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things to do while being furloughed

Things You Can Do While Furloughed In the Meetings Industry

My friends, the hotel industry has been hit hard by COVID19.  I’ve read that up to 80% of a hotel’s team has been furloughed.  Hotel sales teams have not been exempt; most hotels are running on a skeleton sales staff left to negotiate cancellations and rebooked programs.  This has created incredible stress for both the furloughed employees, and those left-standing.

If you’ve been furloughed, all the time you put into those beautiful pieces of business now lay waste the feet of your colleagues to clean you.  Meanwhile, you find yourself sitting at home with no paycheck, no responsibilities, no guarantee of when (or if) they’ll be returning to the hotel.

Friends, these are uncertain times, and I feel every ounce of your stress.  Thankfully, for all of us, regardless of what may happen at the hotel or to our industry, WE are in control of our own lives and our futures.

Here are a few things YOU can do while furloughed from your position:

  1. Find some temporary employment – Hilton recently released plans to help their furloughed workers find employment at brands still hiring; you can check out that article here.  You may also find the industry is STILL HIRING and new opportunities are popping up!  An experienced industry colleague of mine recently found a new opportunity with as much seniority and flexibility as her former position.  Opportunities are out there folks!
  2. Stay in touch with leadership- while you may be furloughed, you still have access to your leader’s advice and guidance.  Check-in with often and provide advice on your client’s programs
  3. Connect with colleagues  – similarly with leadership, assist your colleagues with advice on the programs they are left to cancel and rebook.  Your unsolicited assistance will go a long way in helping your team!
  4. Connect with clients – Believe it or not, your clients still want to hear from you!  Connect with them in creative and fun ways to continue and grow the relationship.  I’ve detailed some budget-friendly and creative ways to do this, you can find those tips here.
  5. Volunteer!  Either at your meetings industry association, at a passion-project of yours, OR at your place of employment!  They may need the help and it’ll keep you connected to your colleagues during this time of separation
  6. Find a strategic project for when you get back to work – now is a great time to re-examine your operating procedures and finding more effective ways to do your work and engage with planners.
  7. Be active on social media – stay on top of trends and grow your personal brand by engaging regularly on social media.  A few things you can do on LinkedIn:
    1. update your LinkedIn profile – find some tips on how to best update your profile for the industry here.
    2. engage in LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups for the meetings industry
  8. Learn – now is the time to invest in training and projects that you likely did not have time to pursue when you were working full-time.  Some ideas can include:
    1. podcasts – I eluded to a few of my favourites in a recent post here
    2. MPI Academy – tons of courses available
    3. My blogs and vlogs – yes, shameless plug for the materials I created for you 🙂
  9. Plan for a return – You could get called back at any moment, and when you do, your daily tasks will never look the same.  Start planning now for how your workday will look upon your return.
  10. Join an association – friends, I get it, joining an association comes at an expense, but this is the best time to get plugged into a community.  Some associations have job boards, and the connections you’ll make will keep you top-of-mind for when opportunities arise

My friends, this uncertain time is not easy on any of us, but by taking control of our daily actions, we’ll be armed with confidence and optimism through the upcoming weeks and months.

Stay strong my friends, I’m thinking of you always,

creative ideas for hotel sales managers

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Photo by Agnieszka Boeske on Unsplash