What’s in a day?
As you know, the customer knows best, so as a housekeeper your mission is to make sure they have nothing to complain about when it comes to spic and span bedrooms, sparkling bathrooms and clean public areas. Most housekeeping jobs are in hotels and, depending on the size of the property, you’ll either be given your own floor to clean or you’ll work as part of a team. This is arguably one of the most physical jobs in a hotel, so it goes without saying that you’ll need to be self disciplined and fit.
Key responsibilities include:
- Making sure all rooms are cleaned and in tip top condition for new arrivals and existing guests
- Working quickly and efficiently so guests aren’t left hanging around
- Liaising with the head housekeeper when rooms are ready for guests
- Ensuring the equipment you use, such as shampooers, polishers and trolleys, is in good working condition
- Being able to use the equipment safely and efficiently
- An awareness of green issues
What sort of hours will I work?
Mostly mornings, but you could be working up to 50 hours a week in top hotels as you scale the career ladder
What’s the best thing about being a housekeeper?
“Generating customer satisfaction and working with a great team. And winning awards,” says Hotel Catey 2009 winner Rachael Park, head housekeeper at Rudding Park, Harrogate.
And the worst?
“It’s a way of life and to do the job well you need to be very committed.”
What skills do I need?
- To be a team player, because whether your team is big or small, everyone needs to pull together
- To be reliable as you may be responsible for cleaning your own floor under the instruction of the head housekeeper
- Obsessed with detail – the buck stops with you in making sure all rooms are perfect
- Well mannered and unflappable, even if you happen to come across a guest in the shower
What qualifications do I need?
It’s more important to be personable, conscientious and hard working than to have a stack of qualifications. In any case, most employers will provide you with some form of training, especially the larger companies.
Who would it suit?
If you’re going to get the most out of this job, you’re probably a stickler for detail who wants to be the best at what you do. You should be happy to work independently, often to tight deadlines because rooms usually need to be turned around quickly – but nevertheless efficiently – before the next guests arrive.
What salary can I expect?
If you work in hotels, the average UK salary is between £18,500 and £20,900, although you’ll probably start on a lower salary. Source: Totaljobs 2009
Where can I go from here?
If you’ve got what it takes, you could work up to head housekeeper level. Alternatively, you could move into a role in a related industry, such as facilities management.
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