Small Hotel or Big Chain—What's Best for Your Career?

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If you're looking for a job in the hospitality industry, should you choose a small boutique hotel or a large nationally branded conglomerate? Depends. Some people do better in smaller environments, others thrive in huge facilities. Still others can easily transition from one to another. It all comes down to your personality, your ambitions, and whether or not the image of size matters to you.

Big hotels have an abundance of resources to help you do your job. You're usually given one job function with set hours to work, and the pay and benefits are better. Larger hotels tend to have more training and career advancement opportunities. The national brand experience also looks good on your resume.

Smaller boutique hotels, on the other hand, leave more room for personal expression and more direct "ataboys" by top management. There's generally more leeway for your work to express your personality with less conformity. And you can be an agent of change without going through layers of bureaucracy. Boutiques allow you to take on a wider range of tasks and responsibilities. You also benefit from more personal, first-name exposure to the guests.

How to decide when you're first starting out? Talk to people who work in both environments. Use your social media contacts, friends who graduated ahead of you in college, people you meet at job fairs. Book a night in both types of hotels and talk to the people you meet. Ask their opinion.

For more insightful advice on starting your hospitality career, check out the paperback, "Hotel/Restaurant Management Career Starter."

For more information on hospitality jobs, check out:

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.
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