Will I be good enough again? My emotions daily are—fear to anger, anger to jealousy, jealousy back to fear, will the emotional wavelengths come to a calmer tide, as we maneuver through this pandemic? The hotel industry, which I have been in for 30 years, came to a crashing halt as the coronavirus spread from Asia, to Europe into the United States. Many of my colleagues in the industry had been laid off or furloughed. Reservations were being canceled on a momentary basis, and all group and corporate business, which I set a 5% goal to increase, were gone. My event board which just two days before was full of events, I had slowly peeled off each event, each group one by one, until the board was empty.

These emotions from the first day of this pandemic shutting down our country to the day I heard “furlough,” the feeling of fear filled me inside. I had no idea how my world had been flipped upside down right before my eyes, yet this was a world that had been flipped upside down itself. How will I be able to reset a new job, after finding the one I have been searching for throughout my career, this great team culture of a hotel that I have never experienced, was it going to be gone? Fortunately, I was kept on staff with longer hours and a salary cut, and something clicked in my head. I am the only one who can stop the emotional wavelengths and to calm them to see the hope in this pandemic of despair.  

Yes, I will be good enough again, and I believe this as I come to work and do the jobs my staff has done from day to day, giving me more respect than I already had for each and every one of them.  Missing their smiles, their “Buenos Dias” every morning and their dedication to their jobs is something that weighs heavy on my heart, and I cannot wait to see them back at the hotel, my work family shall return at some point. 

I do have the sense of courage to believe in myself, believe in being imperfect and believe in hope for the future of new normalcy in our world, my career and in my personal life. I look forward to getting more interactive with my clients, guests and work associates, talking to them, calling them, and most importantly, making them feel safe and secure.

As I drove in this morning, listening to KRCL playing a song with lyrics, “I am going to go crazy in these times…” made me realize I was not going to go to my fear, I was going to go toward my intuition that maybe my job was saved for a reason, and my going to my intuition paid off this week. My corporate office reached out to me to work with one of our other properties, and one of my goals has always been to do this, and it came in the dark of the storm. I am good enough again, creating a more positive sense of worthiness in my career and in my own life—we must all learn to be kinder to ourselves and others. The emotions I now reach out to will be grace, humility and hope, and yes, we will all be good enough again, soon.

Julie Youle-Lenoch
Salt Lake City Hilton Garden Inn

Julie Youle-Lenoch grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Iowa pursuing a career in Journalism and Political Science. After an opportunity in the hospitality industry opened up, she left her journalism career to pursue her 30 years in the hospitality world of Chicago. When her children went their own directions she took her own turn down a new path in hospitality in Taos, New Mexico, highlighting group sales and weddings at El Monte Sagrado.

In April of 2015, she pursued new career options in Salt Lake City beginning at an airport location property, and in March of 2018 she became the Director of Sales for the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Downtown where she is in charge of sales, groups, corporate business and the continued success of the property which is a 5th year in a row winner of the Conrad Achievement Award. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling with her partner, Drew and she has two children Rachel and Justin.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS WOMEN’S FORUM: The Business Women’s Forum (BWF) is a program organized by the Salt Lake Chamber where local women managers, executives and entrepreneurs meet to improve their personal development and networking skills through bi-monthly luncheons and mixers. For more information on BWF, visit slchamber.com/business-womens-forum.