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Expectations of a New Entrant in Hospitality

The time has come. You have finished your studies and/or you are about to embark on a new career. There are so many choices!

Very few careers, however, offer as much variety and scope for progression as the hospitality industry.

What is “The Hospitality Industry”?

What, you may be thinking, exactly is the hospitality industry? Good question. It’s huge! It covers anything from TV Chefs to Wedding Planners; from Music and Film Awards to working in a worldwide burger chain; from Ocean Liners to theme parks. The list goes on and on.

Good and Bad of Hospitality

When people think of hospitality they often think of low pay, long hours and terrible working conditions! You’ll be pleased to know that this is not usually true!

In recent years, there has been a drive to put together better packages for staff, although entry level can often mean the low end scale of pay.

It is also fair to say that working hours can have unsocial hours, including working late nights, weekends and bank holidays. That said, an upside in this fast moving and constantly changing industry is that promotion prospects are good for well-motivated people with a ‘can do’ mentality.

If you have the drive and the will, you will go far. Furthermore, very few careers can match the buzz and vibrancy of hospitality.

Levels of Entry into Hospitality

Generally speaking there are 3 levels of entry into the hospitality industry:

Entry-Level

This is where you start; the experience and skills you will gain in these positions can prepare you for advancement in your career.

Skilled-Level

This is the next step where you will develop specific skills and capabilities that can be transferred from one position to another.

Managerial-Level

This is when your experience, training and initiative are combined to create your ability to lead employees and manage business

Key Pointers Looked for by Employers from Candidates

  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be on time
  • Be honest at all times
  • Be polite to customers and other staff members
  • Show an honest willingness to learn
  • Commitment to the industry
  • A positive attitude
  • Basic knowledge of the industry
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Willingness to carry out basic duties
  • Remember: Regardless of where you work within hospitality, you will be required to exceed guest/customer expectations to ensure the experience they have is valuable, pleasant, and memorable, and that they want to come back!

Where to look for work?

There are plenty of places to look for work. Below is a comprehensive, although not exhaustive, list of suggestions:

  • Specialist recruitment agencies or companies such as Learn Train Recruit
  • Caterer & Hotelkeeper (magazine)
  • Hotel Catering and International Management Association
  • Hotel and Catering Training Company
  • National and local press.
  • There are many specialist recruitment websites on the net such as Caterer Jobs and Hospitality Careers Online

Getting to the Next Level

  • There are a few ways to “upskill yourself” through qualifications and go beyond entry level status. These are listed below:
  • Attend a college of university as a full-time student
  • Join a training programme such as HCTC.
  • Go straight into employment with an employer who offers training .
  • Work towards NVQs/SVQs with your employer
  • Attend a College Part-time
  • Distance Learning or Self-study
  • The HCIMA offers an entry programme leading to the Professional Diploma, and a number of universities offer a Postgraduate Diploma. These usually involve one-year of full-time study and a period of industrial experience.

Conclusion

The hospitality industry is a great place to work. Very few careers can match it for variety and it’s fast moving, changing pace. Entry level tends to be low paid with long hours, but this is balanced by the huge amount of opportunities and chance of progressing quickly. It can be very rewarding.

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