Job Search Tips for the “Seasoned Professional”

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untitled (6)According to the September Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 94 million Americans are now missing from America’s Workforce, and while the percentage of employed Americans is said to be at 62.6 percent, those disappeared workers are now over 37 percent.

According to the BLS, there were 635,000 discouraged workers in September, virtually unchanged from 2014. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

Among those “discouraged workers” are “Seasoned Professionals”, who are having a difficult time finding their way back into America’s Workforce.

The following Job Search Tips  for Older Americans, or, “Seasoned Professionals” are I like to call them (since I am one) were suggested by Phillip Moeller in an article posted on money.usnews.com.

The tips themselves are his. The analysis (and any smart aleck remarks that may pop up) are mine.

1. Get credit for what you know. 

As a seasoned professional, you have amassed a ton of knowledge and experience throughout your professional life. However, potential  employers have no way of ascertaining what you know. Enrolling in a certification program or seeking college credit for your work experience can develop the third-party credentials that would lead to a job.

It ain’t braggin’, if it’s documented.

2. You are a brand.

As a Seasoned Professional, you are a valuable commodity. You need to get out there and sell yourself! Now, you don’t have to hire a Cessna Pilot to fly your resume on a banner behind his plane. There is a much cheaper way to get yourself out there:

Use the Social Media. It’s FREE!

In fact, don’t tell anyone…but, I’m marketing my skills right now. Shhh!

3. Career navigators.

As you are no doubt finding out, today’s job market is a maze of twists and turns.

Sometimes, it helps to have a trusted advisor who has worked with you and who knows your skills and abilities, guide you toward the positions which you need to be going after.

Nothing is more demoralizing than looking back and thinking “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda”.

4. Offer your services.

While unpaid internships won’t pay the bills, if you can afford it, they can be a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry or employer you like. It’s a way to gain needed experience, an addition to your résumé, and knowledge of how to improve your skills.

And, who knows? They may hire you after you show them what you can do.

5. Reverse job fairs.

This works just the opposite of regular job fairs that you may have attended. Job Seekers are in booths and are prescreened by employers, who then come up to speak to them. Employers control the situation and decide how to best use their time.. This helps the Job Seeker’s confidence because they know that the Employer coming to their booth is already interested in speaking with them.

6. Computer and technology training.

Let’s face it: Employers often assume that older Job Seekers are not computer-literate or comfortable with the New Technology. If you can show them that you actually know your way around a keyboard, this may help overcome any “Old Age Bias” that the potential Employer may be carrying into the interview.

It will help if you know that Skype is not a kind of bird.

7. Flextime and part-time jobs.

If you are technologically-savvy, and can afford it, you may want to work part-time or have flexible schedules, since working from home, or “telecommuting” may be an option for all or part of these types of jobs.

Just don’t Skype with your boss in your jammies.

8. Age bias.

It is a reality, as many out-of-work Seasoned Professionals have found out.

It can be overcome by, as I mentioned earlier, upgrading your “Skill Set”. It can also be overcome by answering the potential Employer’s concerns during the Interview, in a way which assures them that you can handle the duties of the job.

9. Workplace readiness.

There are programs available out there that will literally prepare you for the job that you are seeking. Some are available through technical and community colleges. Some are sponsored by the companies, themselves. There may even be financial aid available for the training that you are seeking.

Yes, we are older.

However, we still have skills and abilities, acquired through years of professional experience, which can be of immeasurable worth to a prospective Employer.

We must first, convince ourselves, and then, convince the prospective Employer, of that indisputable fact.

The great American Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, said,

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

It is up to us to identify that door, open it wide, and step through it.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

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The Bottom Line: Older Employees: Liability or Asset?

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th5T1W4ZSKThere is a movie at the theaters right now, titled “The Intern”.

In the movie, 70 year old Robert DeNiro is hired as an Intern at a company, run by Anne Hathaway.

Hijinks ensue.

As the movie progresses, the “old codger” turns out to be of immeasurable worth to both Hathaway and her company.

Is this movie simply a comedy? Or a lesson in Business Management?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the month of August,

…the civilian labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was about unchanged in August and has shown little movement thus far this year.

