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 finding what gives you the most satisfaction,” says Cora Ramirez, Human Resources Director for the Deerhurst Resort. “Sometimes it’s fairly simple: ‘I’d rather not have to face the guests, but I like helping people,’ so there are lots of positions where they can help out but not have to be front and centre all the time. Some people might not know the difference between … I don’t like numbers, but I like analyzing them. Different satisfiers will give people different outcomes. The point is that [hospitality job seekers] should think about what makes them happy, what brings them joy, then find a job that matches their set of satisfiers.”
According to Tracey Kalimeris, a hospitality professor at George Brown College and former corporate recruiter and HR planner for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, 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?
Says Kalimeris, “All hospitality jobs are customer driven, but you’ll have different experiences in them.”
Tools to help you “find yourself”
“There are all kinds of tools to help you determine your personality profile,” says Ramirez. All are designed to assist you to find out what your strengths are.
GigZig is a new Hcareers tool that lets you explore the zigs and zags a hospitality career can takeyou. It asks you for information about your job five years ago versus. what you’re doing now, and helps you gain insight into your career choices and the compensation attached to those choices.
In addition to online tools, nothing beats talking to people in the industry and trying out hospitality jobs for yourself. “Sometimes they just have to take the risk,” says Kalimeris. “It’s not going to be difficult to try out a job for several months.”
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.
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• How NOT To Write Your Resume
• Don't Make This 1 Big Job Search Mistake