With more than 20 years of experience in this industry, I have worked in businesses ranging from fast-food to 5-star resorts. Working in this industry has many challenges, including: handling multiple tasks and priorities; coping with stressful situations; interacting with people from various cultures and backgrounds; making plans and organising shifts; and meeting tight deadlines. Meeting these challenges has given me a wide skill-set to utilise throughout my career.
Sunshine Mountain Lodge (2018-2021)
Lead Night Auditor
This 84-room ski resort sits nearly 2200m atop the Canadian Rockies! This job continues to require being a man with many hats: manager, security, health & safety officer, fire warden, receptionist, maintenance and housekeeper. While reception is the main focus of the job, there is also a continuing need for excellent problem-solving skills and time-management. As with my previous work, I continue to introduce IT solutions, allowing me to increase productivity upwards of 60 percent.
Quality Inn (2017-2018)
This night audit position is much quieter than Glasgow, yet with only 122-rooms it is still full of challenges you don’t usually get during the day. This job further required me – as I usually work alone – to be a man with many hats: manager, security, health & safety officer, fire warden, receptionist, maintenance and housekeeper. While reception is the main focus of the job, there is also a continuing need for excellent problem-solving skills and time-management. As with my previous work in Glasgow, I continued to introduce IT solutions, allowing me to increase productivity upwards of 60 percent and half user-errors.
Working nights in this 144-room hotel brings with it a variety of challenges you do not normally manage during your typical 9-to-5. This job required being a jack-of-all-trades: manager, security, health & safety officer, fire warden, receptionist, maintenance, chef, bartender and housekeeper. While reception and restaurant work were the main focus, there was also a strong need for excellent problem-solving skills and time-management. My role was also expanded to include IT work, allowing me to develop computer-based solutions to increase productivity upwards of 50 percent.
Food & Beverage
The 24/7 staff café has average weekly sales of more than $20,000 (NZD). My job was primarily keeping the front of house clean and retail items stocked. Given the nature of the work I’d regularly be working as chef, steward and manager alongside my daily tasks. To succeed in this role you needed to excel at multitasking, customer service and be highly organised.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat (2014)
Food & Beverage
This is a 5-star resort on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, famous for glaciers and sand flies. I worked primarily as a support member of the team, either helping wait tables, clean a few dishes or tend to the bar (I make some great cocktails); basically helping out to get things done.
The Stables (2013)
A bar for home cooked meals and a lively atmosphere in the Deep South. Most of our customers were regular truckers who were always keen for some banter and a good meal. I was responsible for minding the bar and getting the food. Good communication skills were crucial as well as being highly organised.
Subway (2011-2013; 2007-2008)
Working in fast-food means you have to be quick and organised, ready to work hard when it’s quiet or busy. As a duty manager you not only had to supervise staff and take care of the customers, you needed to make sure all prep work was finished and plentiful. “Best” day was when it was supposed to quiet and I ended up doing 40 orders on my own in one hour.
Remarkable Cleaners (2010)
For the most part, I was responsible for cleaning the massive Skyline Queenstown complex in about 3 hours. On more than one occasion I was by myself, but the work was usually done with another person. Still, this meant being fast while having an immaculate attention to detail. I also worked there during the day to maintain the facilities. One heck of an office view!
University of Otago (2008-2009)
One of my favourite jobs, I supervised half a dozen outlets, numerous staff members and was responsible for the security of several facilities throughout the campus. This job also included supporting staff and other managers for conferences and events, which could include several hundred guests.
Vivian’s Vineyards (2002-2005)
I started as a dishwasher, then busser, then waiter, then cook, and on more than one night all four. Working here meant being quick about everything, being able to prioritise tasks, communicate effectively with team members and be highly organised. While it could be exhausting, the best days are when I am doing four jobs at once – and doing it well.
This was my very first job where I learned all about customer service, working hard, multitasking and being organised. It was a regular fast-food job any high school student would be working at.