Due to the nature and versatility of the hospitality industry, it is easy to see why it has always appealed to people both as a career choice or perhaps as a career stop gap from time to time.
The attraction, I think, has always been that while the industry can provide career opportunity and progression, it can also offer low or non-skilled workers with temporary work in between searching for other job roles in alternate fields.
In my opinion though, the industry is so much more than just a stop gap. The hospitality sector is dynamic and diverse with a whole range of opportunities across a multitude of specialisms. Hospitality has much to offer and should be acknowledged as a viable and legitimate career choice. The breadth of opportunity in this sector is almost unrivalled and offers skills development that can provide a lifetime of fulfilling work roles.
Some of my main reasons for considering a career in hospitality are as follows:
• A Challenging and fast-paced environment
Each day is a new day with new challenges. If you prefer to do the same thing over and over again, be my guest (pun intended).
• Career Stability
Jobs in hospitality grew 17% from 2004 to 2014 and are continuing to grow.
• Climb the Ladder
Hospitality is drenched with the opportunity to earn more responsibility and grow in status.
• Knowledge and Skill Growth
Similarly to the idea of climbing the ladder, you are always learning something new, from new knowledge to knowing how to handle complicated situations. You are exposed to many challenges that force you to expand your figurative tool belt.
• Cultural Exposure
You will see many people from across the world come through your doors. Where else could you meet a Russian, an American and an Australian all in one day?!
• Visible Impact
Some people that work in manufacturing plants, for example, or in software programming do not get to see the end result. In hospitality, you get to see how your actions can make someones day in real-time.
• Do you like People?
If you are a relative of an extrovert, you will find your fill in hospitality. However, if you are an introvert, that is also okay! There are jobs for you to such as a Catering Chef or a Virtual Travel agent.
In a traditional environment, you are handcuffed to the 9-5 slot every day. In hospitality very often you can set the tone for when you want to work.
• Being around cool people!
The thing about hospitality is that you are actually surrounded by really cool people all the time. What other environment offers a culture where everyone shares the philosophy of serving other people?
• Bring out your Inner Entrepreneur
You will often find yourself getting creative with problem-solving and implementing 'on the go' solutions that are, shall we say, entrepreneur-esque. With other jobs, you are typically tied to policies and regulations, but most of the time in hospitality you can make a change with the snap of your fingers, and you get to see the bottom-line results.
Hospitality may not be for everyone, and I get that. Some people would rather sit in a cubicle at the same time every day for the rest of their lives. But, if you are looking for something more than that, a chance to grow and make a difference one person at a time, hospitality may just be the gig for you!
For me personally, I have always been proud to work in hospitality and feel that over the years, it has played a big part in helping me to develop professionally and personally. Looking back, I started out as a very green 17-year-old knowing nothing, to gradually learning many valuable skills from workplace to workplace. I now enjoy using those same skills to help me fulfil every job role I take on at management level or otherwise while reaping any associated rewards/benefits.
In short, the industry has always been there for me, it has always suited me, and frankly, I can't imagine ever doing anything else for a living. All this being said, I feel I was one of the lucky ones. I left High School not having achieved a great deal BUT knowing precisely what I wanted to get into! I then worked my way through 5 years of catering college with the ultimate goal to either end up in management somewhere or perhaps run my own business - or both.
To date I have held those management positions, I have assisted my family in the running of our own small country pub for 5 years and feel now that if the right opportunity should present itself, I am equipped with what is needed to take it on and be successful. Not everybody is as fortunate, however, nor do they have the clarity or vision that I have always had.
My advice would always be to anybody perhaps leaving school unsure about what they want to do, or to anybody in other trades looking for something new - hospitality (in the truest meaning of the word) is here for you, give it a try! Recent research shows that 70% of workers in the industry are pleased and proud to be doing what they're doing so come and join us! Even if you eventually decide that it's not for you, you will always have it as a fallback - and a stable one at that. As I was always told folks - people will always need to eat!