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

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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.