Wednesday 14 August 2019

What does the Future Hold? Going back to my Catering Roots?

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

As I turn 46, I find myself thinking about my life and what has passed. What I'm doing now and what the future might hold. I've recently taken on a new part-time job and I'm very much enjoying doing that for two days a week, along with my freelance work, for another two days a week. These commitments still give me time to volunteer, shop, exercise and be available for the kids too.

I've definitely got a good balance right now and being in a Christian environment is the right thing for me at the moment, but I do have those times when I pass the seafront hotels in Eastbourne and I wonder if the future might take me back to my hotel and catering roots. At age 14 I decided that I wanted to be a hotel manager, I'd been inspired by my Grandad who was a chef in the navy and then worked as a chef and catering manager in many local places. 

From the minute I left school I was training for my future, I went to college and trained to be a hotel manager, and I took my chefing qualifications as well. I then went to Uni and did a Hospitality degree, knowing I'd be a hotel manager when I left, and I was. I had a couple of years with Friendly Hotels as a Trainee Manager, learning the trade from the bottom up, adding to my work experience that started when I was 13 years old.

You need such a strong work ethic to work within hotels and catering. You can't be afraid of long hours, or hard work and of course there will be disgruntled customers to deal with too, but for the years I did it, I loved it.

I would go back to it, I think that desire to serve is ingrained within you and of course hospitality is a massive part of being a Christian. My gut instinct is to take on a guest house with my husband in the future and to serve in that way, maybe opening it up for Christian guests specifically. Or we have chatted about having an outside or event catering company like Flavours Catering. It could be fun providing the delicious appetisers at an engagement party or a full afternoon tea for a hen do or baby shower.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

It's quite funny the path your career can take. For someone who knew what I wanted to do at age 14 and worked hard to achieve my qualifications and experience to do it, the last time I worked as a manger in a hotel was in 1999. The last twenty years have been quite different with me becoming a recruitment consultant, then managing a recruitment agency, then working as a HR Administrator, HR Team Leader and Development Facilitator at a university.

The last six years since I've been in East Sussex and seen me freelancing doing writing and social media work and of course I understand the progression through my jobs and how they all link and work together but I forget that on paper I look quite eclectic in the work I have done. The ladies interviewing me for my most recent job commented on this and made me realise that I have developed, without even meaning to, the classic portfolio career with a number of strings to my bow. 

I haven't lost the passion I first felt for catering and hotel work though and of course my husband, who I met through work all those years ago, is still working within hospitality and this means I sometimes go back and help out with some reception, catering or even cleaning work when the teams are fully stretched, so my skills are still in tact!

Who knows, one day, maybe that desire to run a B&B/ guest house with my husband will be fulfilled. Until then I just keep enjoying where I am right now.