“Trod in the Meringues

Liz McGivern's Inspirational Journey

Career Path: Cleaner > Pub worker > Waitressing > Training Job > Director of HR and Training

“It's no good aspiring to be a manager: It's about being a great manager, an inspirational manager - and a memorable manager for all the right reasons"

My Story: My Saturday job was working as a cleaner in the local bakery.  That was hard!  I stuck at it and progressed to filling doughnuts and slicing bread. I started working in the local Pub, then attended College on the General Catering Course.  All I was sure of at the end of my two years was that I didn’t want to work in a kitchen! So I didn’t, I took a front of house waitressing position and worked my way up in contract catering until I was headhunted to work in a Hospital. During my waitressing years I broke more crockery than you can imagine – the floor often looked like a Greek restaurant!  I had always been interested in training and developing my team and whilst there I was invited to join the training department. I loved it and knew then I had found my niche. I loved the combination of training and hotels. I was promoted to Director of Human Resources and Training three years ago now and have not looked back.

 My Story: I was helping years ago at an outside catering charity event and Rory Bremner was the after dinner speaker.  He was telling a funny story and I unfortunately dropped a stack of plates on the floor just as he delivered the punch line.  The timing couldn’t have been worse.  I also remember serving the Chancellor of the Exchequer (I won’t say who it was but it was many years ago) at a fine dining lunch and I caught the side of his head with the end of the very hot silver salver I was serving from.  He was politely forgiving.  I also recall, in my first job when I left college, being asked to prepare a welcome party of tea, coffee and refreshments for around 150 people.  I was given a huge water boiler and left to get on with it.  I thought I would save time and switch it on to start heating up whilst I went to get the water to put in it.  While I was in the stillroom I smelt a funny burning smell and then the electricity went off.  Then I remember a fire alarm sounding from somewhere and we all had to evacuate the building.  It turned out that I had caused the furore when the boiler’s element had burnt out.  The moral of the story is always explain a task properly! 


























Director of Human Resources and Training - Red Carnation Hotels

“Never despair if you are working for a manager who seems rubbish: take what you can and learn, learn, learn. Then move on and become the supervisor you would have liked to have worked for."

Countries Worked:
South Africa

The Fun Stuff:

“I trod in the meringues one day by mistake – I was exceptionally clumsy – but I survived."

Want to know more why not click here to read our 'spotlight on' interview with Liz mcGivern?

For a full biography of Liz McGivern c
lick here

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