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Tina, Deputy Hotel Manager, Premier Inn

Getting back into the working world after a while, or embarking on something new later in life can be daunting. Fear, self doubt and questioning whether it’s even possible is holding people back from starting a new chapter in their life. At Whitbread, we want to turn around the negatives and help you change your story – both the stories you tell yourself about lack of confidence, ability or employability, and your future ambitions too. You’re at the best place to #ChangeYourStory, with the UK’s leading hospitality business.


If you’re not enjoying your job, move.


Don’t listen to anyone who says you’re too old to do what you love, somewhere else. Never let your age hold you back.


They’ll be lucky to have you and you might just find a few doors you didn’t know about open up at the new place.


I’d been working at the same hotel chain for seven years and, if truth be told, I was getting a bit bored. It was a hotel only, there was no restaurant and being a housekeeper there was all I could be. There was no progression on offer.


I wanted another challenge in my life and I didn’t give my age a second thought when I applied on Indeed for the new Premier Inn that had just opened in town.


I joined a couple of months after the hotel opened, applying for a Front of House role to get that complete change I was looking for – and it wasn’t long before I was moving further on with my career.


But let me make no bones about it - it was tough here at the start. Manic. All the teething troubles you get with a brand new site were there and I thought ‘what have I done?’. I knew the job at the old place inside out and could do it with my eyes closed. Sticking it out was the best thing I could have done


Here I’ve made new friends, I’ve progressed my career – I wouldn’t leave now. I enjoy it too much.


It's a world away from where I was before. There the work felt quite mundane, you did the same thing day after day. Here you’re hands on throughout your shift, you’re busy – kept motivated. I like to get stuck in.


I was 55 when I made the move across to Premier Inn. I was getting on a bit, I wanted to see what else I could do!


I wanted to go for the Deputy Hotel Manager role and have that next challenge. Prove to myself that I was capable of doing this.


I felt I had it in me. I’d been in hospitality my whole life – it suited my life when raising my family and I’d always enjoyed working in the industry. I’d been watching other DHMs do it well, picking things up from the managers I worked with on shift and I thought ‘I can do this’.


That confidence was helped no end by the team here. You feel your dedication is rewarded. You go the extra mile and they do right by you.


Now here I am, a happy DHM. They took a chance on me, I took a chance on them.


They make you feel like family here. The respect you get, I’ve not worked anywhere like it. Which is why I bought my family over!


My son was at the other hotel chain. He didn’t think I was making the right move when I joined Premier Inn, as I remind him – he actually warned me against it!


But over time he could see the change in me, how I was being encouraged to do more, learn more and I said to him ‘come on, come over to Premier Inn’. We were looking for another DHM and he joined and hasn’t looked back. He does nights, loves the restaurants side of the business and it’s driven him on to do much more than his old job. This is the best place for him.


I believe there is a job here for anyone. If you only want part time, do 16 hours. Housekeeping for parents with young kids is ideal – start at 9:30, finish at 2. I think Whitbread works with you, they think of their team.


For anyone older, age is certainly not a barrier here. I don’t feel old and I don’t think my age is a hinderance. I’m capable of doing a job and I want to do it for as long as possible.


I’ll be here til I retire – which is no time soon, hopefully!


#ChangeYourStory with shifts to suit everyone at the UK’s leading hospitality business here…

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We serve up delicious dishes full of seasonal flavour and a variety of drinks including local cask ales.

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We get to serve an amazing 25 million customers each month in the UK.

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A new kind of hotel for Premier Inn

A new kind of hotel for Premier Inn

The first ZIP will be opening in Cardiff March 2019, with more coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled for a ZIP near you.