11 career tips from travel & hospitality industry veteran Lili

What’s the best thing about our job? The Lightning community. As well as being gorgeously diverse, super supportive and majorly fun, you’re chock-a-block full of smart insights – which you’re generous enough to share with us and your peers. (FYI, you’re a big reason why we think travel and hospitality is the best industry in the world.)

This month hospitality superstar, LBGTQ+ icon and Lightning fave Lili (she/her/they/them) – Previously Senior Guest Services Executive at Veeve and currently searching for their next gig *hint hint*– is celebrating 10 years of working in the industry. To mark a full decade of learning and growing on the job, they’re sharing why they love travel and hospitality, what makes it different from other industries and 11 invaluable career tips – whether you’re a fellow veteran or newbie on the scene.

Pictured: Lily is looking away from the camera with long black hair, light pink shimmer lipstick, a pearl necklace and a v neck black top.

Why do you love working in travel and hospitality?

Reflecting on my 10-year journey with Veeve, my love for working in travel and hospitality stems from the incredible opportunities for growth and development I've been afforded. Veeve has been instrumental in shaping my skills in catering to ultra-high-net-worth clients, allowing me to excel in delivering VIP customer service. The trust and support provided by Veeve has enabled me to create bespoke experiences for our customers, making every interaction unique and fulfilling.

The chance to continuously evolve, learn and adapt in this dynamic industry, all while being part of the Veeve family, has been a source of immense professional satisfaction. This decade-long experience has not just been about career growth, but also about building lasting relationships and understanding the intricate needs of luxury travel clients.

What makes it different to other industries?

The travel and hospitality industry – especially when focused on UHNW clients – is distinct because of its emphasis on customised, high-quality experiences. My 10 years with Veeve have highlighted the importance of personalisation and exceptional service. This industry differs in its relentless pursuit of excellence and attention to detail – aspects that Veeve has continually encouraged and nurtured in my career.

The skills and insights I've gained at Veeve have been invaluable. They've taught me how the right combination of luxury knowledge, cultural sensitivity, and personalised care can make all the difference in client satisfaction and loyalty. This is what sets the travel and hospitality sector apart – its capacity to impact people's lives through memorable experiences.

What’s your advice for candidates who are new to the industry?

Here are my top 10 (plus one more for luck!) tips:

  1. Prioritise holistic growth

At Veeve, I learned the importance of developing both personal and professional skills. Strive for a balance of technical knowledge and emotional intelligence.

  1. Value the importance of personalisation

Understand that in VIP service customisation is key. Learn to anticipate and cater to unique client needs.

  1. Build professional relationships

Building strong relationships within your organisation, like I have at Veeve, can provide support and mentorship crucial for career advancement.

  1. Stay open to continuous learning and adaptation

The luxury travel sector is ever-evolving, as exemplified by the recent merger between Veeve and UnderTheDoormat Group. This significant event has combined two luxury property management companies to create one of Europe’s largest home rental technology businesses. 

Such developments highlight the importance of being adaptable and staying informed about industry trends. Embrace these changes and seek opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills in this new landscape. This adaptability is not just about keeping up with the market; it's about being a proactive part of its evolution, much like we've experienced at Veeve

  1. Cultivate resilience and adaptability

The ability to adapt to different situations and client demands is crucial. Resilience will help you navigate the challenges of this dynamic industry. Also, remember not to take things personally, especially if a client seems upset with you. It's always good to look for the real reason behind their concern first, then think about how to help them out. At the end of the day, we're all human and go through different emotional phases, so understanding and dealing with these feelings is really the key.

  1. Learn from every experience

Each situation is a learning opportunity. Embrace both challenges and successes as part of your growth journey.

  1. Hone your problem-solving skills

Develop the ability to think on your feet and offer creative solutions. This skill is particularly important when dealing with high-end clients.

  1. Develop cultural sensitivity

Understanding different cultures and customs is vital, especially in an industry that caters to a global clientele.

  1. Practise discretion and professionalism

Dealing with UHNW clients requires a high level of discretion and professionalism. Maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive information with care.

  1. Seek mentorship and feedback

Learn from experienced colleagues and be open to feedback. Mentorship can provide invaluable guidance and accelerate your learning curve.

  1. Look for clear statements of diversity and inclusion

Many companies today openly discuss their commitment to diversity and inclusion on their websites, in their mission statements, and in job postings. Look for companies that explicitly state their dedication to creating inclusive work environments and valuing diversity. This can be a good indicator that they are taking steps to ensure their culture embraces these principles.

Starting your career in this industry with a focus on continuous growth, as I have experienced with Veeve, will pave the way for a successful and enriching path in luxury travel and hospitality.

Be yourself! Best of luck!


Do you think travel and hospitality is the industry for you? Get in touch for help finding your next role. Or maybe you’re looking for out-of-industry candidates for a role in your business? We can help you find the right fit.

In the meantime, please enjoy our Senior Talent Consultant, Jack Williams (he/him) discussing teams who refer to themselves as 'families' below:

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12th February

Career Advice Blog ED&I