Jurjen@Zenerife – My search for meaningful work

Jurjen@Zenerife – My search for meaningful work

This is no fairytale. This is a real story about my search for meaningful work. My name is Jurjen and I have joined Zenerife since late April this year. The city I mostly lived in was Groningen for the last 4 years. While studying commercial economics I also worked for sustainable startups. During that period I discovered that I enjoy to work on something greater than myself, something with purpose. I graduated in April 2019 and hence a new phase started. A new phase where I had to look for a real job and make plans about where to live with my girlfriend Laura, who also graduated recently.

Need for direction

I met Laura in Castellon, Spain during my student exchange program. Together we wanted to start a new life. A life where we were able to live mostly outside and close to mountains. Together with other people in a friendly community and doing work that we love to do. In our case that would mean helping other people. Three months ago this was nothing more than just a beautiful dream. After two months that we decided that we wanted to do this together Laura spontaneously asked: ¨What do you think about Tenerife?¨. To be honest I only heard one friend once about it. So I searched on Wikipedia and found out that it met most of our criteria. No further information was needed, because to start the search for a job we needed direction. This was the best direction we had so far. So we decided to go to Tenerife.

Looking for a job

Now we had direction where to go. But it did not get easier from here. The next questions came. What do I want to do? What kind of skills do I actually have? What kind of work gives meaning to my life? I discovered that I only knew so little to answer this. I only knew that I wanted to have a meaningful life with a positive impact. So I started making my own personal development plan. It took me a lot of time to figure out the basics, but it made the direction where to go a little bit more clear. With this in mind I started searching for jobs in Tenerife. Soon I found two interesting companies. The first was a finance company that helps ecological entrepreneurs. I liked their goal and it paid well, so I applied. Next to that I found an interview with Rob in the Intermediair about Walk the Talk and Zenerife. Totally changing their own life and now helping people to get more control over their life so that they can live their life with more purpose. By reading this my heart made a jump of joy. I decided to send Rob and Kim an e-mail to ask if I could work for them. Rob’s reaction was very open and positive. Although initially he told me that they were not specifically looking for an employee. He did help me with information about Tenerife and as we continued to talk about purpose and our views on life he told me that he was actually interested in working together! However, a full-time employee was still a bridge too far. However, after one week Rob called me back and proposed that I should come to work for him. A big surprise for me. I guess an idea needs time to sink in. I could not immediately say yes to Rob. Since I also applied for the finance vacancy and was in the last of four phases of the application process. But my heart screamed that I should do it. Also, there was a lot of uncertainty and the proposal was completely founded on trust. It was a decision between the certainty of a well paid job, or the uncertainty and adventure that Zenerife offered me. After sleeping one night about it, I knew that I needed to make a decision. So I called the finance company to tell them about Zenerife and Walk the Talk. After giving them the affirmation that I wanted to go to work for Zenerife, he told me: ¨It is always a good day when someone makes a decision.¨ This answer still resonates with me. It felt good to pursue my dream and start to work for Rob and Kim.

Better than my best expectations

So only two weeks after having spoken to Rob for the first time I left the Netherlands to go to Tenerife. Together with a strong trust in each other. And a vision that what we are going to create together, is going to have a great meaning for my life and for others. I am very exited to start this new chapter in my life together with Laura, Kim, Tom and Rob and will blog frequently about this adventure!

Till next time!

Jurjen

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