After seven and half years with the same employer, I have left to move to Scotland. So how did we get here and how did this chap who normally does not take leaps end up taking a huge leap and embracing a new era in life?
Since joining my outgoing employer in 2014, I have had lots of opportunities to grow and rise up the hierarchy at a rate not possible in most competitor companies. Everything was going pretty well until Covid struck. This changed everything, but God sustained and protected me in my job throughout. I was never placed on furlough, I worked throughout and during this time gained invaluable experience in front office operations and other areas across the hotel to the point where I was operating as de facto deputy operations manager of the hotel. Several times when I could have seen income drop God promised me my income would be sustained and it has been. Several times when I could have easily lost my job God told me my job was safe and it has been. Since the hotel reopened last year we have all been running around fulfilling various tasks outside our immediate job responsibilities. It was fun at times, chaotic most the time and acceptable for a short season whilst the industry came out of enforced hibernation. However, a return to normal operations never seemed to be on the cards and management running around doing the pot wash seemed to be accepted as the settled status of the operation.
New Era: A Season of Change
Earlier this year I started to feel particularly unsettled at work. Without getting bogged down in the politics of it all, lets just say there was a lot going on and a lot of unsatisfactory situations with no apparent potential for things improving. I have been in a place of frustration at work before but this time it was different. Soon after that I started to feel unsettled in my home where niggly things that had formally passed me by started to annoy me. First I questioned whether it was because of everything going on at work and then the Lord clearly spoke to me:
“There is a season of significant change on the way for you so I am allowing you to be unsettled so when change comes you will embrace it.”
Most of us are creatures of habit – I know I certainly am. We are most comfortable when we are settled into a routine and we don’t like change because change means new things we are not so sure of and that makes us uncomfortable and so we resist change in order to remain comfortable even if staying in that place of comfort holds us back. However, sometimes there is a need to make a change and place yourself in an unknown situation in order to grow. I had zero plans to leave my employer for the last seven years until just a few months ago. God had to allow situations to transpire that made me frustrated and led me to being unsettled so I was forced to look further afield than my current employer and home.
I had been slightly hesitant to finding new employment, but the final straw came in June when the hotel was converted into a government Covid quarantine facility, meaning all usual operations ceased and the place became more akin to a prison than a hotel. I simply had to leave, staying and persevering this time was not an option. From that moment on I started to try and work out what this ‘season of change’ would look like. A new job, perhaps outside of London followed by moving home but not too far from where I am now? Does that count as ‘significant change’? Should I even be trying to guess what God had in store for me?
As I started to discern what this change would look like and having concluded the first stage was new employment, I applied for various jobs, some similar to my current role, others more senior and quickly found the diary filling up with interviews. However, these hotels were further away from London and would require relocation at the same time as starting new employment. My plan for gradual change was coming unstuck before the glue even had a chance to dry.
The Glasgow Connection
When I was a student, I worked at a high-end hotel in Glasgow and was aware of Cameron House on Loch Lomond as the jewel in the crown of luxury hotel resorts in the West of Scotland. Nearly four years ago the hotel suffered a fatal fire that killed two guests and left much of the main hotel building in a ruinous condition. Since then a meticulous restoration and renovation programme has been carried out and the hotel is now reopening.
I looked at their website in passing to see what jobs may be available and found a couple that interested me. I messaged a friend who works at the resort who informed me the role that matched my experience best had been filled, but encouraged me to send my CV in. A few days later I received an email from the Food & Beverage Director asking when we could talk on the phone. We spoke a few days later and this was quickly followed by an invitation to an interview for an undisclosed job. The interview, it turned out, was for the role of assistant manager of their fine dining restaurant.
I did not expect to be successful given my lack of fine dining experience, lack of restaurant managerial experience and lack of experience in the luxury country hotel market. In any case, I was honoured to have been interviewed for a role at such a prestigious venue and I had other applications to pursue.
The following morning, whilst (ironically) dealing with a fire alarm, my phone rang and it was Cameron House. They wanted to offer me a role, but had decided the role of assistant did not adequately reflect my experience. A new role with expanded responsibilities had therefore been created and my London salary would be matched despite it being above their budget. This was an offer that would be hard to refuse.
The day after receiving the job offer I had another interview at another country hotel closer to home. That interview went very well and I was invited back for a final interview less than an hour after the interview concluded. I now had a big decision to make.
New Era: Discerning Steps to Take
I spent time in prayer discerning what the right move was to be. Did I pursue safer options closer to home? Should I take the leap and move to Scotland?
The week before all the contact with Cameron House took place I had said to God that if I needed to relocate at the same time as taking up new employment then I would need a clear sign it was the right thing to do.
When they created a new role, matched my existing salary and were happy to wait for me to work out my eight weeks notice that was the sign I needed. The following week I was to be heading to Scotland on holiday and ‘coincidentally’ passing by Cameron House which would provide the opportunity to meet them in person, another sign this was the right move to make. It was clear that whilst a leap, doors had opened that only God could open and so on 25th July I handed my notice in.
The time frame from initial contact to accepting the job offer was one week. When God moves, he often moves at pace and we have to be prepared to run at the speed God goes at. In the space of a week everything changed!
New Era, New Curveball?
Just when I thought everything was settled for the move and most the packing was complete the phone rang last Monday morning. It was the Director of HR at Cameron House. Just a welfare call I thought to check all was fine for my moving up to Scotland. How wrong I was. I heard the word “curveball” and immediately all sorts of thoughts of the new job being cancelled, delayed or something else not working out flooded my mind.
However, very quickly it became apparent that not only was my new employment more than secure, but they wanted to promote me and offer a higher salary. To put it into perspective, the salary increase will roughly cover a year of rent. This is what heaps of blessings looks like. I was more than happy to be joining the team at Cameron House, I was blessed with the doors God had already opened and then this.
I therefore start tomorrow (21st September) at Cameron House as Meetings & Events Operations Manager and will also work in the restaurant initially as well as overseeing breakfast and room service operations. It is fair to say that this new job has surpassed even my most wildest of expectations of what a ‘season of change’ would look like. When God opens doors, no man can shut them.
New Era: More than a new Job
As big as the new job is (and that is my main reason for moving to Scotland), I am convinced it is merely the vehicle for getting me to Scotland. God needs me here for a purpose. I do not know really what that looks like just yet, but I know there is far more spiritual significance of my moving here than a mere job at Cameron House.
Since first beginning to feel unsettled in work and at home earlier this year to reaching the point of now writing this article at my parent’s home in Scotland on the eve of commencing a new chapter in my career at Cameron House, God’s hand has been on it all. He has opened doors, even created doors where walls previously stood and it makes me excited for all he has in store. For me, this is not just about working at a world class luxury resort, it is about walking in faith and acting in obedience to God’s calling on my life.
As I step into this new era of my life I would covet your prayers. There still remains a degree of uncertainty about the future of the hospitality industry. I will need to find a new home church having been in the same church since before birth and I need to find somewhere to live. I am not sure where God will lead me to minister both in and outside of work and that is an ongoing walk of faith and process of discernment.
I am thankful to God for providing this new opportunity and granting the desires of my heart to work in a place like Cameron House. I am also excited for where God will lead me in ministry as his plans for this new era of my life are revealed.
If you would like to keep up to date with my latest news and prayer requests, please email me on stewart.greenAThealyourland.org and I’ll try to remember to send out a bulletin a few times a year.