Industry Insight: Careers in Hospitality (Jersey Tourism)

Industry Insight: Careers in Hospitality (Jersey Tourism)


We have a set standard procedure for every
day and certain things that have to be achieved every day. But the minute you open the front
door, it depends on the customer that walks in the door, the type of inquiry, and where
your day may lead. So I decided to work in a travel agency within
my Trident work experience, and that I decided wasn’t really for me. So then I looked at
other opportunities and an opportunity in the customer services department at Jersey
Tourism came up and I did that after I finished my NVQ at Highlands College. Certainly my careers teacher at Secondary
School had a lot to do with what training I did in order to get into the tourism job
that I’ve got now, because an opportunity came up of an NVQ course in Travel and Tourism
and he thought that this would be a really good opportunity for me to broaden my horizons
and possibly go into this industry. From the age of 13 I worked in customer service
in a beach café, it was kind of my weekend job and summer holidays. I got thrown in the
deep end one day to work on the desk and deal with the public. Back then I was quite shy,
quite quiet, didn’t really say boo to a goose, and my boss at the time said ‘no I think you
should do the desk for today’, and as I did more and more of the customer interaction
and dealt with the customers, I found that this was an area I really enjoyed and thrived
on, so it was something that I wanted to investigate further and hopefully do in the future. We’re constantly being put on to training
courses for various things put I’ve done various recruitment courses, I’ve also done various
courses in training, managing teams, management courses, in all sorts of degrees and just
your standard everyday IT courses and things- anything that changes really within the States
of Jersey. Back in secondary school I studied French
and it was an area that I really enjoyed, so I knew languages were something that I
wanted to do. So I continued that into my NVQ and part of the NVQ was actually to learn
French, and we did the standard English, Maths, Science, and History. Then when I went to
the NVQ it was more tourism related and we various modules within the NVQ, which covered
customer care, covered travel, consultancy, and just tourism destination in general. Well I would say in all customer services
roles it’s definitely customer service, you have to enjoy what you do and you have to
be passionate about what you do. It doesn’t matter what your subject is, you have to have
very good product knowledge, and for me product knowledge is product and knowledge of the
island, the island is our product. I’d say dealing with people because no two
days are the same. But we deal with foreign visitors as well, so we deal with a lot of
French, so some days you could go 3/4 hours without speaking English, which is quite a
challenge but that’s what’s quite exciting about the job and the day goes by very quickly.
But I’d say the people side of it is the interesting thing and the exciting thing of the job. People don’t seem to understand quite what
tourism encompasses. It’s not just the tourism building that we work within, tourism is always
the infrastructure of the island, without tourism you wouldn’t have the bus infrastructure,
you wouldn’t have the restaurants that we’ve got on the island and I don’t think people
quite appreciate that that all comes under the tourism umbrella. There’s been so many highlights! I suppose
every time a customer goes out the door satisfied and then they come back the next day and tell
you they had a great experience is a really nice experience and it’s confirmation that
you’ve done your job right. Sometimes you want to achieve something in
a short time frame and you can’t do so because you’ve got to follow the right procedure,
the right protocol, and it can be a little bit frustrating because our end goal is to
market Jersey and to get visitors to the island all year round. The first one was when we physically had to
move office because obviously it’s not as easy as just any organisation that can just
move from one street to another. We had to advertise this to all our audience which is
Jersey residents but also all our previous visitors and future visitors and how do you
know who your future visitors are? It’s a very difficult message to get across, and
obviously changing phone numbers, addresses, on everything, and just getting people familiar
with our new location. Do something that you enjoy and you want to
get out of bed everyday for. I’d say it’s made me a lot more of a sociable
person. As I said, when I was a young teenager I was quite shy, quite reserved, probably
didn’t really know where I fitted in to society and having worked in customer service since
the age of 13 that’s helped me to grow. I’d love to say I do but there is a real misperception
there that we do a lot of travelling. We don’t really. I’d say there’s very little that doesn’t make
me smile in life. I enjoy what I do, I enjoy where my life is at the moment and I enjoy
socialising with my friends and family and going out for dinner and things, so there
is very little that doesn’t make me smile to be quite honest.

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