Starting a Career in a New Country
I can sit here and tell you how hard my life has been or, I can share with you the wonderful life lessons I have faced. As a little girl, living in a rural village in Mexico, I learned the meaning of hard work. My day started at 5 a.m. where I would rush out side to milk the cows or feed the chickens, pigs and the goats. For lunch, I helped my mother make tortillas and fix whatever it was we were having that day. After lunch, I helped with various chores, such as making the long walk to the river to get water.
After getting married at the age of 17, I made the big move to the United States. I envisioned my life changing for the better. My dreams were soon shattered when I arrived in a small agriculture town in California where employment was limited to seasonal work picking crops. There, I worked in the fields picking a variety of fruits such as grapes, oranges, olives and peaches. At the age of 18 I had my first child. I was as happy as I could be however, I always wondered what else I could do with my life. Years went by and I had my second child, a beautiful baby girl. One day, I received a call from my brother who lived in Phoenix, Arizona, asking me to come visit him. I did, during my stay we took a drive downtown. I remember seeing a beautiful building with a round top and could only imagined what it looked like inside. That same year, there was a big frost in Fresno, our town and all the fruits and vegetables were ruined. We were left with no job and no money to provide for our young children. My brother offered to help us move to Phoenix with him until we got on our feet.
I was lucky to find a job in a nearby hotel, working as a housekeeper. I worked there for 8 months, however, having only one car with two working parents, a child in school and the other who needed to get to the babysitter proved impossible. At that time I was making $6.15 an hour, and would pay most if not all of my earnings on babysitting. I quit, it was really hard because I knew how much we needed the second income.
We soon realized that we could not survive on one income. I started looking for another job. A friend of mine, told me about a hotel that was hiring housekeepers for fulltime positions. I quickly got the address and took two buses to get there. When I arrived, to my astonishment, it was the same hotel I had seen when I visited Phoenix. I nervously applied and hoped for the best. The next couple of days seemed like an eternity. Two days later I received a phone call from Human Resources offering me the job. I felt invincible!
The next couple of years I dedicated my self to learning my job and doing it well. I took advantage of the paid ESL classes provided to employees. I learned the language and once again felt I had achieved a great personal goal. Soon after that I learned that the team leader position was available. I felt that I had a chance at being considered now that I had learned the language, I applied. When I got the job offer, I could not believe that I was getting a promotion. I felt honored.
A year went by, my children were growing, my husband had a stable job and I was loving my position. However, I knew I had to continue to strive to be better. I took another semester of English classes. Soon after that I learned that the office coordinator position was vacant. After much consideration, I applied, not knowing If I had what it took to do the job. I was so appreciative at the people who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself and gave me the opportunity to be the office coordinator. During that time we welcomed our third baby to our family, a now rambunctious 2-½ year old boy.
Just recently, my life took another turn for the better. I was given the opportunity to become one of three housekeeping assistant managers. I have been in my new position for 5 months. In my new position I was privileged to attend Impact training in Chicago. I learned great things and met wonderful people. I can truly say how grateful and honor I feel to be here. I can relate to everyone in my department from the housekeepers to the team leaders, to the office coordinator and now the assistant managers because I have been there and have done those jobs. It wasn’t always easy but I know that with hard work and perseverance I can accomplish my goals. I don’t know what Hyatt has in store for me, but I know that as long as I’m here, at Hyatt I have a great future ahead of me.
Story provided by Maria of the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.