Hospitality is an exciting sector to build a career especially at a time when the tourism and hospitality sector contributed a whopping $46 billion to India’s GDP in 2016. More importantly, this number is set to grow at a phenomenal pace, reaching $160.2 billion by 2026.
At the same time, the hospitality industry is by no means an easy one to navigate. It demands high levels of service, patience, and toughness that may not come naturally to everyone. In addition, the long hours, varied career paths and constant multi-tasking can make the hospitality sector very exhausting. However, it’s a great sector if you want to travel and learn amazing skills. Also, its one of the most dynamic fields of employment and one that ensures a fast career growth. For those looking forward to having a career in hospitality, here are a few tips to get started.
Plan ahead before taking the plunge
This is the first and most important step. Although career planning is important in any industry, it becomes especially important in the hospitality sector. This is because the hospitality industry has long demanding hours, which makes it difficult to take time out for planning ahead. Yet, without a clear career trajectory, both in the short and the medium-term, you run a risk of getting drowned in the humdrum.
Identify a career roadmap that you want to pursue in the long-term - whether that means becoming a world-class chef, the manager of a good hotel or even a hospitality entrepreneur. Based on your road-map, lay down clear short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Of course, plans will change as you evolve but it’s important to have goals in the first place.
Find the right mentor to guide you
The good part about the hospitality industry is that you get to work at close quarters with senior managers and experienced staff. There’s something about working in a high-pressure, 24X7 service-based industry that fosters intimacy and strong bonds. Use this to your advantage and the right mentor to direct your steps.
Also, it’s also a good idea to have two mentors at the same time. One could be only a couple of years senior to you, making it easier to seek more friendly and informal advice. While the second mentor should be someone relatively senior in the industry. Though, they may not devote as much time to you and your relationship may be more formal, but they will be invaluable with their insights and perspectives.
In fact, hospitality is a service-based industry and networking is also successful when you can actually be of service to others. So, add value to those you connect with and make sure you pay it forward and provide guidance to your juniors.
Master the soft skills
More than any other industry, hospitality thrives on excellent people skills. It is an industry whose USP is inter-personal communication. Make sure you’re aware of the important soft skills in the industry and proactively take steps to acquire the ones you lack. Some of the important soft skills in the hospitality sector include being decisive and communicative, being cordial and deferential toward the customer, being a team builder and sometimes even being the Jack of all trades.
Hospitality encompasses so many different professions, but they are all bound together by a desire to provide a highly satisfying customer experience. Keeping these tips in mind early on in your career will help you achieve the necessary milestones.
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