That means that 37.4% of America’s Workforce has either voluntarily walked away from the “Rat Race”, are working “under the radar”, or, have just flat given up seeking gainful employment.

Additionally,

In August, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 329,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 624,000 discouraged workers in August, down by 151,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Being 56 years young, I also noticed, while looking at the BLS’s August Report, that, only 39.8% of Americans, 55 or older, are working.

Why is that?

Are honesty, dependability, punctuality, stability, loyalty, wisdom, and experience, no longer valued by America’s Employers?

According to a Government Accountability Office Report, published in 2012,

The experts and staff GAO interviewed at some one-stop career centers, as well as the unemployed older workers who participated in GAO’s focus groups, identified employer reluctance to hire older workers as a key challenge that older workers face in finding reemployment. They also identified out-of-date skills, discouragement and depression, and inexperience with online applications as reemployment barriers for older workers. Some one-stop staff who serve older workers told GAO that providing the type of assistance some older workers need to address these unique challenges can be very time-consuming.

As often occurs, especially in the case of older potential employees, an employer’s preconceived, and perhaps, stereotypical notions, can blind him or her to the benefits of hiring an experienced professional.

In 2006, entrepreneur.com published the following list of 12 benefits of hiring an Older Employee.

Below are twelve reasons why hiring older workers can help you maintain a reliable, dedicated workforce and provide a significant cost savings for both the short and long term. (The reasons themselves are their original posting. The descriptions are mine.)

1. Dedicated–

Quite honestly, folks my age and older, tend to throw ourselves into our work, given the opportunity. We do not know how many more chances at gainful employment that we will receive.

Additionally, because we are so driven to do our best, we tend to identify costly mistakes, before they can damage our employer.

2. Punctuality–

Older Employees come from a generation that was taught that punctuality was “good manners” and “being respectful”.

Also, when you get older, it becomes harder to sleep in. Trust me.

3. Honesty —

Older Employees come from a generation where honesty and personal integrity were valued above everything else.

4. Detail-oriented, focused and attentive–

Again, this is a part of being older. Older Employees tend to be so self-aware of our need to do a good job, that we go over everything several times, before passing it “down the line” or “upstairs”, or wherever the heck it needs to go.

5. Good listeners–

Older Employees are easy to train, because we pay attention. You only have to tell us how to do something one time.

Of course, when we get home, our wives have to repeat themselves, especially during televised sports.

…But, that’s neither here nor there.

6. Pride in a job well done–

Older Employees tend to stay until we get the job done. We take pride in our work because we are happy to be employed.

7. Organizational skills–

Do you know haw many valuable man hours are lost each year simply due to workplace disorganization?

If I told you over a million, would you be surprised?

Older Employees tend to be meticulous to a fault.

8. Efficiency and the confidence–

Older Employees are not shy about sharing our experiences. And, at times our “war stories” will prove to be just the answer an employer will be looking for, in order to handle a problem efficiently and economically.

9. Maturity–

Older Employees have “seen it all”…twice. Because we’ve “been there, done that”, we tend not to have a screaming hissy fit, when unexpected problems occur on the job.

10. Setting an example–

Older Employees’ work ethics and calm, assured presence on the job can be an encouragement and example to younger employees. Also, because we are good listeners, we usually wind up as mentors and trainers, again, becoming an asset to our employer.

11. Communication skills–

Older Employees know when to speak and when to listen. We know how the game of “Office Politics” is played. And, we know how to get our ideas across, in a respectful way, to the Boss.

“Why, boss, that’s the greatest idea you’ve ever come up with!”

12. Reduced labor costs

A lot of times, Older Employees already have Health Insurance from a previous employer or they have some sort of income from another source, and can represent a savings to the company’s bottom line.

Speaking from personal experience, as an **cough** “experienced professional”, the benefits of hiring an Older Employee greatly outweigh the liabilities.

In today’s atmosphere of rapid employee turnover in the workplace, the hiring of older Americans offers not only a potential savings in HR costs, but also presents an opportunity for a stable workplace environment.

The Bottom Line?

Hiring Older Employees will increase your company’s Bottom Line.

Never Give up. Never Surrender.

Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is an “experienced professional” “seeking new opportunites”. He may be contacted at In-mail at linkedin.com.

Being Hospitable: Customer Service…the Engine That Powers the Hospitality Industry

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Hospitality 2Customer Service is important in any job in which you interface with the public. In the industry in which I work, the Hospitality Industry, excellent Customer Service Skills are essential in not only meeting, but exceeding the expectations of our guests.

Here is a great example of exemplary Customer Service, found at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.

Family blogger Christina McMenemy (a.k.a A Mommy Story) was so wowed by the service at this Nashville hotel that she made a point of sharing her experience with her readers. Impressed by her hotel room clock radio — which also doubled as a relaxation sound machine — the mother of two asked the hotel where she could purchase one. When she was advised that the clock radios were unique to the hotel and weren’t available to the public, a disappointed McMenemy figured that was the end of that. However, when she later returned to her room that night, she found her very own clock radio waiting for her along with a handwritten card. As McMenemy puts it, “I would have been happy to pay for one of those clock radios, but the staff at Opryland took notice of just how much I loved this thing and went out of their way to make sure I had the best experience ever… [Opryland] reaffirmed that there are still companies out there focused on great service and you’ve made a lifelong fan out of me.”

So, how does a hotel achieve “Excellent Customer Service”?

Back in 2012, Forbes.com published the following “10 Keys of Excellent Customer Service”

1. Belief: What customers think is true. Unfortunately, it may not be supported by the facts. Understand that they will hold on to this truth and do not fight to change their mind. Apologize and then try to come up with a satisfactory solution.

2. Complain: What a customer does when they are unhappy. They complain to friends, on social media, and even sometimes to you. Your business reputation is only as good as your customer’s last experience. Everyone that interacts with your customers should understand this.

3. My Manager: The person the customer is seemingly always getting passed to or who always gets blamed by the employee if something goes wrong. See empowerment.4. Empowerment: Training employees to make decisions on their own to help a customer without talking to “the boss.” This needs to happen 95% of the time. The boss should only handle exceptions.

4. Empowerment: Training employees to make decisions on their own to help a customer without talking to “the boss.” This needs to happen 95% of the time. The boss should only handle exceptions.

5. Feedback: Giving the customer the opportunity to tell you what they think in many ways at different stages the transaction. Follow the Three Times Rule—if you hear something about your business three times, whether you like it or not, pay serious attention. It is probably true. Take action. 

6. Kick the Cat: What employees do when they take their frustrations out on the customer. Find another way for employees to vent by encouraging easy feedback directly to management.

7. Mistake: The hardest thing for the company to admit. Once you admit it, the customer will be happier.

8. Overpromise: Making a commitment to a customer that the company is not economically able to keep. This is not a solid base for sustained excellent customer service.

9.  Peer Reviews or Earned Media: Online references written by customers on the level of quality or service in your company. This is sometimes called an open reputation system.

10. Pest: A customer the company may need to fire to be more profitable. Be quick to identify and replace them.

Satisfied customers are looking for a memorable experience and an energetic service, where it matters the most: at a hotel property which they have chosen to be their “home away from home”.

Hotels need to be aware that, in this Digital Age, that it’s becoming more popular every day for guests to leave a review of their experience on a number of Travel Industry Websites, whether their experience was a good or bad one.

Hotels have to stay mindful of this fact of life, as bad feedback can be extremely damaging.

While any business needs to keep customers and clients happy, those of us working the Hospitality Industry must strive to keep guests engaged in order to garner repeat business and also, for referral purposes.

For the customer to return to your hotel on a regular basis, first you must deliver on your promises.

And then, you must exceed them.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

 

 

Management Style: Dealing With Unethical Behavior in the Workplace

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thUTVM5S72To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.– Douglas Adams

In this Brave New Business World, in which International Business Deals are accomplished with the flick of a button on a keyboard, do the majority of employees in the workplace believe that the words of Douglas Adams still hold true?

And, if they don’t, how do we, as Vice-Presidents, Directors, and Managers, fix that?

Back in January of this year, Kessler International released the results of a nationwide survey, outlining the current state of manners, etiquette, and ethics in the workplace.

