Pathway to a Successful Career in Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry has emerged as the flagship of services sector in India. Tourism in India has momentous potential considering the opulence of our cultural and historical heritage, variety in climate, topography, and places of interest spread across the length and breadth of our country. Hospitality industry is also a large employment generator as we are renowned the world over for our generosity and warmth and tourists choose to come to India to experience that. The employability of hospitality professional is not restricted to the hotel industry alone. In fact almost all service sectors from hospitals to retail outlets prefer hotel management graduates as their education ensures a well-rounded professional.
Now the question arises as to when the industry is an ever growing one why don’t all the students end up having the coveted dream jobs? This is in spite of having multiple options for colleges and institutes offering a plethora of courses to choose from. Most of these colleges fulfill the basic criteria of infrastructure and eligibility standards of Faculty members- the two most important ingredients to successfully run a hotel management program.
Well, if we look closely at the success ratio of students who make it through popular Management Trainee Programs of prestigious hotel chains and the likes of OCLD etc. we will find that it depends more on the student than the institute. One needs to have a fire in the belly that is the single deciding factor between a successful and not so successful student.
Following are some of ways one can cross the bridge to success:
- Join Hospitality only and only if you like to serve: Initially everybody gets enamored by the fancy chefs on food channels on TV and dreams of working for a swish five star hotel but when the reality of hard work and dedication strikes the dreams go out of the window and so does the will to do well during college. So you must ensure that you join hotel management after being fully aware of what you are in for.
- Develop a “Hospitality Attitude”: Ask any hotel manager about a single key competency and all of them will unanimously say “Attitude”. If one has to simplify the term for comprehension’s sake it can be understood as the “Will to serve or help”. Participate in college events that will give you opportunities to work towards it. What may seem to be a chore in the beginning will soon become a part of your personality.
- Network, network, network: From your classmates, your professors and staff of the hotel where you pursue your Industrial training from, deploy every opportunity to make friends and leave a mark on the people’s mind with your uniqueness and zeal towards work. Ours is a close knit industry and chances are that your mates today will be your peers in the industry tomorrow.
- Communication is paramount: We need to say what we mean, mean what we say but never be mean while saying something. We must be polite and expressive in our communication with people around. This will make and mar our personal and professional relationships. Learn at least one new word every day, try using it in our day do day language. Read newspapers, watch English movies, try to hum English songs along with the radio, it is an efficient way of enhancing listening and speaking skills.
- Be updated with Industry developments, Global trends: Absolutely, we live in an era where every person is likely to be more aware, better travelled and has every information on pressing a few keys and we need to match up with this so we better get better. Observe, read, discuss any new thing that intrigues you. Google new terms, watch self learning videos on Youtube and be receptive to new ideas and improvements. Remember we are a dynamic industry.
- Stick to basics: Nobody expects you to remember the Hubbart Formula for calculating Room cost but they will be satisfied if you tell them what it is used for. So stay focused and retain the basic information mandatory for cracking interviews.
- One has to study: It is an acceptable fact that hotel management is not as tough as aeronautical engineering however marks do matter at least in the initial years of your career. Therefore it will help if you have attended the classes, understood the concepts, submitted the assignments, participated in events / projects and have been around when teaching learning was happening.
The chief operation of hospitality industry is to serve people — whether it’s food, lodging or a combination of these and other services. Unless you are passionate about your work you will not survive for long. Besides strong analytical skills and the art of soft skills to persuade or influence others will be the icing on the cake. Being a good listener and having an open mind will also help. Another important trait to nurture is the lack of ego. Never try to win an argument for the sake of it because you may win the argument but loose the person for good. You must be willing to make countless personal sacrifices like being home for holidays and festivals because most likely your hotel will have maximum footfall during such times and you have to be around. Remember it will be a long and tough journey! You need to have the wits and conviction, so that when you fall, you will get up again with absolute zest! If you can’t find the power, take a deep look inside to and remember all the wondrous moments this industry has gifted you and how much you have enjoyed being a part of it.