What I Knew from Hotel Shift No. 1? In all reality, if you don’t enjoy your hotel work, you won’t get very far professionally, but even the most glamorous hoteliers have long, dull, never ending days sometimes. I knew quite quickly. Work is Work. Hotel Work was not meant to be Fun. As negative as this sounds, it’s not meant to be (read on or watch the video).

I knew from Shift No. 1 that it was a good idea to always have a spare shirt washed and ironed when you were on a split shift; Punctuality was Important – you had to show up to work on time, no matter what …. If your shift is scheduled to start at 5.30 a.m., for example, and you show up at 5:45 a.m., not only will your co-workers be angry, but there’s also a good chance you may never work again within that Hotel.

I knew from Shift No. 1 that if you’re not sure of something, it’s better to ask and try your best, rather than guess and get it wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask – My Hotel Manager said to me “If you ask – you’ll learn” during that first week. What became apparent quite soon is that when I asked a question, colleagues always answered, as people in Hotels usually go out of their way to help those less experienced than themselves. I learnt so much in those first few weeks of my first job.

I knew from Shift No. 1 that being responsible for mistakes can create a horrible feeling within your stomach …. it can hurt. So Check, Double Check and then sometimes Check again. Don’t just finish a piece of work. Check it on the screen, check it by hand, get someone else to check it and repeat. This is how you over-deliver. You will not always have to do this; but do not be ashamed of doing it during your early shifts within the Hotel.

But I did know from Shift No. 1 that everybody did make mistakes at work; particularly when you are under pressure in a busy Hotel. Mistakes will happen – I made three big mistakes during my first month at work – I was not polite enough, I didn’t apologise frequently enough and I was in-sufficiently friendly with my colleagues. However, at the time I did not see them as mistakes…

I knew from Shift No. 1 that you should take deep breaths or go for a walk if you feel like you’re about to lose your temper. Never let a moment of weakness detract you from the person you wish to be. Whether it’s because of annoying co-workers or annoying customers, your patience will be tested during your early days at work. It’s important to remain calm, cool and collected when you’re faced with a difficult person or situation.

I knew from Shift No. 1 that it was going to be tough working in a Hotel – I knew from Shift No. 1 that I could handle it though; your first Job will simply not be your Dream Job – Neither will your second or third for that matter. It takes patience, persistence and a real sense of self to find the career you want to spend the rest of your life doing it.

And even if you do not have so much fun – you should consider yourself lucky that you have a job – I did not really appreciate this until I was once made redundant.  I am now happy and self-employed. No matter what you do for a living, you should be happy you are doing it!

The sooner that you realize that work is not meant to be fun … the sooner you will find fulfilment and joy in your professional life … this isn’t to say that hotel work can’t be fun … because of course it can!

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