Whether you’ve been in the industry for a few weeks or several years, it’s always a good time to tactfully promote and endorse yourself wherever possible, especially if your aspiration is to move into upper management or even an executive level position. As competition for top jobs becomes more aggressive, concentrating on some of the smaller things may make the difference between getting a promotion and finding yourself back at the starting line.
The following actionable advice for moving up in your field can help impress those that matter when a new position becomes available. Take these steps to help secure your future – today!
Tattoos, body piercings and wild hair may be more socially acceptable now than in the past, but that’s no reason to self-sabotage by exhibiting an unconventional personal style around the workplace. A few fail-safe style basics:
Great leadersare instantly recognizable, regardless of their job titles. Their secret is not only knowing when to step forward, but also when to take a step back. If you’ve got a great idea for improving profits or upping the company’s standards of service, by all means, share it – but never do so at someone else’s detriment.
Letting others speak and listening carefully to their ideas is a great way to build a reputation as a candidate for advancement, as long as you’re also willing to speak openly when the time is right. Even if your proposal doesn’t come to fruition, you’ll earn points for thinking about ways to build business and help the company prosper.
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Successful hospitality managers are generally masters of the spoken word, as many of their professional duties rely on effective communication. Always use proper grammar at work and purge all disrespectful words and slang from your lexicon. If possible, up your marketability by learning a second language. Non-native fluency will open job opportunities not only at home, but abroad as well.
If you work in an ethnic restaurant or a hotel that caters to clientele of a certain nationality, work on the language(s) they speak, and don’t hesitate to use it when appropriate. Start by mastering a few basic hospitality-related phrases or the names of popular menu items. Even if your pronunciation isn’t flawless, your efforts will be seen and appreciated. If English is the only language spoken at your workplace, try learning a language that is widely used, like Spanish or Mandarin. When the time comes for a possible promotion, use your bilingual ability as a competitive advantage.
Successful customer service is impossible while presenting a sour attitude. Good manners and a sincere smile go a long way in any field, but in the hospitality industry, they’re workplace essentials. Never complain to your boss about minor incidents, and keep in mind that you represent your employer every minute of the workday. Restaurants, hotels, and other service or hospitality centers tend to be rife with gossip, but don’t indulge. Rising above the fray will allow you to earn respect from your coworkers and supervisors.
Always focus on what you love about your job and view obstacles or problems as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than challenges. If you’re 100 percent committed to your work and take pride in completing even the most mundane tasks, like polishing silverware or cleaning the ceiling fans, you’ll not only catch the manager’s eye, but you may also find yourself loving your work.
By demonstrating versatility and seeking out new skills, you’ll indicate clear commitment to the industry while acquiring valuable practical knowledge. If you’re a server, learn to host; if you’re washing dishes, take a lesson in basic cooking skills, if you’re a hotel desk clerk, learn about housekeeping duties. Promotion, even from within, is always a risk, and your managers need to know you’re serious about forging a career, not just working a job.
Be respectful about how you phrase your request. Instead of demanding extra training, which could prove counter-productive, ask to take on extra duties or more responsibility in order to help the company. You don’t want to shy away from the fact that you’re in the business for life, but you also don’t want to make your needs the focus of a conversation with your superiors.
Hospitality managers and executives have a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the industry that is typically acquired through extensive professional experience, education, or both. Like many others, the hospitality industry typically rewards those workers with relevant education. A Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management is the degree of choice for career advancement and a Management Certificate in the Business of Hospitality is also a strong resume booster. Hospitality business operations are notoriously complex and sophisticated, given the relative amount of risk involved in start-up and expansion, so a degree in business may also attract potential employers.
The most important thing you can do when establishing a career in hospitality is simple: enjoy yourself. The financial rewards of advancement are compelling, of course, but the real reward in customer service, whether it entails checking in a family of four or cooking up a romantic dinner for two, is the knowledge that your job is making other people happy. Do it well, and the positivity you exude will be worth any effort you’ve put into it.