am. Poised to bring you the exciting travel tales of Flight Centre UK’s talented troupe of bloggers, bring you some great travel competitions on Facebook and Twitter, and throw in a few of my own stories along the way.
Let the journey begin.
Lauren says, “I’m very excited to be joining the team and I look forward to meeting all the social savvy travellers out there – whether over a hashtag chat, a Facebook competition or in person at a meet up event.”
Welcome onboard Lauren!