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Hospitality & Tourism careers

Members Clubs & Associations

Why work in a members club?

Contrary to popular belief, members clubs aren’t just for old men wanting to escape the family for a game of darts, a packet of salted nuts and a few cheeky pints with friends. They’re not just for the trendy ‘drainpipe-jeans-wearing’ East London posers either, or even solely for country folk who pine for a game of croquet at the weekends. Some are niche organisations, some are purely formed for social purposes, but they’re all about like-minded people coming together to share a common interest.

What does working in a members club entail?

Whether you’re interested in hanging out in ‘trendy’ private members clubs, or simply spending time with people with similar interests and hobbies to your own, you’ll know that every establishment has a number of staff working behind the scenes to make it tick along nicely.

Work could be found in country clubs, like The Hurlington Club in Fulham, or social clubs where you’ll spend time interacting with people of a similar age and social background. The job you’ll do and your responsibilities will depend entirely on your position and the size and type of club you’ll be working in. You could work in a team of a hundred people, or you might work solo.   

The roles are all so different, from the marketing guys to the catering staff, but there is one common characteristic all staff need to have: friendliness. Some people spend a lot of money to become members of clubs and associations and won’t put up with grumpy, unhelpful staff. You’ve got to be confident, a good communicator and be able to deal with countless different requests and tasks at once.

What jobs can members clubs offer?

If you get to the top, you’ll be working as a club manager and you’ll be responsible for overseeing the whole club. This means you’ll be in charge of paying staff and promoting club nights or fundraisers. You’ll be in charge of creating policies and rules for the members and would also have a say in who qualifies for membership. That’s a lot of responsibility!

More exclusive clubs may even operate an ‘invite-only’ policy. For other clubs with more lenient membership policies, the role of manager is also likely to involve attracting new members by improving the facilities or making the club more widely recognised.

Various maintenance people also work at members clubs, including cleaning staff, garden maintenance staff and lawn technicians. They all work together to ensure that the club or association is kept in a state that its members have come to expect. Keeping them happy is just as important as gaining new members.

Most clubs will also employ catering staff, bar staff and receptionists who will greet members of the club and deal with any complaints and queries.

Larger clubs often benefit from employing marketing staff, who are responsible for publicising the club and promoting it in places where potential new members might be looking. You’ll work closely with the club manager, help to organise events and publicise them where necessary. Your job could also involve booking entertainment for various different occasions.

Groucho Marx once said this little gem: ‘I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.’ However, if you feel like you could help to accommodate the slightly easily pleased members, be it in a managerial position or as a swish cocktail bartender, or a gardener with mad striping skills, you should certainly join this exclusive club!