Basia Świdrak's Story
I joined hospitality by accident at the end of 1992, three years after the collapse of communism in Poland. At the time I was working at school with young children. I really liked this job but there was one very important factor – the salary and you must remember it was literally three years after Polish economy has born again and was in a fatal state. I was travelling via John Paul II Avenue in the heart of Warsaw and spotted a brand new Mercure Frederic Chopin hotel – the very first French hotel in Poland. I applied despite a few fears (mainly language barrier) and was successful. I was offered a job as Housekeeping Inspector. On the 4th of December 1992 – my birthday, I started my new journey with Accor that has not finished yet.
To put it simply, I love working with people. I strongly believe, only people who enjoy working with people and have no issue with helping others should work at the hotel. We must be open, available, smiley, be able to help and solve others’ problems thus the guests will be grateful and one day will come back to us. There are two key factors that guarantee the success; smile and positive attitude towards the life, the world and the people. If you help someone, for sure you will feel better, right away.
In 2004 I was offered a new opportunity to create Housekeeping team at one of the largest ibis hotels in Europe – ibis Warsaw Old Town which has 333 rooms and large conference space. This was the perfect timing for me to change something in my life as later it would have been too late. I took the challenge and now I know that it was worth it. It did not matter to me that I changed from mid-scale brand into the Eco. The project, the people that I was working then were more important to me. I must admit that when you work at an ibis hotel, you can learn a lot very quickly, meet new people and develop your industry related skills. 18 years on and I’m still here.
Hospitality is a wonderful industry as it brings different challenges every single day. The industry is also great for a quick career progression. But the best is that every day is different – no morning or evening is the same. Each day is different and unique just as our guests. There is no routine in our industry and this is what I love.
If you are new to the industry, first and foremost, – don’t be afraid. If you want to develop your skills, get to know better the world, the people – join a hotel. Here you will receive training, meet new people, cultures, and even learn or improve foreign languages. Only hospitality creates such great opportunities. In addition, working in a hotel can develop you as a person. It gives a chance to obtain skills that you can later use in your personal life, it teaches you to be patient. And by working at an eco brand like ibis gives you the basics, the ground on which you can further develop in other Accor hotels.
Work at hotel brings an enormous pleasure. It makes you grateful and respectful for your work, your colleagues work (housekeeping, waiters, front office staff), as well as respect for the money earned as this is not an easy job. The harder we work, the happier we are to see a happy guest. We feel even better when they come back to us or gives us a very good review.
If you don’t want to be bored in your life, choose your career in the hotel industry.
- Basia Świdrak
- Housekeeping Manager
- ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto (Poland)