You think of it as a temporary job. For two or three months, at most. Summer good times. And surprise! You end up taking on this summer job… all year round.
At the time, Karl was studying administration. But his passion was far from the world of management! In fact, Karl was crazy about kayaking. As soon as he had the chance, he would take his paddles and go where the rivers took him. One day, knowing a lot of people in the industry, Karl was offered a job at Boréal Design, a kayak manufacturing company formerly located in the Quebec City region (the company has permanently closed since then). It was a temporary job that would allow him to combine business with pleasure, he said. So nice in fact that instead of going back to university, Karl turned his summer job into his full-time, year-round job… for the next 11 years!
A job… or two or three!
At Boréal Design, Karl first worked in the manufacturing plant. However, his bosses quickly asked him to work in the store as a salesperson. “I liked making kayaks, but I also liked the contact with the customers,” he says. It was because of his ability to connect with people that Karl then got a job as a kayaker in a rafting company. “Fuelled by thrills, this third job was perfect for me!” So his job at Boréal Design not only diversified, but it let him work where he was most happy, on the water.
Conditions and values
Karl stayed at Boréal Design for the working conditions. “Of course, my salary was not very high, but I liked the environment I was working in,” he says. Not to mention that he had flexible hours, super accommodating employers and discounts on quality products. And that’s not all – this job was in line with his core values: “The important thing for me was to feel free. Having a big salary, a big house, a big car – I didn’t care.” In addition, Karl was curious to see where this job would take him.
Getting back to basics
Twelve years later, worried that the fashion for sea kayaking would fade, Karl left Boréal Design to become a tilesetter. That said, in March 2020 he will bring the “river guy” back to life, moving to British Columbia where he will work as a tilesetter and a rafting guide. So we can say that his summer job took him a long way, all the way to Western Canada!