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The sun was shining, and the smell of fresh burgers and bacon whiffed through the air. Spirits were high as travelers trickled into the comfy, bright blue beach house, which was already filled with Preferred Healthcare Staffing employees. From 11:30am to 6:30pm, over 100 travelers mingled and networked; sharing stories from the road and connecting with other likeminded individuals. Brave individuals hopped in the chill ocean water, others played Volleyball, while many relaxed in the sun or shade all day.
The Importance of Connection
Four years ago, I felt alone as a traveler. I had nobody to share my stories or struggles with who truly understood. This loneliness drove me to creating an online community to connect with other travelers. That same feeling is what drives me to connect other travelers, whether it be online or in person.
Through conversations during the day at the party, it was clear that many others felt the same way. The desire to connect with other travelers was HUGE! While some travelers came and left rather quickly, others stayed for hours and talked to a plethora of people. The constant buzz of chatter filled the surrounding air. Evident as well was a yearning to share personal experiences, ask questions, and make connections. While many attendees were on assignment in the greater LA area, this was a place to meet fellow travelers who could become friends for an assignment or even for life.
Connecting was not only important to travelers, but also to the staff at Preferred! Many recruiters and travelers finally met in person after working together for years. Being able to put a face to a voice on the phone adds such an authentic touch to the professional relationships between travelers and recruiters.
President and CEO Barry, who was the grill master, bartender, and captain of the volleyball team, was socializing with everybody in the room and had an uncanny excitement to meet more travelers. Marketing guru, Ginnie, spent all day talking to travelers and was finally able to put real faces to the pictures that she follows on Instagram and Facebook!
Personally, I was SO HAPPY to see some of my good friends come out to this event! I got to reconnect with traveling friends that I made in Boston, Hawaii, and various conferences over the years.
It’s hard to meet a person for the first time and have so much in common with them. This was not the case at this party. There was an immediate sense of connection and shared experience. Travelers can have an immediate bond and that was witnessed many times over the course of the day.
While your family or co-workers may not understand that you don’t know where you’ll be living or working in a month, this group certainly did! Travelers were discussing upcoming travel plans abroad, taking time off in-between assignments, and the struggles on the road. Topics that may be hard to discuss with loved ones, were talked about at length. Even more serious conversations, like how to negotiate a good pay rate, were chatted across the tables.
Dare I say that therapists feel a lack of appreciation from their employers. Holiday parties, anniversary gifts, and just a good ole “thanks” are things of the past. Replaced by “work Christmas at a straight rate, no holiday pay”, “quit if you’re not happy with the job” and bullying on the job from management. Of course, this doesn’t reflect all workplaces, but I’m sure that many of you who are reading this know what I’m talking about.
A simple “thanks for what you do” goes a long way in the heart of a therapist; especially a traveler. There was a noticeable sense of joy in the travelers who were attending the party. Being appreciated by an agency and having a party thrown in your honor is a BIG DEAL!
The staff at Preferred appreciated so much to be able to meet their travelers, put names to faces, meet new travelers, and throw a big bash. The travelers were just as happy to be there.
As the sun lowered in the sky, the day came to an end. A group picture culminated the event. As people dispersed, “afterparty” plans were discussed, as well as potential meet up in the future. Big thanks to everybody who came out for the party and to the staff at Preferred Healthcare for putting on such a great bash! Until next year…
SAVE THE DATE: August 17, 2019 is the date for the next BBQ bash in Hermosa Beach! Based on feedback from this party, we are working on plans for all weekend such as other meets ups like an after party or hike on Sunday. Please give me or the Preferred Healthcare staff feedback to let us know what you would like to see added or changed for next year!
Want to learn more about Preferred Healthcare? Read here: Meet Preferred Healthcare Staffing