Fifteen Year Job Interview

After A Fifteen Year Job Interview

The oscillating lawn sprinkler outside my window, generating a multi-colored rainbow over sprouting grass is a stark contrast to where I sat one month ago. After a 15-year job interview, the “Lebron James of Cape May,” changed teams. Okay, I changed jobs.

The bio on my blog refers to expertise in reputation management as it pertains to the hospitality industry. In the hotel biz I not only boosted my employers’ reputation and brand, but mine as well. I also learned that my brand and style was portable.

Suzanne and I are immensely grateful for the outpouring of support. Changing jobs after 15 years was not an easy choice. The decision was excruciating. The process of deciding took many long discussions and a few cocktails.

One night last fall while sitting at Harry’s at the Montreal Inn and Beach Resort I heard from God. Well, really it was another couple sitting nearby who were chatting about decisions. “When you’re afraid to move out of your comfort zone–it’s time to move out of your comfort zone,” went the discussion.


I was comfortable managing the Victorian Motel with Suzanne. I loved taking care of the long-term guests and meeting the new ones. That’s what I do.

Then the opportunity and serious offer to manage the Sea Crest Inn started to blip on my radar screen. In sailing, constant bearing and decreasing range can result in a collision.  In this case an intersection. A good thing as opposed to bad. The Sea Crest and I were getting close. 

Transitions can be difficult. I was hyper-sensitive to what it would mean for my current employer and the guests I had become so fond of in the fifteen years I was at the Victorian.

Family First

Ultimately, I had to be concerned for what the change would mean for my family. Moving out from behind the front desk and into a house with a yard, trees and nesting robins was irresistible. Managing a larger property that could benefit from my skill set was tempting. The fact that it is a seasonal property meant a better quality of life.

I’ve immersed my self into the fabric of Cape May in the last fifteen years. My involvement included my three-year stint as Chamber of Commerce President. My activities in social media grabbed the attention of some media outlets which became mutually beneficial. 2017 was a big year for this. My Islander profile in Cape May Magazine also boosted my brand. A tipping point for my new employer’s pursuit to hire me.

I’ve left the Victorian in good shape. Regular guests should have a positive experience. Some won’t even notice that we’ve gone. Now it’s time to turn off the sprinkler on the new shoots of grass and walk to work.

As I leave for work, the cats are sitting on one of the many windowsills, as if they are saying thanks for making the change. Suzanne is happy too.






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  1. Tina Patti
    June 18, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Change is not always easy, but can be a good thing! We love The Victorian and will hopefully continue to love it, but we are willing to change things up a bit and try some of your hospitality at your new place. We will stay at the Sea Crest for the first time in July and since we travel to Cape May multiple times a year, we can stay at both. Good luck and many blessings to you and Suzanne as you embark on this new and exciting time in your life.

    • June 18, 2019 / 9:04 am

      Thank you Tina, look forward to seeing you next month.

  2. David Greene
    June 18, 2019 / 8:56 am

    John, you deserve way more than everything you’ve earned. Thrilled to see you and Suzanne happy in your new place, and you happy at your new hotel. Sea Crest is very lucky to have you. … Thank you for everything you do, including your constant boosterism and taking care of Cape May as a whole. You are a treasure to the city.

    • June 18, 2019 / 9:04 am

      Was great seeing you this weekend David. My best to your mom.

  3. Nancy stober mccarthy
    June 18, 2019 / 8:59 am

    John, both Mike and I are happy and sad at the same time. We hope to see you when we are back down later this summer. We wish you and Suzanne much continued success and happiness.

    • June 18, 2019 / 9:03 am

      We will certainly see you at open mic nights.

  4. Reen
    June 18, 2019 / 9:07 am

    You are not only a “treasure to the City” (of Cape May), which is A HUGE STATEMENT, you are a treasure to our Family and we are so proud of you and the reputation you have earned in Cape May …. best of everything new in both your new job and new home….I know you are very grateful for both. Continued success in everything John. We love you !!!!

    • June 18, 2019 / 9:28 am

      Thanks Reen. Love you too. Have to tell you about a dream I had with you in it. On another message format .

  5. Jean and Ed Feby
    June 18, 2019 / 10:25 am

    Best of luck on your new venture. We will miss you at the Victorian. We always went there because of the ideal location and your hospitality. We may try the sea crest now. May you have much success. Wishing you and Suzanne all the best. Keep writing this post. We were wondering where you were. We haven’t read anything in so long!! Enjoyed seeing this again and finally found out what you were up to.

    • June 18, 2019 / 10:42 am

      Thank you Jean. Yes it has been a while. I am glad you’re still reading posts.

  6. Sandy Gray
    June 18, 2019 / 2:50 pm

    We wish you both the best and will pay you a visit when we are in Cape May for our annual September visit. Having a house is special. Hope you enjoy your off time this year.

  7. The Lobbys
    June 19, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    You may have left the Victorian,but you will never leave our hearts…
    We know where to find you
    God bless
    Jean and Harry Lobby
    And mama Marie

  8. Cheryl Scott
    June 25, 2019 / 10:41 am

    Hi John,
    We missed you in June at our stay in the Victorian. It’s so not the same!
    Drive down to the Sea Crest but you weren’t there! Will try to stop and see you in September!
    Congratulations and best of luck!

    • June 25, 2019 / 11:43 am

      Sorry I missed you too Cheryl. Maybe next time.

  9. Bob Barkley
    June 26, 2019 / 10:10 pm

    John, It’s Bob Barkley (part of the Lamp Post Lane crowd). For many years we appreciated your hospitality for our sometimes unruly crowd. You were missed on this year’s trip. We have stayed at the Sea Crest (when we couldn’t get in the Victorian) Since you are managing it, we will be there again. Hope to see you there or around town.