The hospitality industry has one of the widest ranging variety of roles available that it may be hard to decide which avenue is right for you. If you are at a career crossroads, then it is best to start with figuring out what skills you have, what you enjoy, and what you want from a role and then finding a sector within the industry that fits those attributes best.
Assessing your skills
Take an inventory of your skills that you have built up through education, work experience and vocational activities. Examples of skills could include the following:
- Experience working with cash handling and finance management
- Skilled at planning and organising large events
- Experience managing a team of staff
- Educated to degree level in a specific field
- Skilled in marketing and graphic design
- Great at working under pressure to meet deadlines
- A skilled problem solver who can look at an issue and find a solution fast
Figuring out what you enjoy (and what you don’t)
Ask yourself what you enjoy doing in life and in work. Do you like dealing with customers or would you prefer to be behind the scenes? Do you like to work with your hands or your mind? Do you love working with numbers and targets? Do you thrive in a team environment or are you a lone wolf?
Asking these questions and matching them with your existing skills can give you a great starting point to consider roles that may suit. For example, someone who is skilled at planning events and managing a team who loves to work behind the scenes could pursue a career in event management. Alternatively, someone with finance experience who is a lone wolf worker could pursue a role as a bookkeeper in a small hotel.
What you want from a job
Once you know what sort of skills you have and the sort of work you enjoy, you can start to look at working conditions and environments to narrow down your search.
For example, would you prefer to work for a small, family owned business where you can work closely with everyone in the business and gain experience in every department, or would you rather work for a large multinational company with lots of structure? Would you like to work a standard 9-5 job, or would you be happy to work evenings, weekends or unsociable hours? Are there any specific perks that might draw you to a certain role, such as on the job travel, a company car or a staff discount?
For someone who wants a 9 to 5 job and would like a company car, a sales or account management career may be the way to go. Or for someone who doesn’t mind working unsociable hours but would like to take advantage of a staff discount could consider pursuing a career in bar or restaurant management within a hotel chain.
Finding advice and career guidance
If you are still not sure what you would like to do, you can always ask for advice! Seek out a mentor or industry expert and ask them for advice on what career paths might work for you. Reach out via digital platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter, or send them an email explaining what advice you need. Most industry authorities and senior figures love to see proactive, ambitious people and will be happy to advise you.