The hospitality industry, like most industries, offers many different ways to break in. If you’re just starting out, you should know that there are two ways to enter the field. One is through the operations or working in the front line; the other is on the corporate side. Front line jobs revolve around food service, meeting/event planning and guest services. Corporate work centers on areas like marketing strategies and international growth.
If you graduated from a college or university with a degree in hospitality, you can pretty much choose which area you want to start your career. If you don’t have a degree, you’ll have to “grunt” your way up the ladder.
Eye of the Tiger
Most hospitality organizations offer seasonal internships and rotating management posts to eager young career-minded workers. Entering at the lowest levels means you have to sell yourself and establish your own personal brand. Why should the employer consider you for advancement after a year or so? What do you “bring to the table?” You'lll need to work harder and take on new tasks others shy away from.
Set a Goal…and Work to Attain It
Your hospitality career should follow a road map to a clearly defined goal. To achieve that goal—be it manager or VP--you’ll need to develop an internal compass that keeps you on track. That means signing up for extra training, working late in your chosen area, and honing the specific skills you need to move rung after rung up the ladder. Lower level employees often fail to see the big picture. They regard their entry-level jobs as fun or something that “pays the rent.”
Rise to the Challenge
It’s important to look beyond your present job, even if you’re starting out in maintenance, tech support or office assistant. Managers and supervisors will be watching you and mentally grooming you if they consider you promotable. They will test you with tough or challenging assignments, often not telling you that you may be on the short list of candidates for the next rung up the ladder. Don't disappoint them.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
Got any tips on advancing your hospitality career? Share your comments in the section below.
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. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.
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