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What It's Like To Be A Hotel Employee

How much do they make? What are the perks of their job?
PHOTO: Pixabay

Hotel Management has got to be one of the most popular courses out there. Much like how flight attendants get enviable discounts off their flights, hotel employees save a lot on accommodations when they travel because of their line of work. 

Name: CJ

Age: 25

Position: Marketing Communications Specialist

Monthly income range: In our industry, there are two income sources: basic salary and service charge. Basic salary is your fixed monthly rate, and service charge (SC) is what you get depending on the overall performance of the hotel. That said, my monthly income ranges from P50,000 to P60,000.

How long have you been working? Four years.

What’s the rating of the hotel you’re working for? Five-star international hotel chain.

Do you worry about money?
Not so much because I only have myself to take care of. I don't spend much as well. I make sure that the bulk of my monthly salary goes to my savings account. For the most part, I spend more on experiences than material things.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
If you can't afford it, don't buy it. I don't own a credit card; I always pay with cash. I monitor my needs and wants.

Do you live alone? Nope. I live with my parents and siblings.

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?
My parents have their own business so they don’t need a lot of financial support, but I make sure to contribute P2,000 monthly anyway.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Nope. I live life on my own terms because I'm a badass lady. I don't really care about what other people might say.


What are your financial goals?
No one actually ever gets rich just by being an employee their whole life. That said, right now I’m saving my money and gaining some experience, but in the future, I’d like to have my own business.

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Have you always wanted to work in a hotel?
Actually, I never thought I’d be here. My original plan was to work in advertising. But working in this industry has been more than fulfilling—better pay, better perks, and work-life balance! I started here as a graphic artisjt for the hotel's marketing team then eventually, I learned how to work in PR.

What kind of benefits or perks do you get?
The best perk is the complimentary stays while I’m traveling. We all know how much accommodations can cost—my job helps cut my expenses down.

What’s the most scandalous thing you’ve encountered at work?
I can’t really name any. Maybe I’m just lucky?

What types of jobs are in high demand in hotels right now?
I think there's a great need for sales people right now, since there are a lot of new hotels opening up.

What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day would be starting the day by reading my emails and then lining up the job orders to make sure projects are running smoothly. There are some days when we do photoshoots, meet people in the media, and talk about the upcoming promos and projects. On slow days, we brainstorm and hang out in the office, but most of the time, I’m still designing on my computer.

What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is meeting different people from the media. Since I'm new in PR, I find it incredibly exciting and fun.

What are the challenges?
The biggest challenge would be the deadlines. Lots of them.

Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
Yes. Compared to what I was earning before, I'd say I'm paid better now. I didn't really care about money before, but now, I think it's an essential part of growing up. Also, I'm given bigger responsibilities now. I'd like to consider “compensation” as something more than just money—I get to learn more as well.

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Name: Hanna

Age: 30

Position: Sales Executive

Monthly income range: It varies, because of basic pay and service charge. It’s around P40,000 to 50,000.

How long have you been working? Seven years in hospitality.

What’s the rating of the hotel you’re working for? Five-star!

Do you worry about money? 
Of course. In the hospitality industry, just because we get service charge doesn’t mean we’re compensated enough. I still have to manage my expenses.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
Set aside 50% of your salary.

Do you live alone? No. I still live with my parents so I can save more.

Can you give us a breakdown of your expenses? 
I don’t contribute to our household expenses, but I cover my car loan, phone bill, and life insurance as well as my sister’s allowance. 

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way? 
Yes, I do, especially because I have so many financial responsibilities.

What are your financial goals?  
I want to be able to manage my paycheck well, but in the future, I’d like to have my own business.


Have you always wanted to work in a hotel? 
Yes. It’s always been a dream of mine to be in the hotel industry, although I also considered taking up tourism.

What kind of benefits or perks do you get? 
We get a free “duty meal” every day, and that’s always a buffet. We also get huge discounts when we stay at other properties of the parent hotel group—like, as big as 80% off. There’s also the industry rate, which is a special accommodation rate whenever we stay in other hotels.

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What’s the most scandalous thing you’ve encountered at work? 
Nothing too scandalous so far—they’re mostly just rumors, like a boss dating someone in the staff.

What types of jobs are in high demand in hotels right now?
Most of the job vacancies at our hotel are for front-of-the-house jobs, like front office agents and food and beverage (F&B) servers. 

What’s a typical day like for you? 
I normally start my day by checking my email, and then my team has a quick briefing. Most of the day, I’m out for sales calls. I’m back at the hotel by 4:00 pm, and we have a debriefing at 5:30 pm.  

What’s the best part of your job? 
The best part of the job has got to be the fact that every single day is different. I’m always on my toes, and I never know what to expect.  

