The hospitality industry is one of the few fields that offers professionals numerous opportunities to achieve career advancement.
Each year, thousands of hospitality workers get promoted from one rung in the career ladder to another one that is a level higher. This is because most hotels and other service and tourism companies are happy to promote employees from within especially the most hardworking and loyal ones.
If you have one of the lower rung hospitality industry jobs for some time now and feel that you are ready to take on a higher or different position, here are some tips that will help you achieve career advancement in this field:
1. Select your area of specialization and master it
If you are new to the world of hospitality but focused on achieving career growth now, start by choosing your niche specialization first. Ask yourself which area you are really interested and happy in: is it travel and tourism, food and beverage, housekeeping, or recreation?
Next, consider your long-term goal: do you want to manage a five-star hotel chain or cruise line, or be the head sommelier of a Michelin-starred restaurant?
In case you already have a bachelor’s degree in hotel management or tourism, you already have a leg up in achieving career advancement. However, if you are currently in an area that doesn’t meet your interest; for instance, you are currently working as a housekeeping supervisor but your goal is to be a top event coordinator, you need to shift fields first. This means finding a job in event management as quickly as you can.
Once you are an expert in your niche specialization, your chances of achieving career growth will be higher.
2. Take additional training or learning programs
Mentioning the industry-specific training or learning programs you took in your resume and including the certificates in your portfolio will help you stand out from the competition. They are great for increasing your chances for a promotion as well. Additionally, and more importantly, these programs will broaden your knowledge and skills.
Find out if the universities, colleges, and training institutions in your area offer hospitality-related programs or other ones that will allow you to get additional relevant skills. If you can’t find one that you like, browse the Internet; you will certainly come across various courses that you can take online. You will then get a certificate once you complete the program.
3. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends
Taking additional short courses will help you keep your pulse on everything that is trending and new in the hospitality industry. But since hospitality is a fluid business, you need to constantly follow industry trends and learn how to use them to your advantage.
You can do this by regularly reading blog posts about hospitality and tourism. Follow the accounts of industry influencers as well. Lastly, join forums and groups that will allow you to know what’s in and what’s out in the industry.
When you are always updated and never stop learning, you show that you are dedicated to your calling. In addition, you prove your worth to the people that decide who moves up and who moves out.
4. Consider working in a different city or country
In case tourism is not too big in your town or country, moving to a more popular holiday destination may help you achieve career growth faster.
By working in a city or country where hospitality and tourism are huge markets, you will have access to opportunities for employment and career growth. And if you want to work in your home country again, your international experience will give you a huge advantage over the other job applicants in the establishment you are targeting. You will also have better chances of being offered a higher position at the time of your application.
5. Sign up for your hotel’s management program
Certain big chain hotels offer in-house management programs which give their qualified employees opportunities to be promoted. These programs fast-track deserving employees to top-level positions in their local or international hotels within 18 months or so.
If you love working for your current employer and they offer this incentive or loyalty plan, take advantage of it. It is a surefire way of getting promoted and experiencing the career advancement you are aiming for.
Following the tips above will help you get ahead in the hospitality industry. However, it is also important that you always work hard. Your diligence and perseverance will pave the way for your eventual success in this industry.
Daulet Zhumagulov is the Founder and CEO at WeHoteliers, a specialized online hospitality portal in the GCC region where prospective and experienced talents can explore career opportunities and be discovered by the top employers of the industry. The company’s mission is to provide an efficient and modern platform that will focus on the needs and interests of hospitality professionals.