If you are looking to get into the hotel and lodging industry there are many options for you to consider before you start your career. You should ask yourself what you expect from the work you will be doing, and where you want to go with it. You should look at the skills you have and which areas and departments you would fit best into. Consider the size and scale of the hospitality operation, as that may change the requirements they are looking for. A small independent inn will have different prospects than a St. Regis or Oberoi. In a future post we will look at the difference between working in chain hotels to independent operations.
Key departments in the hotel industry
If you are interested working with guests and customers you may consider the front office, or reservations. These departments directly interact with guest, and if you are someone with a gregarious personality can transform a visitor’s experience into a life-long memory. After working in these departments, you can gain the skills required to become a director of rooms, director of operations, and eventually a hotels general manager.
If you’d prefer to work behind the scenes you can work in housekeeping. Housekeepers are the heart, eyes and ears of the hotel operation. Without a skillful housekeeping team, a hotel would fail. You will see the hotel in ways no other employee will. You will hear the truth of what guests are thinking and you will be the first to see when things need to get done. If you pursue a career in housekeeping you can eventually become a director of housekeeping, assistant GM and eventually a hotel general manager.
If you have a specific skill set you may also consider human resources, sales and events, maintenance, or finance. Often, you will have to have knowledge and/or experience in these industries to work these roles in a hotel.
Once you have decided where you would like to begin, you will always be able to shift you career path. If you start in the front office but have the skills for finance a transfer may become available to you. If you start in human resources but would like to be in housekeeping, opportunities may arise. You are never stuck in a role or position when you work in the hotel industry. If you are able and willing, you can build a career path anywhere.
Key take away
Like any hospitality operation, the hotel and lodging industry and be very demanding, and the more you give the more you will get out of it. Depending where you work and the network you eventually build you will have opportunities to travel the world, experience real hospitality, and bring joy to yourself and those around you.
If future posts we will have industry professional give their take and explain how this industry has changed their lives.
Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try — Jack Canfield