One of the fastest growing fields of employment in the world is that of the hospitality industry. Hospitality is a large industry that contains everything from spas and theme parks to restaurants and hotels. In any given establishment, the majority of employees are considered entry-level.
To secure the best jobs within the hospitality industry, typically management positions, you may need to meet specific criteria. Discover how you can prepare to secure a career as a manager in the hospitality industry.
Gain Relevant Work Experience
While it is possible to find a hospitality manager who has only worked in a managerial position, most managers in hotels, bars and restaurants also have some experience in entry-level positions. Even as you are working toward your dream of becoming a manager, find out what it is like for those who you might one day manage.
If you want to become the executive manager of a five-star hotel, get a part-time job as that hotel’s bartender or housekeeper. If you want to oversee an upscale restaurant, consider working as a busboy or a waitress. This experience shows that you understand the role of everyone involved, and it will definitely make you a better leader within your field.
Earn a Degree in Hospitality
Along with experience, one of the key things that employers and hiring managers will look for in the hospitality industry is a related degree. Although an associate degree might be a solid place to start, the best degree for a manager is the bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.
This program typically takes students four years to complete, and it can be earned online as well as through traditional college campuses. With a bachelor’s degree in hand, you will be a more attractive candidate to anyone searching for a new manager in the hospitality industry.
Improve Your Communication Skills
A manager in the hospitality industry can only be successful if he or she is also a great communicator. Communication, in some form or variety, will take up a substantial part of your day. You might need to be firm and commanding when issuing orders or discussing changes with staff, but you also need to be calm and patient when taking criticism or questions from hotel guests or restaurant patrons.
If you don’t have great communication skills yet, practice them by joining a speaking or debating group.
Be Prepared for Long Shifts and Demanding Work
Working virtually any job in the hospitality industry can be demanding. Shifts are often far from the typical office day of 9-to-5, and it is not unusual to work late at night, over the weekend or even through 12 or 14 hour shifts. If you want to secure a position as a manager, make sure you are well acquainted with the typical work schedule of your desired role so that you know what to expect and you can prepare for the lifestyle that awaits you.
In the competitive hospitality industry, you will have to follow the steps listed above in order to secure a career in management.