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Minute on the clock: William Thomson

17 February 2017 by
Minute on the clock: William Thomson

What does it mean to you to be a member of Les Clefs d'Or?
It provides a unique opportunity to connect with my fellow concierges, to establish friendships and be part of a strong global network. It basically gives me the tools I need to help me deliver my job to the very highest standard.

Would you encourage others to apply?
I actively encourage young concierges to join. The organisation plays a crucial part in developing people throughout their career.

What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?
To always remember that problems are never the problem - it is how a person responds to and deals with them that makes the difference. With this in mind, I assume the default position: that a solution can and will always be found.

What is the most difficult thing about your job?
Sometimes, just sometimes, it is not possible to meet a particular request. I always take it personally.

What do you think are the key qualities of a concierge?
Personality, empathy, teamwork, passion for the industry, communication and listening to others.

Is the role quite male-dominated?
I suspect the fact that it has been male-dominated is something to do with the concierge profession. It developed from humble beginnings in luggage porterage - a physically demanding job that would have naturally been more male-oriented. Now, the job is much more about networking and management, so it is no surprise that it is attracting exceptional women into the field

What distinguishes a good concierge from a great concierge?
We are all here for one purpose only: people. I think to be a great concierge you really have to love people, rather than seeing them simply as part of your job.

How did you feel when you won Young Concierge of the Year?
I am still in shock - it's a memory that will stay with me forever. The pride it evoked in my family, friends, general manager and the rest of my colleagues means more than words can ever describe. The support shown by my peers from the Great Britain section was overwhelming and reminded me how important my work is in my life. I am going to Berlin this year for the 64th Congress, to represent Great Britain, and it's a challenge that I will take on with enthusiasm and excitement.

What would your advice be to a young person considering coming into hospitality?
I would say don't unless you really love being of service to others. People come in many flavours, and you have to enjoy them all. The concierge world in particular has never been more exciting. The internet and social media have made it a truly global and fast-moving profession - you have the world at your fingertips when it comes to making a guest's wishes come true. So if you love serving people and have an aptitude for networking and new technology - go for it.

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