Let’s get the facts straight. Working as a professional in the hospitality industry is no cakewalk. You are required to work long hours without the weekends off and round the clock during the holiday rush. To top it all, the guests are sometimes rude. It definitely takes nerves of steel to face all this and more. It’s a torture to see your kith and kin have the time of their life holidaying while you slog to please others’ folks. And all this with a perpetual smile on your face. But, despite all these shortcomings, the perks offered, the awesome money involved, and the benefit of working in a partially recession free industry draws potential workforce towards it.
Do you fit the bill?
Enjoying being among people is the first and foremost requirement for a person to be able to chart a course of success in the hospitality trade. The job of a person serving in this field requires one to be people friendly, flexible and adaptable. Other essential attributes include the ability to work in a team, problem solving capabilities and working in a customer centric ambience. If the smiles on your guests’ satisfied faces make you forget all your woes including the pressure of working on-your-toes for late hours without the weekends for yourself, you are probably tailor made to suit this profession. On the contrary a recluse who likes keeping to himself, working in a cubicle for a stress free job or a typical nine to fiver is a complete misfit.
Getting ready for a career
If you know your calling in life lies in the hotel and hospitality industry, you need to take a path that will provide you an edge over the others as far as employment is concerned. You could go in for any of the following to take forward your plans.
Enroll for a full time course
Identify your area of interest and enroll for a full time program affiliated to a reputed university. Choose a program depending upon the eligibility and the time you wish to spend on education.
Go for a training program
Join a program that is conducted by an employer or an agency that is associated with employers. Such programs are generally the blend of theory or off the job training at a college or institution, and practical or on the job training at affiliated joints.
Get yourself employed
Find an employer who will train you on the job and pay you a minimal stipend. It will arm you with the necessary and invaluable experience.
Opportunities in the hospitality trade
Though it has been recognized as a full fledged industry relatively late in the day, the hospitality trade is as old as Cain and Abel. The current trend of globalization, coupled with the exponentially rising spending power of people is at the core of the fillip that the hospitality trade has received in the past few years. But, people who are naïve about the nitty gritties of the trade fail to see the myriad hues that this industry offers its workforce. A mere mention of the hospitality industry brings to our mind the images of chefs with high white hats, pleasant, tidy front desk executives and alert, shipshape waiters. Few are aware of the deluge of other opportunities that await a young hospitality industry graduate.
Contrary to the common perception, hospitality definitely does not pertain merely to hotels. We conveniently overlook the fact that hospitality has entered our lives in more ways than we can think of. Small and big eateries, coffee shops, ice-cream parlors, lodges, cinema and workplace canteens, or motor way service stations and event management agencies are as much a part of the hospitality industry as hotels and restaurants.
A qualified hospitality professional has a choice of working as a hotel manager, concierge, front desk manager, food and beverage manager, housekeeping manager and sales and marketing professional. Apart from this, openings in restaurant management, catering, event planning and consulting and research firms beckon the trained graduates.
Qualification or Personality?
Since employers believe that success in the hospitality industry is regardless of the qualifications that you clutch, personality and charisma is more score over the list of qualifications of a prospective employee. Outgoing people focused on business goals are always the most watched out for. Qualifications are definitely a value addition, but not a must. Some believe in the credibility provided by these qualifications but nonetheless fervently advocate the performance oriented nature of the industry.
It is, therefore, important to get on the job training that teaches you how to interact with people from varied socio cultural backgrounds and economic strata. This is also where the internship creeps in. Though bringing about a complete change in the person you are is not possible, improvements on the front of interpersonal skills will take you a long way on the road to success.
Any field of activity demands a particular skill set of its employees. Hospitality is no exception. A job in the hospitality industry will take on your nerves if you are expecting a one shift, stress free job. Juggling numerous responsibilities without a single crease on your nose must do the trick. Holiday season might mean working overtime without cribbing about it and making no bones about being on your toes. Being able to handle certain periods of inactivity followed by a bout of frantic bustle of demanding customers is what needs to be learnt. The job requires you to experience a rush of adrenaline in your blood by simply being a part of a place buzzing with guests.
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