The Principal Imperative

A recent film “Minions” has caused me to reflect on a difficult aspect of a butler’s life, namely that of securing employment. The yellow creatures are driven by the need to serve a master and will not allow anything to deter them in their quest. And so it is with the butler who has a constant need to serve and live his or her vocation. However they are not yellow although it is possible that some may be a little one-eyed.

Upon entering the profession of butler, usually by having completed a training course, will begin the task of securing employment. The most common method is through the numerous agencies that are to be found in most countries with the largest agencies concentrated in large cities. Choosing where one would like to work will aid the search enormously with agencies having their speciality area i.e the Middle East, the South of France etc.

Agencies tend not to advertise many positions due to client privacy which means that one has to meet the agencies face to face to enquire about their available positions. The greatest obstacle for those new to the profession is a lack of experience and in most cases agencies will have a standard “5 years of experience” for all posts, meaning that they are quite often unwilling to entertain the newly qualified even for a meeting.

There are a few ways around this problem with luxury hotels offering a means of acquiring experience. Luxury lifestyle publications like Estate & Manor carry luxury staffing advertisements from private clients who perhaps prefer to have more control over the confidential recruitment process. High-end estate agents are another possibility as clients may often need a property to be staffed, on a temporary or permanent basis. Many newly qualified butlers may veer towards the temporary contracts offered by cruise-ship lines, secondary residences for the French Riviera season or indeed as chalet hosts/hostesses for the ski season.

What is important of course is the all important experience on one’s CV and having a principal to serve. Acquiring experience permits butlers to garner new skills but more importantly honing the sense of duty towards a principal whether for a week or a lifetime of service is what really matters.

About Patrick Kelly

Patrick Kelly is 48 years old and qualified as a butler in 2014 having graduated from The International Butler Academy in the Netherlands. He comes from a catering background and is a graduate of London South Bank University where he obtained a BA Hotel management.At The International Butler Academy, Mr. Kelly stood out because of his personality and character, his management qualities and his overall professionalism. Mr. Kelly was appreciated by all, instructors and fellow students alike, for his understanding and support to all around him. He valued hard work and working as part of a team.Having worked for many years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Kelly has decided that his career in the future will be in the world of private service and he wishes to work in a private household or in corporate butling situation. He has worked in many facets of the hospitality industry and has experience leading teams.Mr. Kelly also has experience in the wine industry where he has experience of primary production and in sales both to the off and on-sales sectors. Furthermore, Mr. Kelly has had experience in fine wines and in export having been involved in setting up an export service to China.Currently working in the wine industry, Mr. Kelly is nevertheless altering his career path to follow a long-held ambition to be of service. He feels that his career until now, although in the service industry, has not had enough of the personal element of service. Great service for him is an adherence to the tenets of energy, passion and commitment that are the hallmarks of truly great service naturally allied to excellent technical skills.The need for discretion is very important for Mr. Kelly and he has always been honest in his career. He knows what it means to be utterly loyal. During his career, he has maintained the highest standards of integrity and professionalism when dealing with private and professional clients.

Check Also

Being a Butler: Then & Now

Imagine the Butler as you often see portrayed on Television or in the movies.  The …

Leave a Reply