What are the challenges? 
Anyone in sales can tell you about the struggle of meeting targets. Management is usually strict about meeting those monthly targets, and that can be overwhelming. 

Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not? 
I’m not sure. Based on rumors, newly opened hotels are offering a higher basic pay than what we’re currently receiving so that’s a little unsettling.


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Name: Riz

Age: 28

Position: Confidential Secretary

Monthly income: P30,000

How long have you been working? Eight years!

What’s the rating of the hotel you’re working for? Five-star!

Do you worry about money? Yes, of course!

What’s your #1 saving tip?
Set aside at least 10% of your monthly paycheck.

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Do you live alone? Nope.

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?
I don’t pay for anything at home.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Yes, actually. Working in a hotel…people always assume that your life is so glam, so there’s pressure to keep up appearances.

What are your financial goals?
None. 


Have you always wanted to work in a hotel?
No, I took up BS-HRIM (Bachelor of Science-Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management) in school because my family is in the food industry, and I like to cook. But while I was still in school, I realized that it was more practical to take up hotel management over culinary arts, and that's how I found my way to the hotel industry. 

What kind of benefits or perks do you get? 
Service charge! We also get room discounts at sister properties (hotels under the same group) and, of course, discounts in our hotel restaurants.

What’s the most scandalous thing you’ve encountered at work?
A recurring thing that happens is when airline captains kick out “joiners”—or escortsfrom their rooms, and the joiners are uncooperative.

What types of jobs are in high demand in hotels right now?
Front desk agents and restaurant servers!

What’s a typical day like for you?
I organize my boss’s calendar, file all the paperwork, produce reports, and draft contracts.

What’s the best part of your job?
All the discounts—hands down.

What are the challenges?
Interacting with guests isn’t always a walk in the park. Most of our guests are nice, but of course, we get really angry ones as well. I have to constantly remind myself to keep my cool.

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Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
No, the basic wage is low and we rely too much on the service charge. Our hotel hasn’t been getting as much business as before because of all the hotels popping up all over the city.
 

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Name: Ash

Age: 22

Position: Guest Services Supervisor

Monthly income range: P30,000 to 40,000

How long have you been working? Two years !

What’s the rating of the hotel you’re working for? Five-star!

Do you worry about money?
I grew up with very little allowance for school, so I learned to depend on baon from home and Rebisco biscuits just so I could to save up. I worry about money in the sense that I always make sure I have enough for what I need.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
My ultimate tip would be to take a P1,000 peso bill, fold it until it’s the smallest it can get, and hide it in one of your wallet's pockets. You'll eventually forget you had it there, and one day, you’ll see it when you need it the most.

Do you live alone? No. I live with my family.

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?
I’ve offered to pay my share, but my dad won’t let me pay for anything. He wants me to save for my future. 

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
I pressure myself. I think about all my purchases carefully, but I’d rather buy something on sale. I don’t mind buying cheap things or splurging on pricey things as long as it has a clear purpose.

What are your financial goals?
My goals are to be able to help with household expenses and to be financially stable enough to support myself. 

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Have you always wanted to work in a hotel?
I wanted to be a surgeon in high school. I grew up having "staycations" because my mom loved trying different hotels. I was always amazed by how hotel people made me feel—from check-in to check-out. I wanted to make other people feel the same way.

What kind of benefits or perks do you get?
Working the front desk has a wide range of benefits! I get free nights in both local and international hotels. Sometimes, I get random gifts from our guests, pasalubong from returning guests, and tips when I’m working late.

What’s the most scandalous thing you’ve encountered at work?
A woman asked me for an "emergency pill" one day, and I had no idea what it was. She started showing me a list of different pills and asked where the nearest hospital was for abortion. Apparently, she was able to buy this certain pill from another country and she would just poop out the "thing.” She was panicking because she couldn't afford to be pregnant because of her job.

What types of jobs are in high demand in hotels right now? 
I would say turn-over in hotels is pretty fast because of constant openings. Front Office Agents, F&B servers, and sales managers are always in high demand though.

What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day starts with me getting dolled up! It’s part of the job. Operations include dealing with guests (usually with a guest demanding for an early check-in or complimentary room upgrade), responding to a thousand emails, handling guest queries, and generally trying to brighten everyone’s day. All in heels!

What’s the best part of your job?
I get to meet and learn from new people everyday. I’ve also gotten to know myself more. I know what I’m capable of. Plus, you know, service charge is always good.

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What are the challenges?
The biggest challenge is meeting the guests’s expectations. As front desk, I’m usually the “first and last touch” so what I do is a big deal.

Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
No, I don’t think so. We go above and beyond our job description. We deal with so much on a daily basis, and it can take a toll on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Sometimes, money isn’t enough.

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