If you've found your way to this article, chances are you're looking to get into the hospitality industry or you're looking for reasons to start. In either case, we have some great advice to share, so keep reading. This could be the first step toward a long, rewarding career.
There are so many good reasons to pursue a career in this particular industry, it would take a rather lengthy series of articles to showcase them all. While it wasn't easy, we've narrowed it down to the ten most compelling reasons to study hospitality and pursue it as a career. Let's get right to it.
#1: You Enjoy Making People’s Day (You're a “People Person”)
Hospitality is a people business. That goes without saying. If you plan to work in this industry, the biggest and most important prerequisite is that you enjoy working with people. Hospitality professionals interact with people at their best and their worst.
Knowing how to manage interactions with people under any circumstance requires patience, understanding, and a desire to please. If the idea of dealing with conflict and confrontation detract from the positives, this might not be the career path for you. The right person for this industry is the one who faces conflict head-on and loves coming up with solutions. The right attitude toward people is the difference between a one-star and a five-star review.
#2: It’s a Creative Industry
If you decide to go the entrepreneurial route, there is no limit to the creative elements that can be incorporated into your operation. If you are the type of traveller who looks at properties, resorts, and attractions and thinks, “This would be so much better if...” you are likely to be successful in this industry. Your creative ideas can also have a strong influence on hiring managers as well, should you be looking for something more entry- or management-level.
#3: Unlimited Career Paths
Hospitality is an ever-evolving industry that serves a vast number of markets and demographics. With all that diversity comes the opportunity to insert into any number of roles. Here are just a few of the top-paying career paths in hospitality:
• General Manager
• Front Desk Manager
• Reservation Specialist
• Executive Chef
• Housekeeping Manager
• Club Promoter
• Conference and Events Administrator
• Bar Manager
• Activities Coordinator
Within each of those basic jobs descriptions lies a host of specialty career paths. You need never find yourself “stuck” in a job you hate. Do you want to work in a hotel or resort? What about a cruise ship? What kinds of roles do you think you could fill? The choices and opportunities are virtually limitless.
#4: It Opens the Door to the World
Imagine seeing the world, meeting interesting people, experiencing other cultures, and getting paid well to do it. That is what hospitality has to offer. Tourism is a global enterprise and the industry needs qualified people with a genuine interest in working with diverse groups of travelers. There is also a need for workers who can frequently travel and act as liaisons between travelers and travel-related industries (like hotels, resorts, and cruise lines).
#5: It's Not 9-to-5
If the idea of a regimented work day is something you dread when looking into career options, hospitality is the cure. This is a 24/7/365 business that requires plenty of flexibility and a desire for diversity in work responsibilities. This definitely is not a “same-old, same-old” kind of industry, but it is also important to know and understand the challenges associated with it. Hospitality is demanding work but if the boredom of a 9-to-5 seems worse than working overnights at a five-star resort, the latter is likely to be a much better fit.
#6: You Work in a Great Atmosphere
We've already mentioned some of the perks like constant travel and seeing the world, but the overall energy of the hospitality industry is typically very positive, especially in more mobile work environments. Dealing with people on vacation is much different than dealing with them on their lunch breaks. They are typically more relaxed and easy to please. Even when problems arise, a relaxed person is more apt to work with you to find a solution without over-escalating.
#7: It's Recession Proof
Even when money is tight, people travel. They might take fewer vacations, but they might also make more trips to see relatives and friends. Staycations are also popular and the hospitality industry can also play a big role in them. Let's not forget that people will always travel for business and that leaves plenty of opportunities to serve the business community. Properties that cater to business clients also tend to pay a little better and are not as subject to market demands during a recession as hospitality businesses aimed at families.
#8: Upward Mobility
Hospitality companies are good at spotting talent and rewarding that talent with better-paying jobs. If your goal is to work into senior level management, the opportunities are there. Work hard, be vocal about your ideas for improving the guest experience, show your ability to work as a team and lead that team and the people responsible for filling higher-level positions will notice.
#9: Easy Entry
There is always a surplus of hospitality jobs, especially ones that require travel. There is typically no degree required for entry-level jobs and some companies will even pay for their best workers to get a degree for advancement purposes. It starts with getting a foot in the door so carefully vet any company with job openings and apply with the ones that offer the demonstrably best opportunities for advancement from within.
#10: Tourism is One of the Largest Industries in the World
...and that is not going to change anytime soon. Even some fourth-world countries have governmental agencies that deal solely with tourism and getting people to visit. People travel to many places for many reasons so if a particular part of the world appeals to you, there's a good chance they have a tourism trade that can use some new talent.
With so many reasons to at least consider it, we hope you will take a closer look at the hospitality industry and all it has to offer. It's fun, engaging, rewarding, and recession-proof. If you love working with people and dealing with the challenges that come with it, this could be the right path for you.