As much as they might love their kids, most parents appreciate the small moments of quiet after they put their children to bed. For many, it’s a time to relax, watch television, and maybe enjoy a small glass of wine (or a large one, if it’s been that kind of day). Many consider it a brief moment of calm in the rush of hectic daily responsibilities. But for Linda Lim, it’s anything but that. It’s a time for her to put on her game face and get to work.
As operations manager of Kento’s Guam — the popular dance club on the Hyatt Regency Guam property — the 39-year-old admits that she doesn’t have the easiest job in the world.
“When Milton Morinaga, vice president of PHR Ken Corp. [Kento’s parent company], offered me the job, I was excited at first because I had been looking for an opportunity to work after I had put my kids to bed for the night,” she says. “But it’s not easy. It’s actually very hard, and there aren’t very many female managers in this sort of environment. You have to be tough. I don’t just work during the night time; I work during the day, too, because I have to deal with vendors that are only open during the day.”
She has held her position at Kento’s for about four years, but Lim has been working in the service industry for almost two decades. As a college student intending to study hotel management, she left school at the age of 20 to help her sister with her business and hasn’t looked back since.
“My sister was, and still is, one of the top wedding dress designers in Korea, and I decided I wanted to try working in sales at her company. I learned a lot about sales and working with people from all different walks of life. After that, I was self-employed for about seven years, running a couple of fusion restaurants, and then I was manager of Guam’s Ruby Tuesday for a while. Finally, four years ago, Milton approached me with a job offer. I interviewed for it, and they gave it to me.”
Lim says her favorite thing about working at Kento’s is meeting new people every night. “I know it sounds simple, but meeting new people and making people happy is my favorite thing about this job. The people here come because they love to dance,” she says. “We get people of every age and nationality you can think of, people from all over the world. It’s really inspirational.”
Fortunately for Lim, she can pursue one of her favorite hobbies while she works. “Latin dance is my second favorite thing to do, after quality time with my kids,” she says. “And Kento’s is definitely the place to be if you love to dance.”
As much as she loves her job, Lim says that her daughter, Monica, 12, and her son Jensen, 10, are the most important part of her life. “Family is the most important thing to me,” she says. “If the day were eight hours longer, I’d love to spend more time with my kids, watching movies and going to the beach. I do feel really bad sometimes because I work nights, and I try not to sleep too long, but I do still have to get some sleep in.”
Lim says she’s looking forward to a time in the future when she can retire and travel around the world with her children. “I love to travel,” she says. “I’ve been to 23 countries thus far, and I have at least four more left to see before I settle for good. But I especially want my kids to be with me when I go because I think travel is the best education. I want them to know there’s a whole big world out there, and there’s so much to learn about that I want to share with them.”