A hospitality manager inspects a hotel room

How to Make a Career Out of Hospitality Management

If you’re interested in the customer service, marketing, and administrative aspects of hospitality and tourism industries, you should consider a hospitality management career. Hospitality management is a field that deals specifically with the skills needed to run hotels, resorts, restaurants, travel agencies, and more. Hospitality management careers are focused on customer service and experience. Hospitality managers are committed to making sure customers find enjoyment in whatever service the business has to offer, because when customers are happy, the hospitality or tourist business makes a lot of money. If you want to make a career out of hospitality management, follow these steps.

Get Work Experience in Service Industries

Whether you’re a teenager or you’re already mid-career, if you want a career in hospitality management, it’s important to first know what you’re getting into. Think about the kind of business you’d want to manage someday. Restaurant? Hotel? Travel agency? Whatever the type of business, try to seek a low-level or experience-appropriate job to really get a feel for how the industry operates and whether or not you really want to work in the industry for your entire career.

Build Customer Service Skills and Networks

Hospitality management is all about customer satisfaction. No matter where you are in the career process, it’s important to build those customer service skills. Get a job working with customers, take seminars, find mentors, and do anything you can to really get familiar with how to work with customers. Along the way, build networks with the professionals and people you meet, because you never know who might be able to help you get a job down the road.

Consider Your Education

While some hospitality managers start from the bottom and work their way up, many people get a bachelor’s and even master’s degree to really set them apart and gain necessary skills to run a business. Many business schools have hospitality management concentrations that will help you hone in on the type of business you’d like to run.

Choose a Specialization Industry

There are many places you can work in the hospitality industry. Most people work in hotels, restaurants, cruises, or travel marketing companies. As you continue your education, try and pinpoint the kind of industry you’d like to work in, and build experience based on that industry.

Work Hard and Climb The Ladder

Hospitality industries tend to have very classic personnel organizational structures, which usually include many low-level positions and a few high level positions. These kinds of structures make it possible for only the best of the best to be at the top. If you want to reach the top, you have to know how the structure works, and you have to continually build skills and relationships in order to reach the top of the ladder. If you want to set yourself apart, work longer than you need to, make friends with the people you work with, make sure your work ethic stands out, and continually improve and build on your skill set. More education in the form of master’s degrees and professional development seminars can also help to set you apart.