7 Tips to Establish a Thriving Career in the Hospitality Industry

photo of two people with careers in the hospitality industry, holding up an OPEN sign for their cafe

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A career in the hospitality industry can be extremely rewarding, especially if you’re a people person. You can interact with others regularly and enjoy the fulfillment of knowing you’ve helped to brighten their day with your service.

If you’re considering a future in hospitality, planning a roadmap to success can help.

Read on for a quick guide to establishing a thriving career in the field.

1. Identify a niche that’s right for you

The hospitality industry is vast, with a number of specialty fields. There are four main segments to consider: food and beverage, travel and tourism, lodging, and recreation. Choosing a niche that fits your interests will make it easier to advance in your desired segment.

For example, if you want to travel, then the travel and tourism sector is likely the best fit for you. Alternatively, if you’re a foodie, food and beverage may be more your style.

2. Get on-the-job training and experience

An African American hotel employee showing two guests something on a tablet.

Once you know what niche you want to pursue, start looking for opportunities to get on-the-job experience. You can start by looking locally, and checking with area businesses like hotels or restaurants to see if they need help.

You can also find hospitality jobs online. There are many online job search portals dedicated specifically to this space. For example, for general hospitality jobs, check out Hospitality Online.

We also have some restaurant eBooks / guides for staff and managers to help you get started.

3. Learn the tools of the trade

Depending on the niche you pursue in the hospitality field, you’ll likely need to master some basic technologies and tools used in the trade.

For instance, if you want to work in hotels, a knowledge of hotel booking management tools is useful. Alternatively, if you’re pursuing a career in food and beverage, mastering point of sale tools is a must.

4. Commit to building your network

As with many fields, one of the best ways to find success in the hospitality industry is through networking. With every job, try to establish strong relationships with bosses and coworkers.

Keeping in touch with your network is essential, as you never know where people may end up—and how your relationship with them can benefit you both in the future. Rewire offers tips for keeping in touch with old colleagues, like contacting them about major life events.

Also, be sure to have an updated resume handy. You never know when a new opportunity will present itself, so use a resume builder to create a great-looking resume. Then you’ll be prepared to apply quickly for that new job.

5. Attend industry-relevant events to boost your career

Industry events are another great way to expand your network and learn about new opportunities and level up your career in the hospitality industry.

There are events all over the world catering to a diversity of industries, from hotel tech to travel. Bringing your own business cards to the event gives you an extra edge.

You can design them yourself or take advantage of pre-made templates available online. Make sure the card reflects your professional brand and the industry you’re interested in. You should also have your logo on the card, if it’s still missing you can get a logo maker involved.

Bring your business cards, dust off your resume, and proactively approach people. You never know what opportunities you’ll find.

6. Work on building your reputation 

A great reputation will get you far in the hospitality industry. Put effort into polishing yours. Make sure to have relevant social media pages, like a LinkedIn page, set up.

You might also consider expanding your personal brand, such as through a personal website.

For instance, if you’re in the travel and tourism sector, a personal blog devoted to your own travels can be a great way to share your unique personality with the world.

7. Hone your business skills to expand your opportunities 

If you want to advance to the upper tiers of the hospitality industry, you may want to further your education.

For example, getting a business degree will allow you to sharpen your skills. Degrees in fields like management and leadership, marketing, and business management are common.

With credentials like these, you can pave the path toward senior-level roles in hospitality management.

A career in the hospitality industry can be very rewarding when you find the right fit

A career in the hospitality industry offers many exciting opportunities. If you stick with it, you’re sure to find a role you love. If you’re considering pursuing a future in this field, set yourself up for success by following the above pointers.

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