Wojciech Kęsik's Story
When I consider my 28 years of experience, my career has been based on progressive changes that have always resulted in a different position, and each one has meant new challenges and goals for me and for Accor. When I joined as a receptionist, I always wanted to be a general manager, it was my dream, and it was important to me that every move was thought out so that I could achieve good results and pursue my development.
Being busy and committed inspires me to do more, to take on new tasks. But that is not enough, you have to like your job because to get a lot out of it, you have to put a lot into it. This hotel is in the city centre, 10km from the airport. It is the biggest hotel in Poland, we work mostly with corporate clients and MICE groups, we have big conference facilities.
In the hospitality sector you have a huge opportunity to be recognised, you are not anonymous; you can be appreciated by your clients, your neighbours and teams. If you are not front line staff, even as a chamber maid you can add something special for customers and leave a business card; and it is the same in the kitchen, you can present your dish so that a client knows it was made by you.
Lockdown was the most difficult period in my life and I hope it never happens again. Some employees lost jobs and some left voluntarily, but we supported our teams, we didn’t give up. We were in touch with staff whose hotel was closed – some were working in the hotel and those who didn’t earned 60% of their salary; some moved to other hotels to sustain working properties.
We organised special calls regularly with the teams, kept them informed about the company’s situation and new restrictions. We organised online training and supported them all the time – it was very difficult for all of us.
If someone is already in the industry, it means they like it and that is half the battle. Our sector is not boring and my advice would be to take the opportunity to change jobs and take on new challenges. Challenge is good, especially if you work in a hotel chain, where there are openings 24/7 for progress and doing new tasks that add to your experience.
If you are looking for a job and you start working in the hotel industry, there are many possibilities for development. You can work with people, expand your skills in several areas and then even if you do not get the role you want, your skills are transferable. In a hotel you can develop knowledge in sales or technology; in reception you can learn revenue management, especially in small hotels, and you can use these competencies in every industry, even if you are selling shoes.
- Wojciech Kesik
- General Manager
- Novotel Warszawa Centrum - Poland