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Tips for a Successful Career in Hospitality!

  • Jul 2017
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The hospitality industry is a wonderful place to work. It is a profession that requires a lot of passion, skill, teamwork, hard work and devotion. It has been one of the most successful industries in the last decade providing tremendous job opportunities to hotel management graduates all across the globe.


I meet several young aspiring hospitality graduates as well as professionals who come to us to shape their careers and we welcome them and inspire them to explore a new world of opportunities.


However, often these candidates have no one to guide them and give them a clear picture about the nuances of working abroad. What to do? Where to apply? What to think? are just some of the many questions asked by young students and job aspirants.


I have made it my endeavour and mission to impart my knowledge and experience of 20 years in the hospitality industry with leading hotel chains such as Fairmont, Marriott, Ritz Carlton and restaurant and QSR chains such as ADNH, Kharafi Global and Americana to these young graduates.


So this article is my attempt in trying to answer and give some tips in making it big in the hospitality industry.


There are no short cuts in Life


Just like life there are no short cuts in the hospitality industry too. A Masters degree in Hotel Management will not make you a chef overnight. Be prepared to start from the bottom and work your way up. You will need to spend a minimum of 7 years, hands on in the kitchen to even come close to being called a professional chef.


Myth: A Career in Hospitality is restricted to Hotels Alone


Most fresh graduates come to me looking for a job in 5 star hotels. While its great to get a job in a 5 star hotel there is much more than hotels in the hospitality industry. There are fantastic prospects in fine dining restaurants as well as quick service chains. I have spoken to a multitude of candidates and deduced that there are better chances for candidates to succeed and achieve their financial and professional goals within the QSR industry than any other area of hospitality.


All famous pizza and burger joints are expanding at an exponential rate both nationally and internationally. The expanding nature of their business coupled with lots of training and proper systems in place help deliver standardized products across the globe thus providing opportunities for continuous learning and development.


Cruise careers are great


Or are they? 20 – 25% enquiries we receive on a daily basis are for cruise liners. After having spoken to a number of candidates who have worked on cruise liners I’m of the opinion that though a job on a cruise line may look glamorous on the outside the reality is much different.


In the short term cruise careers seem great but in the long term neither are they lucrative in terms of the pay nor do they provide job satisfaction. They come with no leave pay, no gratuity, no bonuses but they bring with them long hours, bouts of sea sickness to many and the repetitive nature of work does not bring many opportunities to learn and grow.


I want to be a Bar Tender


That’s great! It’s an exciting work environment, good crowd, music, DJs, events and you get to look cool in front of your friends. But what will happen in 7 – 10 years? Will you still enjoy 4am’s like you do now? And what about growth opportunities? Will your career remain locked behind a bar? Think about it.


Go above and beyond your job description


While this is true for any industry in the hospitality industry even more as the intensity of competition is very high. Keep yourself updated on the latest food trends, social media provides ample opportunity for the same. Visit hotels and restaurants that appeal to your client base to keep yourself on the cutting edge. Network with the owners, managers and employees to get an insight on the need of the hour. Proactiveness and initiative do not go unnoticed or unrewarded.


One last and very important piece of advice is to be well groomed at all times


A career in the hospitality industry is not a profession it is a change in lifestyle. Personality, enthusiasm, caring attitude, appearance and body language are all essential in the way you communicate and serve your guests. Hoteliers around the world set very high standards for themselves and so should you.


Alijan Rajan

CEO, Vira International

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