Matt Bamford tells us what it’s really like being a House Manager...1. Tell me about yourself...
I’m a 39 year old Northerner from the countryside of Cheshire. Working as a House Manager since leaving school, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, spending 9 years in South Africa and 6 years on the Cote D’Azur. My motto used to be “work hard, play hard,” but after being in the business for so long, I now prefer to take on more responsibility.2. What is your current role?
Having recently finished my previous contract, I’m currently selectively and pragmatically looking for my next role. 3 .As a House Manager do you live-in the property or live out?
It depends. When live-in you can focus more and really submerge yourself into the role; however, with live-out you have your space, which forms a kind of barrier between work and personal life. Each is very different and has different perks, but regardless, the best live-in jobs are in the countryside. I once had a cottage next to the Thames with no neighbours for some way around; it was heaven!4. What made you pursue a career as a House Manager?
I began working in the hospitality industry immediately after I left school. A main factor that made me want to join this career is that I knew I would never get bored as a house manager’s role is varied, and no 2 days are the same. My work has exceeded my expectations, and it’s given me the opportunity to live overseas for 15 years, allowing me to see some incredible different cultures along the way.5. What sort of roles have you worked in before that led you to your current position?
I’ve held a plethora of diverse jobs throughout my past. I’ve worked as a driver, gardener, and handyman, but I’m also a qualified masseur, and I’ve even fed the animals on a game reserve! However, my work as a Steward on the QE2, as well as private sail and motor yachts, has been the most important to my career as the service and standards I learned then are still crucial to my work today.6. Describe a day in the life of a House Manager...
Days can vary depending on whether the clients are in residence or not. If the clients are around, I must first check the temperature, Wi-Fi, mail, and fax, and then I will prepare breakfast. Throughout the day, I must complete anticipatory actions and administrative work, as well as do any necessary driving, cooking, and other day-to-day household duties. I must complete all of these activities all whilst keeping an eye on car maintenance and house maintenance; not to mention, I’m always planning ahead.7. What makes a good House Manager – what are the essential skills and qualities one must have?
I think the necessary characteristics are: organization, reliability, responsibility, communication, trustworthiness, presentation, and hard work ethic – with some humour thrown in, of course.8. Why did you choose Quintessentially People to help you find a role?
Quintessentially People has some fantastic opportunities, as well as a vast network of high status connections. I also liked how their staff are always “on-the-ball” with any of their clients’ needs and candidates’ wants.9. How did you find Quintessentially People?
I had heard of Quintessentially People from various colleagues within my industry.10. Is being a House Manager what you expected it to be?
Yes – being a House Manager is everything I wanted and more. I enjoy being tested every day all while knowing that failing isn’t an option; it keeps me motivated!11. What is your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy how no day-to-day task is mundane or repetitive; there is always some aspect of diversity and technology, which keeps work interesting.12. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Mind reading! If you’re not organised, anticipating events that might happen, and having all bases covered, can be a challenge.13. What advice would you offer to others thinking of pursuing a career as a Household Manager?
Try to get as much experience within the varied roles of house management, but above all you must be passionate about what you do. House managing is not an easy job by any means, and it’s important to remember that pride goes a long way.14. What is your career highlight to date?
Without a doubt, it has to be when Angelina Jolie kissed me on the lips to thank me for my work.15. What are the most important relationships for the House Manager to have with the family?
Undoubtedly, trust, respect, and loyalty are of the utmost importance, but you won’t succeed without humour, approachability, and communication, as well.16. What are your future aspirations?
I aspire to continue in this path, and one day I would love become an Estate Manager, or even an island caretaker.
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