By Catherine Lindebaum
Hey everyone! My name is Cat Lindebaum and I am a returner on the Workaway International Programme. I started in 2014 and 3 years later I am happy to return to Addison Reserve Country Club for my fourth season abroad, along with my boyfriend Gideon, who I met in my very first season at the country club.
The returning recruiters will know the drill but for all the new recruits, the first couple of weeks will be tough. Settling in to your new home, adapting and learning the ropes takes time, but remember to keep your head up, work hard and embrace the learning phase.
I have had the opportunity to experience fiery sunrises in Delray Beach and incredible sunsets in Naples. I explored Florida on a scooter, visited the southernmost point of the continental United States, celebrated my 21st birthday in Times Square and road-tripped from Florida to Vermont. All of which I did while showing up on time, maintaining a positive attitude and going the extra mile in my position as a hostess and reservationist.
Being a returner, I would like to think that I have gained a bit of wisdom to share. So here are 7 tips to keep in mind when you are on the Workaway International programme in Florida.
1. You may be living in an apartment with 3 - 5 other people for the entire season. Get to know your housemates and most of all respect them and be considerate at all times.
2. Come up with a cleaning routine early on in the season to ensure all housemates do their part. I have found that if everyone just cleans up after themselves straight away, there are rarely any problems or last minute major cleaning for an inspection.
3. This one is simple: Be on time. Work hard. Smile always. These will always ensure a successful and problem-free work day.
4. Some members of the country clubs will be abrupt and very demanding. Instead of retaliating in a negative way, rather take a few minutes to yourself and just breathe. If you still feel uncomfortable after that, speak to your server captain, manager or supervisor and communicate your problem. You will find that communication remains the key in every situation!
5. Being new can be very overwhelming at times. Do not be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it. There will always be people to help you along the way.
6. Likewise, if you are a returner and are training new recruits, practice patience. Remember their success is your success and you are all a team.
7. Do not forget that you are in a different country. There are many rules that remain the same but there are also different rules and laws to adhere to. One of the biggest law states that the legal age for drinking & smoking is 21 years old. Be safe and stay legal at all times!
Most of all have fun, go out, explore and experience all there is to offer and make a ton of lifelong friends and memories you will not forget.