Joshua Blank spent over two years working as a San Diego-based front office concierge with Hyatt Hotels when he was laid off in mid-June as a result of Covid-19’s impact on the hospitality industry. But Joshua didn’t bemoan the loss of his job.
Instead, he took the high road and wrote a LinkedIn post, praising the way in which his employer handled a difficult situation and explaining his own positive outlook for his future job prospects. The post has been viewed over 100,000 times and resulted in nearly 2,000 “likes” as well as over 90 comments—and counting.
Here, he talks about how this single LinkedIn post has benefited his job search and offers advice to other hospitality industry job seekers on using LinkedIn for more than just resume posting.
What prompted your LinkedIn posting about your layoff and your positive experience leaving Hyatt?
Genuine gratitude. As I approach my thirties, I’ve realized that some terrible things are inevitable; nobody could’ve seen this pandemic coming, yet here we are. Rather than be upset about being laid off, I figured it was important to share some nice things about my time with Hyatt because I loved that company. Being petty and dismissive after the fact won’t change how much I enjoyed my tenure. It’ll only make me bitter.
Did you expect the response that the post received?
Not at all. I’m very surprised by all of the attention.
Did the post lead to any potential job offers?
It has! I am so grateful to everyone I’ve spoken to and the opportunities I’ve been contacted about.
Could you explain how the post created a networking opportunity for you?
Absolutely. Being fortunate enough to have a post go viral has given me an opportunity to build a network with other hospitality and sales professionals: it’s truly been a blessing. I have connected with Hyatt managers and executives, leaders from other hotels, and even sales professionals who enjoyed my spirit and think I could be a strong cultural fit. I never really understood the power of LinkedIn until this post took off.
Do you think your post allowed you to create a “personal brand” for yourself as a hospitality industry professional? Is it important for frontline hotel professionals to have a personal brand to market to potential employers?
I like to think so. Anyone you ask about me will always say I’m energetic, friendly, and endlessly positive – and now I think I’ve cemented it as my “personal brand.” I love the idea of a personal brand because I think that it is absolutely necessary for frontline staff to have one. The most engaging people you meet, front desk or otherwise, all stand for something and are memorable for a reason.
You said in your post that “you’ll keep what you learned from your time at Hyatt.” Could you elaborate on what you learned at Hyatt and why you’ll take those learnings to your next position?
I learned how to be a better communicator – I don’t think we’d be having this dialogue if I hadn’t worked there. Effectively communicating, even with the most difficult of guests or colleagues, is vital for any organization but even more so in the hospitality industry. There is no vacancy for hang-ups or misunderstandings.
What advice can you offer other laid-off and furloughed hotel industry staff?
Stay positive and keep at it. It’s not easy, I get it, but many of us are going through this. I know I can say this as a relatively young man with no children, but if you keep the same positivity towards life as you have at the hotel, it can only get better.
Anything I didn’t ask that you’d like to add?
I just want to wish everyone the best – stay safe, wear a mask, we’ll get through this together.