Hospitality careers including lodging, food services, entertainment, recreation and arts, are booming. If you’re interested in one of the many hospitality careers available, you could find yourself working virtually anywhere in the world. You've come to the right place to start your new hospitality career!
- As one of the largest industries in the United States, travel and tourism bring billions of dollars to the country, and have helped to create a considerable number of jobs. The selection of hospitality careers may seem nearly as numerous as the places you could work. The field is incredibly flexible and continually evolving, giving you the chance to craft the future you’ve been envisioning for yourself.
- If you’re interested in hospitality, chances are you consider yourself a “people person,” and are passionate about seeing that your clients have an enjoyable time when they are away from home. You will need to be organized, a good communicator and committed to creating a spotless image in the eyes of the customers you serve.
- Successful hospitality careers require careful preparation, though. To give yourself the best opportunities possible, consider attending school to learn more about the industry. Associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees are all available. You’ll need to study subjects involving computers and technology, public relations, business and marketing.
- Don’t ignore other steps you can take toward improving your skills. Travel is a chief component of hospitality. The more you travel and expose yourself to personnel in this industry, the more you’ll gain firsthand experience with customer service. You’ll also be better equipped to offer advice to other travelers.
Start cultivating the personal skills you’ll require to be efficient in any of the hospitality careers. For instance, if communication isn’t your strong suit, taking a class on, or reading more about, how to improve those abilities will be important.
It’s never too late to start working toward, or advancing, your job in the hospitality industry. Your careful research, study and hard work will be well worth the effort.
Advantages Of Hospitality Careers
The hospitality industry is one of the oldest in the United States. In fact, the first hotel opened in New York City in 1794. Over the years, hospitality has become a highly dynamic, incredibly versatile field, filled with opportunities and perks for someone interested in the profession. Consider the following advantages if you are researching hospitality careers.
- Working with People
When you enter the hospitality industry, you could meet literally thousands of people from all over the world. You could encounter clients in a number of different settings, including theme and adventure parks, airlines, sporting events or entertainment venues, and even at car rentals or casinos.
Hospitality careers are even beginning to include branches like medical tourism and archaeological tourism, volunteer vacations and literary tourism. Rather than meeting just a “typical” traveler, you might encounter individuals with unique interests just as you could establish a career to suit your own preferences. “There is a huge increase in niche marketing and a growing demand for creative responses to last-minute, impulse requests,” according to École hôtelière de Lausanne, the oldest hotel school in the world. Do a little research if you’re interested in hospitality. There might be a niche that fits your interests perfectly.
Indeed, flexibility is a key component of the hospitality industry, and you can enjoy fluid scheduling and job opportunities as part of your career. Particularly during slow seasons, you may have time in your schedule to pursue other interests and goals that you have. If you want to move up in the hospitality industry, this could afford you the time you need to obtain necessary training or education to help you progress to the next step of your career.
The other type of flexibility you will experience in the hospitality industry is the opportunity to pursue a variety of job possibilities. Because hospitality careers encompass so many fields, you don’t have to be committed to one area for long if it doesn’t suit your interests and abilities. Or, you may find that through hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to move up quickly and fill jobs that give you not only more responsibility but a higher wage as well.
- Travel Possibilities
Hospitality careers literally give you a world of travel possibilities. Some hospitality jobs, such as working on a cruise line, naturally lend themselves to travel. Other occupations, like working for some large hotel chains, could offer you the chance to travel around the country or around the world as you help individual establishments operate smoothly.
Expect a lot of variety in your job. In an article for the 2011 High School Graduate Web site, Gregory L. DeShields, Associate Director of Industry Relations at the Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, wrote, “Each day is different from the previous day. New challenges and increasing job opportunity is what makes the hospitality industry so great and why it has survived for so many years.”
- The Future
As people earn larger salaries and find increased opportunities to travel, the future for the hospitality industry looks bright. Retired couples, college students and families who have saved for their dream vacation are just a few of the individuals looking to explore the world. As more and more people take advantage of travel opportunities, your future career could blossom. Take time to hone your skills through on-the-job experience and plenty of education and training to gain the best professional advantage possible.
Disadvantages Of Hospitality Careers
As with any occupation, the hospitality industry has certain disadvantages and difficulties you will need to consider as you decide whether this field is right for you. Take time to understand what challenges you may face in a hospitality career so you can prepare yourself appropriately.
While it can often be exciting to work with and meet so many different people, hospitality careers are some of the most demanding there are. Stress levels can be quite high when meeting the needs and continual requests of others. You’ll need to be able to get along with your colleagues and help customers politely, no matter your circumstances.
- Unstable Income
Businesses in the hospitality industry frequently experience slow seasons. This can lead to negative effects on your income. It’s possible that your work could be reduced to part time.
- In some cases, you could actually face unemployment.
In January 2011, the Salinas Californian reported that in Monterey County, unemployment rose by 47 percent once the busy season ended for the hospitality and agricultural industries, two of the largest in the area. In this particular region, some people handled the slow season by seeking work in other counties. Mark Weller, a projects coordinator for a union representing hotel industry workers said, “They kind of learn how to stretch the money they make during the good season.” Weller continued, “But around health insurance and medical issues, it can be very tough.”
Work schedules often are not ideal in a hospitality job. You may be required to work weekends, or spend long nights alone staffing the front desk in a hotel. At these times, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated, your work could certainly feel “slow and tiresome.”
With hospitality industry occupations, you are frequently tied to your job. For instance, hotel managers are always connected to their work in some way, and are on call round-the-clock so they can address any issues that arise. Even part-time workers may be required to work weekends, evenings and holidays.
- Training and Perception
The hospitality industry has faced some difficulties throughout the years with poor impressions of the field and difficulty finding and retaining good employees. Hospitality careers are often viewed as low paying, or requiring little in terms of employee skill. In fact, many qualified hospitality employees have remained unaware of the advancement possibilities available to them.
Negative images have caused further problems for the hospitality industry, including difficulties retaining good workers. In 2005, the Department of Labor announced that it would be investing more than $2 million to help the industry address some of these issues and start improving the hospitality industry’s image.
Last Updated: 02/25/2013