4 Things Your Mates Will Never Understand But Your Hospo Friends Know Deep In Their Souls

hospo jobs aus

Everyone should work in hospo at least once in their lives — the skills, patience and pals you collect over the course of your career will be a life highlight, and forgive me for being so bold by saying it might just make it onto your end of life slideshow.

However, not all hospo jobs are the same. For the best of both worlds (and speaking from experience), the best form of this type of work falls in the tourism sector. Customers tend to be on better behaviour as they’re also travelling and seeing the sights, your coworkers are a bit chirpier because they’re also kinda getting an experience while they work, and the variety of your shifts is a far cry to tippy-typing away at a keyboard, being watched by the eyes of a dangling kitty on a motivational poster.

Variety and environment aside, lifelong mates are all but guaranteed in the tourism sector. Come, let me show you anecdotal and, therefore, bulletproof evidence of what to expect.

Mates you never would’ve met in school

Staying in the same friendship circles since your teen years is cool and all, but is it? Is it really? How are you supposed to expand your worldview if you’re stuck in an echo chamber consisting of the same people from the same neighbourhood with near-identical life experiences?

Say, for example, you snag a job on an island resort. The chances of working alongside a group of people who all think alike is insanely low, so you’ll be able to rub shoulders with people from all walks of life. Best-case scenario, you meet someone from Sweden and become thick as thieves as you exchange life stories; worst-case scenario, you spend your days learning things about the world that can’t be found in sociology textbooks.

My neighbour always said learning is power is glory or something along those lines. We never spoke, I just imagine he’d say things like that as I watched him put the bins out from my window.

Workplace shenanigans you’ll actually remember

To those working a regular 9-5, tell me something memorable that happened on a Tuesday afternoon last month. Tricky, ain’t it? Sending a passive-aggressive email disguised as an upbeat reminder, perhaps?

The beauty of working in tourism is that your coworkers are intent on making memorable moments to capture the sheer surrealness of it all. Not many people can say they worked at Skypark Cairns and got to bungy jump in their free time, or ran a kiosk at Movie World, so those experiences will stick with you.

I’ve worked at my fair share of tourist hotspots, and I still have photos standing with strangers who were just happy to be there—some of them, I still know by name. Wherever you are Kate from Massachusetts, I hope life has treated you well. How are the kids?

Network without even trying

Making friends with coworkers during your time in tourism can open so many doors further down the line. Not just when you’re looking for a couch to crash on as you backpack through South America, but years from now when you’re taking the next step in your career.

That new mate you could’ve made when you were both scuba instructors on the Great Barrier Reef? He’s Bill Gates now. You never know who you’ll meet or who they’ll turn out to be, and every friend made is a leg-up in life.

Pro tip: don’t stay in your room and eat a Woolies chicken out of the bag when your coworkers go for knock-off drinks. The chicken can wait, but friendships won’t.

A brilliant, incredible, never-the-same bond

Anyone who’s worked in hospo can attest to the unique bond that’s formed between coworkers. You’re not simply sending each other emails and Google Hangout invites, you’re facing problems and brainstorming solutions in the real world. Well, the part of the world where it’s pretty and sunny and everyone’s a little chirpier than usual, but the real world nonetheless.

Have endless banter at the end of your shift and marvel at the audacity of certain humans; shoot each other subtle glances when that one dude tries to school you on how to make a cocktail over the bar; even exchange little presents when someone’s having a blue day.

There’s a lot to love about it, but my biggest takeaway from working in tourism was that 10 years on, I’m still having regular Facetimes with my favourite coworkers from days gone by.

Hit up Tourism Careers to scope out what’s on offer in Queensland right now and start picturing a whole new life.