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How to Find the Right Hospitality Career for You
Sarah Brodsky / JANUARY 06 2021
Summary

The hospitality industry offers many diverse career choices. Whatever your strengths are, there’s a good chance you can find a hospitality role that’s right for you. 

Thinking about what you’re good at and what you enjoy working on can help you narrow down the possibilities and find a department that’s a good fit.

Front-of-house

If you’re outgoing, friendly, and energetic, you may thrive in front-of-house roles like front desk agent, guest services agent, and server. You should be excited about communicating with people from all walks of life and feel comfortable responding to questions, requests, and complaints. If you also enjoy problem-solving and scavenger hunts, you might find success as a concierge.

Behind the scenes

Back-of-house positions like housekeeping, security, groundskeeping, and maintenance require a slightly different skill set. Although they don’t involve interacting with guests most of the time, you still need to have strong interpersonal skills so you can help form a cohesive team with your coworkers. There’s a significant amount of independent work in these jobs, too, so you should feel confident about directing your own work and have a good sense of when to attempt a task yourself and when to seek input from a supervisor. These roles can be physically demanding, and they may be best for people who view an on-the-job workout as a plus.

Food and beverage 

Typical food and beverage roles include line cook, chef, and sommelier. Although the job descriptions can vary, they all are best for people who love food and have a knack for picking up culinary knowledge and techniques. To succeed in these roles, it helps to have keen attention to detail so that you can follow recipes and kitchen procedures to the letter. You should also be adept at using your senses, especially taste, smell, and sight, to monitor how food preparation is progressing and make adjustments as necessary. At higher-level roles, such as executive chef, creativity is a must because you’ll need to craft new dishes and come up with innovative menus.

Engineering and technology

Have you ever taken apart a gadget, just to see how it works? Do you solve puzzles or write computer programs for fun? If so, you might have what it takes to succeed in an engineering or IT role for a hospitality company. You’ll need analytic skills as well as the ability to collaborate well with others because you’ll likely find yourself working closely with other team members to troubleshoot technical problems.

Human resources

You may be well-suited for a career in human resources if you feel comfortable interacting with other people, even when there may be disputes or disagreements. You should be equally at home listening, speaking, or writing, as these types of roles involve a good deal of record-keeping and documentation. Training or teaching others is a component of some human resources roles, and for these types of jobs, it will help if you can easily summarize information and convey it to someone else.

Sales

If you’re an extrovert who likes to meet new people, you might enjoy a career in hospitality sales. You’ll excel if you have a talent for persuading others and if you can think well on your feet. This career typically requires a lot of traveling, so you should be someone who’s happy on the move.

Business and finance

For business roles such as operations manager, revenue manager, and financial analyst, you’ll need an ability to spot patterns and an aptitude for working with numbers. It will help if you’re already familiar with office software such as spreadsheet and presentation programs or if you have a knack for picking up tools like these and getting acquainted with them. Being able to absorb a lot of data and synthesize it into a useful plan is also an advantage in these careers, and it may help to have a sense of flexibility because business forecasts and strategies often need continual revisions.

You can also use the Hcareers Fit Score to help you begin your job search with what positions fit your needs and wants best.