Moving from Retail to Hospitality was a real game-changer for me.
People have always been the main motivation behind what I do. Watching someone achieve amazing results and grow as a person makes me feel very proud. Working for a company that allows me to do that is what I find rewarding. I believe that everything is possible with the right focus, support and hard work, and I am so glad I get to be part of that.
Big journeys always begin with small steps and mine was when I moved to London from Poland at the age of 19. My goals were short term – I was looking for a part time job and do some exploring before I started University. It only took little exploring before I realised I had found my second home.
While studying Business and Management, I took up a part time job in Retail that later turned into my career, starting as a cashier in Lidl and eventually becoming an Area Manager for Superdrug. I progressed, I developed, and I picked up a lot of skills along the way in the industry. When I was approached by Costa Coffee, I was hesitant at first but the idea of exploring a different sector and learning new things helped me make the decision.
The transfer of skills from Retail to Hospitality really wasn’t a challenge at all. In fact, I was very excited that I could use my current skills and share my own knowledge in a new company, while learning so much about a different industry. I believe its very important to move out of our comfort zones and try new things for your own development. With this in mind, I knew straight away that the Hospitality sector was going support my development and stretch me to grow further.
Obviously when I joined Costa Coffee, I joined Whitbread. I knew the headlines about the company; successful business, focus on fundraising work and a ‘Top Employer’ for many years, but it was when I got my feet into the job and the culture I experienced it for myself. When Costa Coffee was sold, I was no longer part of the Whitbread Group, but it was the lived experience of those Whitbread values that were the main factor in deciding to pursue my career with the company again.
Now I am a Regional Operations Manager for Premier Inn, looking after 25 hotels in South London. I am so lucky to share this experience with the amazing people in every hotel. No two days are the same, and that is the most exciting part of the role.
I get to lead a team, supporting and delivering the business’ plans through focusing on my team’s development, building succession plans, and driving engagement and performance. Whitbread’s passionate about creating the best experiences for every team member and putting our people at the heart of everything we do. As a business, Whitbread listens, continues to learn, and I’ve no doubt will continue to evolve and grow. I believe that is what makes us unique.
We wouldn’t be where we are without our guests, so we continually strive to listen to their feedback, and adapt our teams to ensure we provide exceptional guest experiences and remain the most loved hotel brand. Without our teams we could not deliver the high standards of excellence, and as a Regional Operations Manager it is very important to demonstrate inclusive leadership and people development. Passion, drive, commitment and curiosity motivates my teams to continue achieving their great success.
I love being able to make a difference in people’s lives. Retail was a good place to do this but moving into hospitality was a real game-changer for me. The opportunities to work with people, develop their skills, to coach and be part of someone’s career is special. There are no limits to what you can achieve here.