They surveyed upper and mid-level management at 40 professional services firms.

Those polled held the belief, by an 84 percent margin, that their employees were inconsiderate and rude in the workplace. Additionally, the same respondents cited by 65 percent that they felt a majority of their staff lacked a moral compass.

Kessler asked individuals to anonymously comment on their employees’ use of personal electronic devices, dress, manners, ethics and level of respect for other employees.

This resulted in some of the respondents expressing their disgust of certain individuals on their staff, as well as their ineffectiveness and unwillingness to say something and correct the situation.

Among their excuses for not being able to correct the problem of unethical behavior by their employees were their company’s policy of “political correctness,” their own inability to have confrontation, and constraints instituted by their human resources department.

Among the items that most of the respondents cited, were:

1- untimely and inappropriate use of cellphones

2- wearing inappropriate clothing to work

3- complete lack of courtesy

4- use of street talk and signs in professional meetings

5- the inability of younger staff to write a letter/email

6- the lack of personal responsibility

7- failure to say please and thank you

8- lying to phone caller

9- hanging up on phone calls when they are confronted and were uncomfortable

10- cheating on time billed to clients and stealing time by arriving late and leaving early

11- cutting corners on work product rather than staying after hours to correct the mistakes they made

12- visiting sex and dating websites on company time

13- sexting on company phones

14- the inability to interact professionally with clients during a business function

15- the lack of manners

16- the lack of integrity

United States President Harry S. Truman had a famous plaque on his desk which read,

The Buck Stops Here

As an experienced leader of men and women, in the military, the workplace, and, as President of the United States of America, Truman knew that as a manager of employees, you are held responsible not only for heir behavior, but, what you do about it.

In her book “7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership (Leading in Context, 2013),” author Linda Fisher Thornton offers the following advice on how leaders can integrate the practice of ethical conduct into their organizations.

1. Face the complexity involved in making ethical choices: Openly discuss the ethical gray areas and acknowledge the complexity of work life. Involve others in more of the ethical decisions. Be a leader who talks about the difficult ethical choices, and help others learn to take responsibility for making ethical decisions carefully.

2. Don’t separate ethics from day-to-day business: Leaders must make it clear to their employees that ethics is “the way we operate” and not a training program or reference manual. Every activity, whether it is a training program, a client meeting or an important top management strategy session, should include conversations about ethics.

3. Don’t allow negative interpersonal behaviors to erode trust: Make respect a load-bearing beam in your culture. Be an ethical leader who expects it and practices it. Cultivate a respectful environment in which people can speak up about ethics and share the responsibility for living it. Build trust, demand open communication and share the ownership of organizational values.

4. Don’t think about ethics as just following laws and regulations: Leaders need to take action and show consumers and other stakeholders that they are actively engaged with ethical issues that matter. Recognize how ethics influences consumers’ reasons to buy from you, and demonstrate a commitment to go beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations. They must prove that they are committed to ethical issues, including human rights, social justice and sustainability.

5. Don’t exempt anyone from meeting ethical expectations: Allow no excuses. Make sure that no one is exempted from meeting the ethical standards that are adopted. Maintain the status of ethics as a total, absolute, “must do” in the organization. Hold everyone, particularly  senior leaders and high profile managers, accountable. No exceptions.

6. Celebrate positive ethical moments: Be a proactive ethical leader, championing high ethical conduct and emphasizing prevention. Managers should talk about what positive ethics looks like in practice as often as they talk about what to avoid. Take time to celebrate positive ethical choices.

7. Talk about ethics as an ongoing learning journey, not a once-a-year training program: Integrate ethics into every action of the organization — everything people do, touch or influence. Talk about ethics as an ongoing learning journey, not something you have or don’t have. Recognize that the world changes constantly, and that ethical conduct requires that everyone remain vigilant.

As leaders, it is our job to protect our companies’ revenue streams, as well as to keep and cultivate the trust which our clients place with us.

We cannot perform our duties effectively, if we have to constantly be on the look out for unethical behavior in our “home away from home”, our workplace environment.

