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  • Stephanie Leger

Taking A Career Pivot In Hospitality

With the hospitality industry hit hard and many of us trying to figure out what the future holds during these uncertain times. I wanted to share my experience with being laid off and taking a pivot in the hospitality industry.


Hopefully, this gives some hope to those that are still searching or at least a smile while reading. We all have a story that makes us who we are. Sometimes, hearing stories from others brings comfort, knowing we are not the only one going through hard times as well provides some guidance.


Stay Positive


For the most part, I'm a pretty positive person—my family, friends, and anyone that has worked with me know me as Giggles. I've been in the hospitality industry for over 18 years and seen some pivotal moments in this industry.


When I hear the word pivot, I think an episode from Friends when Ross is yelling, "PIVOT!"


My Story


It was during the recession in 2008 when I had just moved to NYC from Florida to take a Housekeeping Manager position. It was a rough time for the hotels losing group business and business travelers. Three months in, HR tells me my job, eliminated. I still remember the uncertainty and all the emotions that came during that time. Thinking, how was I going to survive? Did I not work hard enough? But I took it day by day. As much as I wanted this to be a sprint and get back working, I realized this was going to be a marathon.


After two months of being laid off and tons of 99 cent pizza, I got a call from the property to take a demotion to Front Desk Agent. I took it as I needed to get back working. During, the time I wondered if it was the right decision and should I be on a different path instead. Am I going to get back in a leadership position? However, I'm glad I made that decision. I met some fantastic coworkers who were in the same boat, and to this day, we still connect. Even these past months, discussing with them the feel of deja vu with so much uncertainty for hotels and tourism.


As I said earlier, everyone has a story and are in different situations. I know that the previous short paragraph made it seem easy, but it was an emotional rollercoaster. One way that help was talking to others about it. Don't bottle it in, discuss with friends and family, or there are different groups on social media platforms to read and interact with others on their experience handling change in employment.


Back in 2008


I wanted to add a quick reminder of a few businesses that started during the 2008 recession. Never too late to become an entrepreneur!


WhatsApp

Venmo

Airbnb

Groupon

Uber

Square


Future


On a positive note, there has been some success for my friends in the hospitality world. A few have left the industry and took their skill set to other industries. Also, some properties have kept a steady occupancy to bring them back working.


We shouldn't pause; we should look at how to pivot and succeed further.



For those still trying to figure out what path is best! Here are a few ways to pivot.


  • Look to see if there are different positions available within your property or different properties. HCareers.com or Indeed.com is a great way to search. Also, in most places, you can transfer after six months to 1 year.


  • Industries are hiring hospitality professionals. Use your customer service skills!

Real Estate

Technology

Startups

Finance

Transportation

Pharmaceutical

Telecommunications

  • Get active on LinkedIn. Great way to connect with others in any industry.


  • Are you able to relocate? Look at different cities that are hiring?


  • Able to work from home and interested in some part-time projects? Many sites are hiring virtual assistants such as Upwork, Flexjobs, and Fiverr.


For my attempt in pivoting this time around. My background comes from training hospitality professionals, so I'm pivoting First Rate Hospitality, to take a stab at online training.


#Hospitalitystrong


If we are not already connected, let's connect! Follow me on this journey as we pivot.


www.linkedin.com/in/sleger

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