The hospitality industry is growing day after day due to many reasons that are a real lifter for hotelier around the globe. It is a very attractive industry where you can simply enjoy working and growing. Although there's competition and high a turnover, you can grow fast and reach your aims if you are ambitious and you persevere.
As with every industry or field, along with the positive side there’s also the real & tough side different to the shining picture that we see in photo’s, where every hotelier is looking after a career path or still studying.
The positives of the hospitality industry
Within hospitality, you will rarely face routine especially if you have direct contact with the customers. The general ambience is fun most of the time like at weddings, baptism ceremonies, graduations, fashion shows, gala dinners, big conventions and so on. There’s a possibility to see and interact professionally with VIP’s that you've always heard about. If you like sharp grooming, hospitality is definitely your place.
Also, in hospitality, you can work in finance, sales, F&B, purchasing, engineering, rooms division, revenue and reservations, all of that just because you have a degree in hotel management (you can also work in only one department and still can grow and be a GM one day).
The tough part of the hospitality industry
As for the tough points you may not have considered, you have to be prepared to sacrifice about your personal & social life and forget about the 8 or 9 hours working with 2 days-off in each weekend. This it might not be possible, especially for the front line people (however finance, purchasing, sales and other back of house might be excluded depending on the hotel).
When people are celebrating, you have to be prepared mentally because you will be working and serving the people who are laughing, smiling and celebrating New Year's Eve, Christmas, Easter or weddings; even at the beach. On some occasions, you might be working a double shift on your birthday (that is supposed to be your official day off, but your colleague might be sick, and you may happily cover).
No matter what, you have to wear a smile on your face (all your problems should be thrown in the garbage or simply left in the locker). You have to bear in mind that the guest who is paying your salary and who came to have fun would like to enjoy his time and has nothing to do with your personal life, issues and problems. Therefore never allow these to mix with your job, you will regret it even after a while.
Things to remember within the hospitality industry
This industry recruits a lot of young and attractive people, don’t allow your personal feelings to ruin your professional life - I have seen GM’s and district general managers fired after 20 years in the same company, so be aware always to pay a lot of attention to your reputation. The same goes for personal relations with customers which is a big NO - don't let any personal feelings control you. Work on having a strong will because you may occasionally encounter issues or difficult situations with guests, and always remember
“Don’t worry or be afraid, you will manage, and it will be easier than you think”.
One of the most important aspects is that you don’t mix your personal life with your professional life, the hotel is not a nightclub or pub - one unworthy mistake might affect your future, and it won't be worth it.
Be prepared for unpleasant comments from strange customers that won't be satisfied no matter what. There is a lot of competition and a lot of internal politics the same as any job/field, possibly more within the hospitality industry, and again a lot of extra hours, just as a reminder in you case forgot!
Remember to always put a direct manager or your management in the loop, remember the above advice about reputation. Work on maintaining a cool style away from bad temper otherwise you will never grow, attitude is one of the most essential things within hospitality, and it's your key to success
Finally, since we’ve mentioned success, bear in mind that one of the primary things that many neglect is the “follow up”. If you take it into consideration you will definitely thank me one day - follow up is like a magic tool, along with proper communication. The last one which is also very very important is to “be organised“, not only in your time management or emails but in filing, reminders, updates, contracts and so on.
Remember one last thing, once you’re in this industry, and after a couple of years it will circulate in your blood till the end of life if you’re successful and if you enjoy what you’re doing.