7 th February 2019, 08:00 a.m. author: Agnieszka Śladkowska
Openness and a smile quickly win people's trust. Thanks her contacts, she is able to organize even eccentric ideas of clients. These are the two most important competences of a good concierge, we talk about the profession with Alicja Bocheńska as part of the "Interesting professions" series. Last month, Róża Zawiołkowska was talking about the midwife's job, another interview in a month.
Agnieszka Śladkowska: Your path to the concierge's work from becoming an engineer at the Gdańsk University of Technology, through the sale of sewage pumps, to organizing trips to Jamaica, seems to be quite complicated.
Alicja Bocheńska: It's true, and at the same time it's only part of what I've done so far. I'm an engineer by profession, I graduated from environmental protection. I managed the sales and marketing department in the industry dealing with water and sewage processes. In addition to technology, I have always been interested in art, which is why I also dealt with selling jewelry. Travel is my big passion. Six years ago, I spontaneously left with my son for a three-week vacation in Jamaica. After returning, I decided to organize myself go there and promote Caribbean culture. What connected my every passion are people. My greatest advantage in my professional career was the ability to connect people, so in effect, and companies. Yes, so that they can work out joint ventures. I started organizing trips to Jamaica, because I met wonderful, kind people on the spot. At the end, I did so much, it would seem, unrelated things, that one evening I asked myself who I was actually. I love people, to help them, organize them well and quickly build relationships. And then it dawned on me, after all I was a born concierge.
Then you threw all and started again?
- I did not have to throw anything. In the Polish consciousness, the concierge profession is just looking for its place. It turned out that I can combine it with the work I do.
What exactly does a concierge do? Book tickets and order a hood costume for a children's show?
- It's difficult to determine what a concierge does. It often depends on his/hers preferences and type of orders. The easiest way is to divide our work into two sectors. The first is a business concierge, meaning one that supports the company's operations. She does some work as a company assistant, and a little of her representative. The second is a personal concierge, which deals with an individual client or the whole family. You can only specialize in one area or like I do, accept both orders.
Can you describe examples of such orders from both areas?
- It was an order as part of a business concierge offer, for example, four days of work with a company from Saudi Arabia Representatives of the company came to Warsaw to recruit employees. My duties included care for the technical setting: premises, chargers for telephones, walking, souvenirs, arranging catering according to preferences, guiding the city together with a story of the places you pass by. Another one is for an Italian company, I am involved in signing contracts and representing the company in contacts with contractors. As a private concierge, I arrange, for example, visits to doctors or cosmetologists to foreigners and, because of language barriers, I participate in them. In my activity, I focused mainly on foreigners. Often on those who come to the Tri-City for a longer period, for example a contract. They have lived here for some time, but they still feel lost. The concierge service assigned to the family has a slightly different character. If it were not for association with social welfare, the term family assistant would be the best fit. The scope of work can be very wide from borrowing a hood costume, by reserving tickets, arranging plumbers, for help in house management, organizing purchases or family events.
Is there a need for such a service in the Tri-City?
- Both in the Tri-City and in Poland it is not a popular profession yet. I think it works on the principle of a vicious circle. It is not a popular profession, so there are few people who do it because there are few people, it does not know much that you can use such services, thus people do not look for concierges. Next we have the closure of this wheel - little demand gives few people who want to do this job. Abroad it is very widespread and at a certain material level - a professional concierge is one of the natural choices. I think it is a matter of the coming years with us, when the demand for concierge services will start to grow. Today, we can find concierges in very good hotels and apartments. People see how much time the simple activities are generate, looking for the best service providers. We live chaotically and very quickly. The time saved can be spent on more urgent tasks or just time for loved ones.
How much can you earn?
- It's hard to clearly answer this question. Sometimes I have three weeks of orders in a row and then two months off. The amounts for the same time can also vary. Average, it can be PLN 200 per hour, but for example PLN 300-400 for 4 hours. At flat rates, where we deal with a specific family, the remuneration is usually included in the amount 2 - 4 thousand net PLN.
What are the biggest pros and cons of this job?
- Being a concierge, you give your time to others. You are fully at their disposal. If you have an inborn sense of humor and a smile, it's easier. Working with people raises many challenges for us. The minus is certainly that sometimes I have to put time for the client before the time intended for the family. But I try to make them sporadic situations. But the biggest bonus of this job is to meet interesting people, it develops me. I like helping and tasks that I do on clients' request, they give me great satisfaction.
What qualities should a concierge have to deal with this profession?
- Must be open, easy to make relationships. Sometimes the work will be based just on its network of contacts. Plus great organization and versatility. Concierge must like people, like to help. Be able to gain the trust of the client. Although it must be remembered that ultimately and everything will be broken by chemistry or lack of it during the first meeting.
What are your career plans?
- I would like to promote the concierge service. I also dream of opening a school where people would actually have the opportunity to learn a profession from people who want to share their experience. A concierge is not only a job for me, it is also a way of life and thinking.
The Tri-City labor market is diversity and continuous, dynamic changes. Interesting, niche professions and professions that are gaining popularity momentarily. We want to show the readers not only knowledgeable professions, but also amazing people who passionately talk about their work. The series of interviews "Interesting professions" is to serve this purpose. autor Agnieszka Śladkowska firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more on: https://praca.trojmiasto.pl/Ciekawe-zawody-Konsjerz-wiele-od-reki-cuda-na-jutro-n131149.html#tri