So what’s his secret to success?
- Build a strong network
The friends we make at school become our extended family as we live, study and travel together. Many of us become friends in the industry upon graduation and these networks can provide powerful support as you embark on your hospitality career. In fact, I relocated to Thailand to work at Hotel Ibis Pattaya because of a contact I established at the International Recruitment Forum when I was studying.
Becoming a GM does not mean that I have ‘made it’ in the industry - it just means I now have a new level of responsibility and there’s different opportunities for me to learn and grow.
- Work in different types of hotels
Don’t limit yourself to working only in specific type of hotels. Having worked in luxury, mid-scale and economy hotels has tremendously helped me prepare for my current role as the General Manager of Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom.
At my previous roles in Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport and Hotel Ibis Pattaya, I learned a lot about hotel operations as the staff strength in both hotels were small so I worked in sales, marketing, distribution and other departments. Within two years of joining Novotel Bangkok as Hotel Manager, the hotel’s revenue, profitability, and employee satisfaction scores increased which led to my promotion as GM.
- Be ambitious, be passionate
When I started my apprenticeship I had no prior training or experience. It was a small family hotel so I literally did everything – from taking calls for bookings, reservations to assisting guests’ needs and helping out at the restaurant. It was exhausting and stressful yet it was a fantastic learning experience.
Be ambitious in your career, but focus on getting work experience instead of chasing titles.
- Have a little patience
As much as you want to grow quickly and advance your career, there are no real shortcuts to getting there. Sometimes you might find yourself working in a position that was not what you expected. Don’t move out of that role simply out of frustration. Think carefully and wait for the right time as you never know what you can learn from the experience.
- Stay humble
You can’t run a successful hotel without a team and I think a good GM is one who who leads with respect instead of fear. Some people mistake humility as a weakness, but in fact it fosters trust and empowerment tgat creates a positive team spirit leading to happy employees and a healthy growing business.
Jean Pascal graduated from Hotel Institute Montreux with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Hospitality and Business Management:
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