4 Life Lessons From Working at a Hotel

This past week, I left my first job as a Front Desk Agent for a hotel. I started at the age of 18, and I left at 22.  I feel that I’ve been in the industry for a while; it was definitely a big part of my life.  By working in a hotel, I learned what I want in a career and life lessons that everyone should contemplate on.

  1. Smile more 🙂

Smiles are contagious.  As a Front Desk Agent, I had to spread smiles to the people checking-in.  When someone genuinely smiles at you, you can’t help to smile back.  Yeah, there are days when someone else’s smile won’t do the trick, I understand.  We all get those days.  But smiles are one thing you should “fake it til you make it”.  The facial feedback hypothesis dates back to Darwin’s studies and simply put means your facial expressions can affect your emotions.

Try smiling right now.

Yup. The biggest, cheesiest one you got.

Include the eyes too!  Smile with your eyes!

Now don’t you feel a tad better?  There are several sites that claim that it works, but I also dug up some recent scholarly articles.  The scholarly article tested how a furrowed brow affected perception.  Everything was seen less favorably with a furrowed brow.  Well.  The good news is that you can’t have a furrowed brow while smiling.

  1. Always express your feelings and concerns

If something bothers you, express it.  From a guest point-of-view, this should always be done.  A guest who takes the time to tell staff about his or her concerns would have more of a chance to have them addressed.  No one is a mind-reader.

This insight can also be applied in any social setting.  Even though you should smile more, you should not forget your real feelings.  The consequences for repressed feelings can prove to be worse than faking a smile.  If a boyfriend or girlfriend, did something that made you feel uncomfortable, you have to express it.  If you don’t express it, he or she might think it is ok to do it again.  Some may argue that the significant other should know better by the first or second year, and expressing concern is not necessary.  I strongly disagree.  You may be “soulmates”, but no one is mind-reader.

  1. Remember people’s’ names

This is a next-level life skill everyone should practice.  Remembering peoples’ names helps to improve relationships.  Mediocre customer service becomes great customer service.  Acquaintances become friends.

Have you ever been in the situation where you meet someone one day and then later find out that he or she remembers your name but you forgot his or hers?  How would you feel in that situation?

It’s a bittersweet feeling.  I feel good that someone remembered my name.  I stood out (hopefully, positively) enough to have my name remembered.  But I would also feel bad because I could not remember his or hers.

Make other people feel good by remembering their names, and save yourself from that feeling you get when you forget someone else’s.

  1. Always be nice

Always, always, always be nice.  Be nice to everyone.  Many of us are socialized to create shortcuts and generalizations of other people through first impressions, but that is our downfall.

One of the hotels I worked at has a rewards program.  There are different tiers of guests and benefits within the rewards program.  The top-tier guests holds enough power to have you reprimanded by management.  One would think that the top-tier guests have a sort of image or look to them.  But that isn’t always the case.

If a grungy-looking guest walks into the lobby, you shouldn’t form any hasty conclusions.  He or she might be one of those top-tier guests.  You don’t know the tier status of a someone you don’t know.

The funny thing about appearances is that people without money can look like people with money but people with money can also look like people without money.


Vox tua, et de ideis

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