Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Work – The number one reason we came to Florida

By Marielle Beetge

Many individuals considering joining the Workaway International program may think they’re jetting off to Florida for a working holiday, but if that’s what you had in mind then think again! 

The Workaway International program is anything but a holiday, and is instead an amazing working experience that moulds and shapes you for the global hospitality industry.

While you’re on the program, your off days are used to recover from hard work and long shifts, and this time should also be used to get personal things done.  While there is an opportunity for a few outings here and there, we unfortunately don’t always get a few days off in a row.

Don’t get me wrong, this experience is definitely something that is worthwhile for your future.  We are learning constantly, earning Dollars, and we are having a good time in the process! We do get the opportunity to travel and there are many other great opportunities for us too.

As it goes in the hospitality industry, you should be prepared to work 12 hour shifts on consecutive days at the country clubs, and be prepared to work hard!

My first few weeks were the most difficult. There was so much to learn and memorise – the various menus, unfamiliar foods, and international wines and liquors. It was tough, but I got the hang of it in the end.  My next challenge was getting on the floor and serving the guests.

The managers watch you closely to make sure you are doing your job and that you are implementing your training, and are always on hand to offer assistance.  I soon realised that it was all a learning curve, and after successfully completing the training process, I came to understand that the managers are my friends. They watch our backs and support us.

To be in this industry requires a thick skin and quite a bit of patience with the members and guests you are serving, but once you pull through you are able to take everything in your stride.

Each person’s experience on this program is different, but one thing is for sure: Expect to work hard and learn harder. It will all be worth it in the end!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Keeping focused

By Jasper Burger

It is true that some days are a bit more challenging than others for Workaway International recruits, but to serve the best, you have to be the best at all times!

Performing at 100% capacity is a tall order, and sometimes a lot to ask when you are working 60 to 70 hours a week, but it is do-able. Personally, it starts with a very strong cup of coffee every morning before heading to Gold’s Gym in Jupiter Hills. I simply cannot start my day without a good cup of coffee!  The gym is where I work out all my frustrations and the focus shapes my body and mind.

Being motivated and ‘pumped up’ is a great way to start the day.  I enjoy showing up for work when I feel energized as there are numerous events to set up for which require hard work and focus. Events like guest tournaments, 40 year anniversaries or private parties are all included in a day in the life of a Workaway International recruit abroad.

To ensure a place like Jupiter Hills looks amazing, you need to be sharp, look after yourself and always keep your eye on the prize.  The venues and other preparations for these events need to be set up to perfection at all times because they are filled with members that need your undivided attention!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Busy times ahead!!!

By Julie-Ann Blom 

It is almost that time of the year where some recruits head up north for Workaway International’s summer programme.  Before that, our busy period in Florida starts as we head into the Easter season – one of the most demanding, but exciting times at the club!

I don't know about the other clubs in Florida, but I know Sailfish Point is a hive of activity.  We are already fully booked for Easter Sunday, both morning and evening, and many families come down here this time of year to celebrate.

At the club we try to make it as fun as possible, with a kid’s carnival that includes entertaining games, face painting and pony rides.  There’s also family bingo (I call bingo on those nights), Italian wine and dine evenings, and trivia nights on offer.  Another great attraction is our wonderful pool and bar area which is open to guests where they can enjoy refreshments alongside our relaxing pool area.

My food and beverage manager at Sailfish Point constantly reminds us that this is our time to shine and to get prepared for the season up north!

To everyone that is heading into the busy weeks of Easter, good luck!  My advice to get through this crazy period: Make energy drinks your best friend!