5 things you want to know before starting a hospitality career
So you like fancy stuff, you want to travel and want to meet interesting people. Sounds like hospitality is the right choice for you. After spending 10 years in hospitality I can tell you a thing or two about what it can give and what it will take to be successful in this business.
Decide your career goals early
Do you want to work in front office and become a front office manager? Or you aim for a general manager position? Maybe you want to do something more exciting and become a water-sport manager? Whatever you choose, you need to decide early and make a career plan that will lead you there quickly. Guaranteed that you will be super busy and time flies quickly in this industry so make sure that you have your career path planned out.
If you want to make a lot of money, aim for a top management career
Don’t settle with being a waiter or room boy, even if you get a great offer from a big brand. If you want to make serious money and work in the hottest luxury destinations then you will need to aim a top level position. To become a general manager, you will need to start in hotel operations and you better understand finance inside out. To become a DOSM (director of sales and marketing), you will need to know how to work with tour operators, manage direct business, do proper revenue management and PR.
Join a 5-star brand as soon as you can
People who have worked in 5-star international brands are guaranteed to get high paid jobs a lot quicker compared to people with 4-star or below experience. So join an international brand as soon as you can, otherwise you will be struggling to improve your career. Ideally you should do your internship in a 5-star and don’t ever downgrade.
Age and looks are super important factors
Discrimination is not cool at any level, but guests like to be served by young and charismatic people - so such candidates will enjoy priority over aging or not so attractive ones. So make sure that you are well presented.
About age, you need to know that hospitality is a very fast paced industry and time flies. Years can pass like weeks and you won’t even recognize. If you don’t want to get stuck, you will need to push for promotions, jump to better companies, switch jobs almost any time if there is an opportunity to progress in your career.
There is something sad about a 40 year old waitress or a 50 year or sales coordinator being managed by a 30 something director. Don’t be like this. Keep this in mind and make sure you make your steps smartly.
Your love life will be hectic
This is huge. Most women I know in hotel management are single moms, always single, divorced, or changing partners often. Frankly I have not met women in hospitality whose personal life would be balanced. Same with men - most have been divorced at least once.
This is because hospitality sucks you in. Long hours, busy life, you will likely become a workaholic. People who work in luxury environments often prefer that over their own homes and will become comfortable to stay longer. Travelling consultants like me have little chance to develop meaningful relationships with ladies because of not spending too much time in one location.
The good side of this is that you will meet a lot of interesting people who have great stories, cool experiences and interesting lives. Just be careful with men who say that they are single, most likely they have a wife and kids back home.
So just for you to know, if you plan a family you better plan another career. If you like this then you will enjoy it a lot :)