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'Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life'

All the best: Julie Hastings on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The marketing manager of the Hastings Hotel Group is in her 50s and lives just outside Comber with husband John. She has three children, Gareth (27), Rachel (21) and Caitilin (17) and one step-daughter, Evie (12).

My best moment

I've had three of them and they were the birth of each of my children.

My best song

Whenever I was younger, in my rock chick days, I couldn't get enough of Meatloaf - the Bat Out of Hell album in particular. These days I prefer more romantic songs by artists like Simon and Garfunkel.

My best way to relax

A long soak in the bath. I go all out with candles, a glass of white wine and a bath bomb from Lush. That's my time not to be disturbed. If I'm not doing that I love a good evening spent with friends.

My best job

I'm in it. It's a family company and I've been part of it since 1988. My father made us all go and do other things after college before we joined. I worked in market research and then for a travel company. Afterwards I did a post grad diploma in marketing. It was only then that my dad told me they were looking for someone in sales. I told him to give me an interview and I would show him what the difference was between sales and marketing. Nearly 30 years later I still enjoy what I do. Now, though, it's all about digital marketing.

My best advice

Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life. It's something which I read many years ago - it's my mantra. It comes from the Chinese philosopher Confucius and rings true for me. Another one is 'It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice'.

My best gift

A bundle of letters I had written to my grandparents, brother, dad and other family members. My mum was clearing out the house and she gave them to me. It was from the days when you used to write letters to say thank you for presents or if we went to stay with someone. It was like getting diaries back from years ago and reminded me of what had been going on at particular times.

My best movie

Prison films like The Shawshank Redemption and Papillon are two favourites. The other film I've seen loads of times and could answer any question on is The Sound of Music.

My best achievement

Getting my masters degree which I started at the University of Georgia, in America, and finished at Queen's University, Belfast. I also played tennis for Ireland and still do at veteran level, and recently represented Ulster.

My best buy

My iPhone, which I get great use out of for social media like Facebook and Twitter. And it's also my diary. My husband will certainly agree with that, it does keep you working day and night, though.

My best book

I Don't Know How She Does it by Allison Pearson which was described as the national anthem for working mums; with every dilemma from balancing budgets to Spongebob and the Tellytubbies.

It's not as relevant to me now that my children are grown up, but when I first read it I thought 'that's me'.

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