Hopefully, these tips, which I have presented today, will help us, as leaders, foster an atmosphere of trust and shared expectations, smoothing out the journey down the road to success.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

Sell, Sell, Sell: Staying Motived

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th58CIMHJYWhether you sell automotive parts to garages, pharmaceuticals to doctors, or Extended Stay Hotel Rooms to Corporations and Industries, as I do, one has to stay motivated in order to remain at their best.

The challenge that we all face is how to stay motivated, while facing the daily grind of a career as a Sales Professional.

Here are three excellent suggestions, courtesy of salescareer.net…

1. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

When you are in a comfort zone, you are usually in familiar territory and you are not pushing yourself.  You are playing it safe and not growing or taking the calculated risks to go for more.  Accept that you are in a comfort zone and take some time to look at the big picture of your business and strategize to take it to the next level.  In sales you could always make more and with new challenges that you place on yourself, you could gain the extra boost of excitement back into your sales career.

2. CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE

Like a muscle, for you to truly build it and for it to grow is to shock it into growth by changing your exercise routine.  The body is constantly looking for homeostasis and like your sales career, if you get into a routine, it could quickly become stale and boring.  Sales should be exciting and challenging, with adrenalin pumping activities.  Change your routine and seek ways to challenge yourself other than just doing the things that just get you by.

3. FIRE YOURSELF

I don’t mean literally, but when people are first starting a new job, they are usually gung ho and guns are out blazing with the enthusiasm and motivation on overdrive.  To get this feeling back, try firing yourself every once in a while and ask yourself, if you were to take on your territory as a new hire, how would you beat the “old” you and what would you do differently to make it better?  Look at your sales territory with fresh eyes and to fire yourself and then rehire yourself with the new energy that you would if would have just been hired for your job.

However. as good as those suggestions are, they pale in comparison to the advice, given across both decades and continents, during the career of one remarkable man.

Zig Ziglar, age 86, of Plano, Texas passed away November 28, 2012.

That is how the first line, of the obituary of one of the most influential men in the history of American Business, reads.

…An understated end to an extraordinary life.

For those of you who may have spent your lives living under a rock, like those guys in the Geico Commercial, please allow me to tell you who this remarkable man was.

Years ago, Zig Ziglar walked away from a record-setting sales career, to fulfill his desire to help other people become more successful in their personal and professional lives.

His extremely successful sales background was the primary factors is Ziglar becoming one of the world’s foremost Sales Trainers.

During his remarkable career as a sales trainer, he boosted the careers of hundreds of thousands of people, around the world, with effective strategies to not just make a sale, but to create a sales professional. According to him,

Selling is not something you to do someone, it is something you do for someone.

Zig Ziglar was the world’s leading authority on motivation.

He was an internationally renowned speaker and authority on high-level performance, whose “I CAN” course is taught in more than 3,000 schools.

Hundreds of companies and businesses continue to utilize his CDs, books, and video training programs to motivate and train their employees effectively.

During his lifetime, Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale” audio training program became a “must-have” for anyone involved in the world of selling and remains so to this day.

During his decades-long career as a Sales Trainer/Motivational Speaker par excellence, Zig Ziglar taught his values-based principles for becoming a more effective persuader and person to sales organizations, church groups, schools, and businesses.

Additionally, as if his multitude of personal appearances were not enough, Zig Ziglar reached thousands more through numerous television and radio appearances and through his popular audio and video training programs.

He became so popular, that, for many years, his Sunday school class held at First Baptist Church, Dallas, was broadcast each Sunday morning, via satellite.

Even though this remarkable man is gone, his legacy of optimistic, motivational selling lives on.

Here is a list of ten of Zig Ziglar’s most famous quotes that can make a difference in your life.

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

In conclusion, motivation is a driving force, which comes from within. If a salesperson can focus on it and maintain it, the sky’s the limit.

Or, as Zig Ziglar himself put it,

Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have, and that is awesome.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

Being Hospitable: Enjoying the “Benefits” of a Hospitality Job

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thOLV49LJSA little over 6 months ago, I began my latest adventure in the Hospitality Industry, as the Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis, An IHG Property.

I wrote a blog at the time, that included some suggestions by the Founder of Holiday Inns, concerning how to make it in the Hospitality Industry.

