Here’s a question – it is really possible to give your hospitality career a shot in the arm in just 30 days? Assuming you’re out to climb the career ladder or perhaps switch directions, what can you do right now to improve your prospects?
One of the biggest advantages of working in hospitality is how uniquely dynamic and stable the industry is. The UK hospitality industry alone creates no less than 4.5 million jobs across 180,000 businesses and is synonymous with incredibly rapid career progression. It’s simply a case of standing out from the crowd and ensuring you have the knowledge, talents and personal traits required to take that next important step. Explore more about hospitality careers below.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of 10 things you can do this month to give your hospitality career a much-needed nudge in the right direction:
First and foremost, it’s important to demonstrate to your supervisors, managers and peers alike that you are 100% committed to this profession and brand. The reason being that no business will ever spend even a penny on employee development, should they have any reason to believe the employee’s interests lie elsewhere. This may require an adjustment of both your attitude and behaviour – whatever it takes to show real and consistent commitment.
Regardless of your primary role, responsibilities and department, work toward taking on extra duties outside your primary job description. Not only will this expand and improve your skills set, but also show the decision-makers around the place that you are committed to personal development. The most standout candidates for promotion are always those that make clear their intention to continually improve their skills, knowledge and competencies.
Most hospitality businesses these days are able to arrange optional additional training courses and programs for their staff members. Along with providing candidates with essential teachings and industry insights, pursuing non-mandatory training opportunities at work shows a willingness and desire to continue learning and progressing. Each and every course taken will significantly improve your career prospects and help single you out as a candidate of choice. There are free hospitality courses also available.
For those with real commitment to the industry, the job doesn’t begin and end upon entering and leaving the building. Instead, those who progress the furthest are those who take an active interest in the industry, research the brand they work for and generally become a font of knowledge about the sector in which they work. They read online articles, they keep up with industry news and they know what their competitors are getting up to at all times. It takes time and effort, but if this is the industry you want to make your career in, it’s also necessary.
These days, there are some fantastic hospitality distance learning programs available that can really make a difference to your prospects. Even with all the practical experience in the world, there’s a great deal of essential theory and industry insights that must be mastered to reach your full potential in the hospitality sector. Most courses have no entry requirements, no time limitations and no deadline, making them easy to fit in around your current working life. Enrolling on a home study course shows employers exactly the kind initiative they’re looking for.
You’ll be needing plenty of input from those around you in order to reach your maximum potential – both from superiors and peers alike. Along with mandatory periodic performance reviews, it can be extremely beneficial to seek constructive feedback and guidance at other times. What you are doing well, what could stand to be improved and areas you should be focusing more attention on. You need to grade your performance through the eyes of others, in order to target the right areas for improvement.
Your long-term goal may be promotion, but for the time being it’s always useful to set much smaller, more immediate goals to work toward. It could be earning any number of positive reviews from customers in a given period, improving your abilities in an area you’re not currently confident in, gaining experience in a different department, beginning a training program or really anything else you can think of. Setting and achieving smaller goals can be great for building and maintaining motivation.
A mentor has the potential to be the single most useful resource when looking to get ahead at work. In need of feedback or guidance? Ask your mentor! A few good ideas to discuss about the way business is done? Speak to your mentor? A quality reference to help you climb the ranks? All in a day’s work for a mentor!
Of course if you’re already in an appropriate position to do so, you could look to become a mentor yourself. If you can single yourself as the go-to person for others when help is required, you’ll likewise single yourself out as a quality promotion prospect.
Last but not least, all of the above may prove largely inconsequential if you do not first let your employers know that you are interested in career advancement. They may pick up on this from your newfound commitment and proactive attitude, but it may also slip them by. Let them know your intentions, ask for their support and guidance, request information on promotion criteria and give them every opportunity to help you.