Bálint Szabó's Story
It is easy to start at the bottom and work your way up, but you have to be willing and have curiosity about your work. It has been a key factor in my career that I have been allowed to prove myself. You must be open to new things; you need energy, enthusiasm and focus. I have been open to challenges.
There are quite a few characteristics you need to maintain a position in the industry, and that includes courage, which is important when you handle guest complaints; humility, to show that you are willing to listen, to learn from your leaders’ experience; confidence, to know your strengths and weaknesses; and to prove you are up for the challenge.
Hard work definitely pays off, you have to put in a lot to achieve your goals; that applies in all elements of life. I think I am a patient person but this industry has also taught me a lot about patience.
Every element of my career has given me something useful, including working outside hospitality. As a team leader, I am responsible for the knowledge and experience I hand on to my team members. I can recall experiences in the finance sector, where I worked as an independent financial advisor almost 10 years ago, one of the fundamental attributes was how to communicate with clients and with people within the organisation. Good communication is essential to succeed in our business; to handle the team and guests responsively is crucial.
Working in luxury hotel brands highlights another level of customer service. That has helped me so much to handle situations and deal with guests on a daily basis. These two life experiences have been crucial to my success.
I was given a great opportunity when I was promoted to front office manager in January 2020, that was my first management position. It came with huge responsibility and even more challenges and opportunities. In almost three years of leadership, I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of candidates and employees, whom I could interview, enrol and most important, nurture through their career. To these people I have always said: listen carefully, note everything, adapt and be patient, success will come.
To someone who is looking for work, this industry opens its doors to everyone who seeks to learn, advance, acquire business management skills and work in different environments. It is so colourful; hospitality has given me so much! Anyone who starts at the bottom and climbs the ladder can discover the huge variety of opportunities a hotel can offer; you can be where you want to be. You can see different perspectives and that will give you many strengths in your career. Even if you leave the industry for a while, that can also benefit you, other experiences give you a lot.
- Bálint Szabó
- Front Office Manager
- ibis Zürich Messe Airport (Switzerland)