Here are Kemmons Wilson’s “Twenty Tips For Success”:

1. Work only a half a day; it makes no difference which half-it can be either the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours. 

2. Work is the master key that opens the door to all opportunities.

3. Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity. 

4. Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one step at a time.

5. There are two ways to get to the top of the oak tree. One way is to sit on a acorn and wait; the other is to climb it. 

6. Do not be afraid of taking a chance. Remember that a broken watch is exactly right at least twice every 24 hours,

7. The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

8. Eliminate from your vocabulary the words, “I don’t think I can” and substitute “I know I can”.

9. In evaluating a career, put opportunity ahead of security.

10. Remember that success requires half luck and half brains.

11. A person has to take risks to achieve.

12. People who take pains never to do more than they get paid for, never get paid for anything more than they do.

13. No job is too hard as long as you are smart enough to find someone else to do it for you.

14. Opportunity comes often. It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to heat it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it, and a head trained to use it.

15. You cannot procrastinate-in two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

16. Sell your wristwatch and buy an alarm clock.

17. A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch.

18. Do not worry. You can’t change the past, but you sure can ruin the present by worrying aver the future. Remember that half the things we worry about never happen, and the other half are going to happen anyway. So, why worry?

19. It is not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.

20. Believe in God and obey the Ten Commandments. 

After suggestion #20, Suggestion #7 – “The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” is one which I have taken to heart.

Quite frankly, I am enjoying the stew out of my job.

This may sound corny, but I wake up every morning in anticipation of going to work that day.

There are several reasons for this.

Bob Smuckatelli, writing in an article for positivelyindy.com, detailed the Six Benefits of Working in the Hospitality Industry.

When I read the article, I thought that he had read my mind…and then, I saw that it had been posted on December 20, 2012.

The Benefits that he listed back then are:

Amazing Opportunities: If you love variety, you’ll also love the fact that working in hospitality is never dull. Whether it’s a new challenge or the opportunity to travel to different places, this type of spice makes it very easy to wake up in the morning and feel excited about heading to work for the day.

Appreciation: There are plenty of jobs that involve mostly thankless work. While society couldn’t function without people willing to do these jobs, that doesn’t mean those individuals feel any type of appreciation on a daily basis. The nice thing about hospitality is you won’t have to be put in this type of position. Instead, patrons will remind you on a daily basis of just how much they appreciate what you do for them. The knowledge that you’ve just made someone’s day is a feeling that never gets old!

Meritocracy: One of the reasons many people aren’t interested in working in specific corporate environments is because they know that the only way they’ll be able to move up is by playing constant political games. If you’re the type of person who wants the quality of your work to speak for itself, you’ll be very fond of how the hospitality industry operates. People will notice when you take initiative and follow through. If you have a go-getter attitude, the sky will be the limit in terms of where your career can go.

Lots of Perks: Even though this isn’t the biggest driver of most people’s happiness and satisfaction with their job in hospitality, it’s still worth noting. As you may have guessed, being in a position that’s about ensuring other’s happiness does mean that you will get to reap plenty of perks as well.

Stability: The impact of the 2008 and 2009 financial meltdown wasn’t limited to the housing industry. The travel and hospitality industry also took a big hit as a result of people tightening their wallets in response to concerns about the financial future. Although there’s no sugarcoating the fact that those were very dark times for the industry, it survived and is once again flourishing. Being able to survive that type of trial shows just how robust hospitality is as an industry.

Exercise Creativity: Musicians and writers aren’t the only people who get to enjoy creative work. Because there are always unique challenges that need to be tackled within hospitality, you’ll always be able to put both your critical and creative thinking to good use.

As the Director of Sales at an Extended Stay Hotel, I have had the privilege and opportunity to be able to make a direct impact on the  bottom line of the budgets of individuals, and of companies, both small and large.

It is a great feeling to be able to help clients from reservation to departure.

At our property, we pride ourselves on our Customer Service.

When guests stay at your property, especially when they stay for a extended time, ranging from a month to a year, you and your Hotel Staff get to know them well, their likes, dislikes, and their daily routine.

Eventually, if they stay with you long enough, they don’t seem like a “guest” at all, but rather, a part of your hotel “family”.

