Midlife Career Pivoting: Reinventing Yourself and Finding Success.

December 13, 2021

Midlife Career Pivoting: Reinventing Yourself and Finding Success.

May 29, 2023

It was about five years ago I got a pang in my heart to do something different in my career, but stepping away from 20+ years of corporate life is easier said than done. I had spent decades building my reputation as a trusted hotel executive, holding almost every position imaginable in the industry from Front Desk Supervisor to Assistant Rooms Operations Manager to Housekeeping Supervisor.

In this time I achieved significant accomplishments, helping drive year-over-year increases in guest satisfaction scores and KPIs at several world-leading hotels. Yet there I was, feeling like there was something more out there for me.

I knew that career pivots involved a good deal of friction, disruption, and risk. At the same time, I knew that regardless of how challenging a change can be, doing work that matters to you is always worth it. I wanted to help hotels build a strong, guest-centric culture and redefine the experiences they offered. I kept going back and forth with what I wanted to do. Should I take the leap or no? It wouldn’t be for several more years (specifically, until COVID-19 hit) that I finally felt ready to make my move.

Like so many across the world, the pandemic shook everything up for me. I found myself cross-country and back several times, not sure where I would land. The global health crisis pushed me into uncharted territory, and it was that push that gave me the confidence to reinvent myself and make my next big move: launching my own consulting business focusing on bringing world class guest experience, culture, and technical service excellence to independent luxury hotels and individual lodging owners.

I am now in the early stages of the launch, living in a dizzying yet exciting world of business logos, trademarking, and website redesigning. I also just wrapped up my first consulting assignment as Front Office Manager of a 550+ room resort in Michigan. I can’t help but think of how much progress I have made in these last few years. In hindsight, I have seen that every step along the way – no matter how messy – had purpose.

Is midlife a good time to make a radical career change? I think there’s no better time. It’s at this point in life that most people have the experience, the wisdom, and the financial safety net to take the leap. I don’t know what the future holds, but if Robert today could talk to Robert from five years ago, he’d say how proud he is that he never gave up.

If you’ve been thinking about taking the reins and reinventing yourself, know that you are not alone and you can absolutely do it. If anything, know that I’m in your corner and you can reach out to me anytime.

As Founder and CEO of HospitalityRenu, Robert Reitknecht leverages his 25+ years of operational, technical, and customer service experience to help luxury hotels and individual lodging owners of all kinds and sizes deliver world-class guest experience, culture, and authentic service excellence. He’s also an alum of MEA Online.

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