How To Evaluate Which Hospitality Job Is Fit For You
The hospitality industry is like a rich, abundant buffet. Sometimes there’s so much to offer that diners have a hard time deciding what to put on their plates. For some job seekers who know they want to make their careers in the hospitality industry, it may be difficult to decide what part of this “buffet” will best suit their interests and talents.
Large hotel, resort property, or boutique hotel? Small upscale restaurant, chain, or family-style operation? Hotel foodservice or private catering? Front of house or behind the scenes? These are the types of questions job seekers grapple with when surveying the variety of options available to them in the hospitality industry.
Ask yourself key questions
In an industry where there is something for everyone and positions in every aspect of hospitality for virtually all personality types, how do job seekers decide where they belong? Finding the best hospitality fit for you is a matter of asking questions that clarify your search.
The most important thing is to find what gives you the most satisfaction. Sometimes it's clear: you know you'd rather be behind the scenes or you'd rather not deal with numbers on a daily basis. Different satisfiers will give people different outcomes. Think about what makes you happy and the activities that you enjoy, and search for opportunities that reflect that.
There are some basic soul-searching questions you should ask yourself at the start of your search:
- Am I a person who enjoys being around other people and is energized by personal contact?
- Do I feel fulfilled when I’ve made someone happy?
- Do I gain personal satisfaction by serving other people?
- Am I a highly energetic person?
If the answer to these is “yes,” then it’s time to ask the types of questions that will help you refine your search even further:
- What type of environment do you enjoy? In a large, more structured hospitality job, you’ll tend to work in one job at a time. In smaller establishments, you will have more flexibility to move around and try different positions.
- Are you interested in working for a “brand” or do you prefer a more entrepreneurial environment for an independent, non-affiliated company?
- Do you want to work for a hospitality operation with a worldwide reputation?
- Can you handle the bureaucracy that may accompany a job with a large international operation?
All hospitality jobs are customer driven, but you can have a very different experience in depending on the career path you choose.
If you're still at a loss, talk to people in the industry (or find a mentor) and try out hospitality jobs for yourself. Sometimes they just have to take the risk, and see if it's a good fit.
Once you’ve sampled the opportunities the industry has to offer, then you’ll have a better idea what to choose from the hospitality buffet.