The hospitality industry is getting back on its feet in a major way. After a devastating pandemic, the industry is showing significant growth. According to the Department of Tourism, the country saw a 102% increase in visitors when compared to the same time last year and by all indications that number will only keep growing. Over the coming years the tourism and hospitality industry will be ground zero for young people with a passion for creating memorable experiences for others and John Skelton, Chief People Officer at The Capital Hotel, Apartments & Resorts has a few handy tips to help grow your career in this vibrant and dynamic sector.
Passion is the driving force behind success in the hospitality industry. It will be what gets you through long shifts and what motivates you on a bad day. So, before you embark on this journey, ask yourself why you are drawn to this field. Are you inspired by creating unforgettable moments for guests? Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment? Identifying your passions will help you find your niche within the industry.
Skelton says, “Your passion could allow you to travel and see the world in an exciting industry that never sleeps. It is also one of those industries where what you put in will come back at you 10x. Love what you do, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Build Your Skillset:
While formal education can be valuable, the hospitality industry also places a strong emphasis on practical skills and hands-on experience. This includes being an excellent verbal and written communicator, adaptable, good at multi-tasking and committed to providing elite customer service.
“You’ve got to find the role that suits your personality. Through different experiences, like internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer work, you will learn what the industry demands. The hours in the service industry may be long but they are always filled with interesting guests,” explains Skelton.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore your formal education altogether. Getting the right qualifications can give you an important leg up.
Skelton says, “Formal education is not always a prerequisite for entry-level positions in hospitality but pursuing relevant education programs or certifications can give you a competitive edge. Consider enrolling in hospitality management courses (like we have at the Hotel School Academy) or obtaining certifications in areas such as food safety, event planning, or hotel operations to enhance your knowledge and credentials.”
Your Network is Your Net Worth:
In any area of life, building a strong professional network is critical and the hospitality industry is no different. The key difference between this industry and others is that there will be a constant ebb and flow of people who know people. All you have to do is say “hi” and make their experience memorable. Make sure to attend industry events, join hospitality associations, and connect with people in your field. When done right, networking can open doors to potential job opportunities and provides access to valuable advice and mentorship opportunities.
The world is a big, beautiful place and the hospitality industry thrives on diverse cultural experiences. If you get the chance, take that job that needs you to move to another province or overseas. Visiting and living in different places will expose you to all types of cuisines, customs, and hospitality practices. All of this will make you better equipped to thrive in the industry and make your life richer.
Skelton concludes, “Travel and explore the world while you are young. Travel and explore when you are older too. Learn what you like and don’t like. The wider your world view the more interesting you become.”