Five years ago, I joined Booking.com as an Account Manager in the Barcelona office. It was a fun job – I focused on acquiring new partners in the south of Spain. Later on I was offered an opportunity to develop the non-hotel accommodation segment in Spain, and be part of an Account Manager network worldwide. I couldn’t say no. In such a fast-paced environment as Booking.com, you need to identify such opportunities and just take them.
With my new responsibilities, I was talking more to the teams in Amsterdam and also getting involved in more strategic projects. I was then offered a short-term assignment in Amsterdam as an Innovation Specialist, which later became a permanent position. It all happened very fast, and it taught me the benefits of taking risks to grow within my role. You might have been hired for one specific skill, but if you’re able to manage and explore areas beyond your core responsibilities, you might end up doing different and more interesting tasks.
To give back to the community that received me with such open arms, I initiated a Booking Cares project for Amsterdam’s Museumnacht. I enjoyed managing the project so much that I became a Cares Connector – an added responsibility on top of my day job. At first I had doubts and didn’t know if I could manage my time. One always fears not being capable, of not being able to meet expectations, or failing – but fortunately failure is accepted at Booking.com because that’s the only way to learn. Thanks to that value, I felt more brave and courageous.
When the Program Manager position within Booking Cares opened up, it was a natural next step for me to apply. In this role, I lead the corporate volunteer efforts for the company, and am able to give back so much more to the community.
Looking back, everything happened for a reason. I’m grateful for the chances and opportunities I’ve had – to do different things, meet diverse colleagues, and learn so much in the process. It all helped me to become the professional I am today, while still reminding me to stay humble and open to change. I strongly believe that you need to take risks and keep your eyes open, because Booking.com is growing at a phenomenal speed and new opportunities are available everyday. It’s just in hands of each of us to move forward as individuals as well.
(Interviewed by Anita Kalmane, Coordinating Copywriter)
To find out more about Booking Cares volunteer program, click here.