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Making the case for a career in the hospitality industry

this article was automatically translated from Romanian to English.

Posted on 14/02/2023

Coming of age - the time when, beyond the freedom of having our own driver's license, life gives us a choice of what we want to be after high school - doesn't help us make an informed decision. Even though today's generations have infinitely more access to information and can learn about the fields they would like to pursue from the moment they enter high school, their preferences often change over time, and often radically.The world we live in today allows us to choose a variety of careers that then give us the freedom to move into related fields, and our career paths take a completely different path than we originally imagined or prepared for in school. Today's world offers career opportunities in fields that are seemingly devoid of 'glamour'. The reality is that any industry can have its share of glamour and offer the chance to move up the career ladder within a reasonable timeframe and without burning out steps - essential for healthy professional development.

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But how attractive and appealing can a career in the hospitality industry - a field that offers a multitude of jobs, growth opportunities, rewards and benefits - be? From a job in a hotel management department, to customer service, to maintenance, event planning or kitchen - these are all career opportunities worth putting on the list of choices for those just starting out and looking to build a career. And the career leap, depending on the position, is just as attractive: from storekeeper to general manager, from waiter to restaurant manager and from waitress to property manager.

For parents and young people alike, hospitality jobs don't "sound" as good as some jobs in other industries perceived as more attractive, precisely because a more favourable projection is created. How many of us know what and how much a chambermaid needs to learn and how much she needs to be educated and informed in her job? "It's just a clean room, as it should be in any self-respecting hotel, regardless of the stars displayed at the entrance." That's pretty much the perception of a chambermaid's job. Partly true, but few know that housekeeping is the backbone of any hotel and plays a vital role in keeping guests happy. Nothing will drive guests away more than the lack of cleanliness that demonstrates how much the hotel values its guests' choice to stay in its rooms.

Certainly a maid job is not a glamorous one, but one can see the silver lining: the staff in this department can contribute their opinions on room organisation, cleaning procedures and how to run them more efficiently. Time management and communication skills, attention to detail, flexibility or working with customers are among the skills a maid should have. Easy? Not at all! But career advancement is also significant. A maid in a large hotel can move up the ladder quite easily: from floor housekeeper to general housekeeper, which means she will oversee cleaning operations for the whole hotel.

Can a simple waiter who takes orders, serves customers and then clears tables become a hotel general manager? The answer is categorically - yes! In the hospitality industry, career advancement is also driven by the many opportunities the sector offers. There can be over 20 jobs in a hotel (entry-level chef, chef de partie, head chef and executive chef, chambermaid, floor housekeeper, general housekeeper, sales & marketing, receptionist, bellboy, driver, accountant, cashier, plumber, electrician, refrigeration engineer, painter, carpenter, engineer, IT-ist, general manager).

Even my experience shows that one can grow up hierarchically healthy and safe in a hotel. In the 2000s I hired a storekeeper who then became responsible for supply. Because he was keen to grow and learn, he ended up in the Food and Beverages (F&B) department and soon became Food & Beverage Manager in a 4-star hotel.

In another hotel, we took back after maternity leave an employee with real sales skills, who managed to increase the hotel's revenue by many zeros, subsequently changing the field to private medical clinics. And the examples go on.

And because the hospitality industry deserves a real plea, I leave below a few aspects that make working in this field personally and professionally rewarding:

The hospitality industry is the gateway to the world. After a few years demonstrating your skills, talent and dedication in a branded hotel, you may be the ideal candidate for a position in one of that chain's overseas locations.

You meet new people all the time. Whether you work in a hotel with international guests or in your own country, every day you will have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life, including colleagues.

Chances of career advancement increase. The hospitality industry really rewards those who work hard, maintain a positive attitude, excel in the area of customer care and have a good relationship with colleagues. Career advancement can be up the management ladder or migration to other business sectors.

A positive working environment. The atmosphere in a hotel is always positive. After all, no tourist will pay for accommodation in a place dominated by a hostile and tense atmosphere!

It is a strong industry. Globally, the hospitality industry has grown a lot over time, despite economic and political crises or armed conflicts. Like the sector itself, working in hospitality is a long-term, long-term job.

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