Life Money Work

What to expect from a career in the hospitality industry

June 28, 2018

Working in the hospitality industry gives you an exciting opportunity. You will enter an industry that thrives on creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, and you will also be able to travel to new and exciting destinations. If you have studied hospitality courses, then you will be well prepared for this new life, but you might not be sure of what to expect in the industry. Below is some helpful advice on what to expect in a career in the hospitality industry.

A wide range of job options

In the hospitality industry, you will find that there is a wide range of career options to choose from. If you are knowledgeable about a certain town or city, you might be able to become a tour guide and if you are organised and good with people, you could find work in the conferencing and events sector.

You will also find relevant roles in sectors that are seemingly unrelated to hospitality management, such as in industries such as universities, hospitals, transport and the armed forces. Some large-chain hotels offer graduate-management training and roles, which provide a fast-track to managerial positions in the hotel branches. The unique variety of positions means that you will not be left wanting for work in the industry.

You get a say in your hours of work

In past years, the hospitality industry has been given a bad rap when it comes to working hours and conditions, but this has drastically improved over the years. This is because of the Basic Conditions Of Employment Act in South Africa, which means that hospitality professionals get a say in their working hours, including overtime.

If you are asked to work extra hours, you will be paid for these extra hours. However, it is important to remember that, although in your hospitality courses you were taught about how good the working hours are, they may not always be sociable. You might be working in shifts from lunchtime with a break, followed by a dinner shift or you could be working the late night shift or breakfast shift. You will make firm friends within your company, however, despite the unsociable hours.

The working conditions are a plus

There are many misconceptions about bad working conditions in hospitality careers, but these are more often than not untrue. You will be provided with both comforts and perks while working in the hospitality industry, many of which are geared towards your comfort as an employee.

Whether you are working in a hotel that you travel to and from or are working in a live-in situation, you will find that you will be provided with a staff canteen for meals, living quarters for live-in positions and other perks like discounts on accommodation or meals for family or friends. You will also have meal breaks during your shifts, as this is mandatory of almost every industry dealing with shift workers, and there are policies which govern the living condition standards of almost every hotel and inn.

You will learn to be fair

If you think about your hospitality courses and any group projects you had to work on, you will remember that you had to give credit where credit was due, and this is much the same in the hospitality industry itself.

You will learn to deal with your colleagues in a fair and diplomatic manner, and come to realise that one person cannot do everything on their own. You will learn how to work on a team and how to handle different personalities and differences of opinions in a thoughtful manner. Remember that a hotel is run by many people, from the hospitality management to the cleaning crew, so it is important to be able to treat everyone fairly and with the respect they deserve.

Travel opportunities come with the industry

In the hospitality industry, there is a huge opportunity to travel for work, which is great for both those who enjoy experiencing new things and those who have never been anywhere aside from their hometown. You may even be able to travel to a different continent for your career.

Travelling for work can help you in many ways, such as helping you to mature as a person, exposing you to different cultures and worldviews and allowing you to see countries that you may not even have heard of before. If you do not have an up-to-date passport, it is important that you sort this out before applying to any hospitality positions, as you might be asked to travel at an unexpected moment and being unprepared will not be professional and can make the process time-consuming and difficult.

A different way of life

Working in the hospitality industry will open up many exciting opportunities for you, allowing you to experience different people, cultures and even destinations as part of your working life. You will find a diverse array of jobs on offer to you, with the ability to have a say in your hours as well as having great working conditions. The hospitality industry will teach you how to work fairly and engage with your team members, all while enjoying your daily tasks at the same time. It is an industry that provides unique experiences no matter the level of employment you are on.

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