And, being able to make a difference in these “family members'” lives, is the greatest benefit of all.

Never Quit. Never Surrender.

-Allen

Passion: Ya Got it?

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th2Y1T40FNThe only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

What the late entrepreneurial genius, Steve Jobs, was talking about, is PASSION.

According to finance.yahoo.com,

Seventy percent of students would prefer a stable job without a high level of emotional investment or passion over a job with lots of passion but no job security, according to the most recent Way to Work™ survey from Adecco Staffing USA, the nation’s leading provider of recruitment and workforce solutions. The survey also found that while the majority (79 percent) of students are optimistic they will find a job in five months or less, finding a job is still their top concern.

 

Adecco conducted the survey of 1,001 Millennial and Generation Z students as part of its Way to Work™ program, which helps prepare students and recent graduates for internships and job opportunities. Members of ‘Gen Z’ surveyed, who are between the ages of 18-20, appear to already have differences in their priorities and concerns compared to their Millennial counterparts.

“We’re on the cusp of a new era,” said Joyce Russell, president, Adecco Staffing, USA. “With the first group of ‘Gen Z’ now in college, it will be fascinating to learn how this new generation of the labor force differs from Millennials in terms of their aspirations, outlook, expectations and priorities.”

It appears that these young Americans are more concerned about surviving than they are about thriving.

The American Worker who simply punches in and punches out at his stale, old job, day after day, is not just a well-known stereotype…it’s an all-too-common reality.

A lot of Americans seem to feel the way that those Millennials do, seeing a job as just something they do, not something they love to do.

And, that’s sad.

Speaking as a “business veteran”, folks who feel that way do not seem to  understand that fact that, as working adults, we spend 80% of our time on the job, and only 20% pursuing leisure activities and family time.

Plus, they never excel at their positions.

That’s a whole lot of time to perform the duties of a job which is boring you out of your mind, when you would rather be doing something else.

No matter how diligently you are performing your duties, quite frankly, you are still cheating your employer, because he is not getting the best that you can give him.

Curt Rosengren, in an article posted on money.usnews.com, said the following about the difference that having passion about your job makes:

It’s an energy source. When you’re on fire about what you do, it energizes you, and you can put that energy back into your work. Instead of the energy drain that work represents for so many people, your work actually becomes an energy gain. So not only are you getting energy from what you’re doing, you also aren’t having to dig into your energy reserves just to get through the day. The energy differential is huge.

It helps you feel more confident. For far too many people, work is about getting up in the morning and trying to be someone they’re not. Not only does that drain their energy, it also keeps them off balance. Think of someone standing on one leg with the other leg up in the air and their arms waving, trying to keep their balance. They’re deathly afraid that someone is going to come up and bump into them, because they’re already in danger of falling over. Trying to be who you’re not in your career is a little like that. You have to put extra effort into doing what doesn’t come naturally. Maintaining the façade keeps you off balance.

When you’re aligned with what energizes you, on the other hand, it’s like having both feet solidly planted on the floor and your center of gravity low. You don’t have to worry about somebody knocking you off balance because it doesn’t take an special energy to simply be who you are. You inherently feel more confident about what you’re doing.

It feeds your persistence. The odds are good that, whatever your career path, you’re going to run into roadblocks and experience some bumps along the way. When you’re doing something in pursuit of what energizes and inspires you, those roadblocks and bumps are a lot easier to take. Don’t get me wrong. They never become enjoyable, but their size relative to your objective is smaller.

I was at an Intercontinental Hotel Group “Solution Selling Seminar” last week, where a top executive at IHG asked us if we had passion about our job.

Passion is important in the Hospitality Industry. If you don’t have it, when you go to meet a potential client, they will spot your lack of it from a mile away. So will the guests staying at your hotel.

Whether you are a executive, a mid-level manager, a recent college graduate working in an entry-level position, or a ditch digger, if you don’t have passion about what you are doing during the time that you spend at work, then you are cheating your employer and yourself.

Life is too short…and you’re too smart to remain a hamster on a treadmill, going nowhere fast.

It takes passion to accomplish your goals.

Ya got it?

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.