After a sales career full of travel Teresa Kingston settled down into her role of commercial director at Rockcliffe Hall, overseeing all departments in the hotel and driving revenue for each of them.
Where do you call home?
Darlington, originally born and bred by the seaside in Redcar which is still home to a lot of my family and friends.
Tell us about your role?
My role is commercial director at Rockcliffe Hall hotel, I started my new role in March 2020, one week before the first UK lockdown. I am responsible for driving revenues across all departments, my team consists of 16 people, which includes: reservations, events, revenue, sales and marketing.
How did you get to where you are today?
I first started to work in the hospitality industry when I was 20, having studied travel and tourism at college I decided to take a new role as a hotel receptionist, after this position I moved into the events industry and worked as an events co-ordinator at Middlesbrough football club. Following 6 years at MFC it was then time for me to accept a new challenge and move into my very first hospitality sales role, I spent time learning the basic sales role at Redworth Hall before progressing to become and area director of sales for Barcelo Hotels (UK) and after this I then took on my current role as commercial director at Rockcliffe Hall.
One of the reasons I took on this role is that Darlington is my ‘home’ and Rockcliffe Hall is a well-established luxury hotel and having spent years travelling the UK and internationally and hot desking in hotel lobbies, coffee shops, trains and airports I felt I needed not just a 10-minute commute but some work roots – an office and desk to call my own and the buzz and the atmosphere of the office environment.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
During my sales roles I spent a lot of time travelling, you don’t have an office, you work remotely, you spend a lot of time staying in hotels – which to some people might sound amazing, but each hotel just becomes another bedroom. I spent a lot of time travelling, to the point where the Costa coffee shop at Darlington train station knew my order (large skinny latte) and overall, it leaves you feeling lonely and isolated, you pine for your own bed, a home-cooked meal and you begin to miss those special family moments.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
I used to think success was about having a glamorous job title or salary, however I have recently realised that success is achieving that work life balance.
Hospitality is a 24-hour operation, and it can be hard to switch off and relax, but you have to learn to as it is also important for your own well-being and the ability to focus on your job and the team.
Do you have any advice to aspiring young females?
Start at the bottom, work your way up and always believe in yourself, those skills that you learn early on in your career are equally important for when you reach the top…no one is ever too important to get their hands dirty and get stuck in to support the team.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, asking for help is not a weakness.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Fear is a wolf. Chase the wolf and you’ll never be afraid of the things you once feared and don’t ever judge yourself in comparison to others. Instead, judge yourself against what you know you are capable of.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
I am awesome.
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