In 1989, I had a mega breakthrough. A mate of mine was working at Claridge’s, then part of the Savoy Group, and I mentioned to her that I fancied the idea of getting into hotel sales. She said I should speak to the new Sales Manager there and ask her advice. So I called her up and asked if she could spare ½ an hour to have a cup of coffee.
As it transpired, she was looking for an administrative assistant – and by the end of the meeting, she had offered me the job! I went on to spend almost 5 years at this magnificent hotel.
I have many stories and memories from this time (like sitting in Her Majesty’s chair briefly before she was due to arrive at a royal banquet, peaking at Elizabeth Taylor’s wardrobe, running into Lynford Christie’s lunch box, and helping organise an outrageously lavish teenage mutant ninja turtle party). But most of all – it changed the whole course of my future career.
During my time at the hotel, I became a Sales Executive and then Banqueting Sales Manager. It was this experience, the people I met, and the addition to the CV, that meant I was able to go on and enjoy such an interesting work life. It remains a door opener to this day.
LESSON: ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE WITH SOMEONE. YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE IT MIGHT LEAD.