Hotels are complex businesses that require a manager with in depth knowledge of every area of operations. There are multiple pathways to becoming a hotel manager, but the main route is through higher education coupled with on the job experience and training.
Hotel management is a highly lucrative field for driven, organised and highly detail oriented people. If this sounds like the sort of career that you could thrive in, read on to see the best pathways for getting into hotel management and progressing your career in this fast paced industry..
Getting the Right Qualifications for Hotel Management
On of the first steps you can take in your career journey is to undertake a college course or degree in hotel management, hospitality management or travel & tourism management. All of these courses will give you an exceptional advantage when it comes to competing for a top management role in the future.
Getting this foundation of knowledge under your belt as early as possible helps to ensure you are on the right track from the day you step into your first job in a hotel. If you can, try to find a degree that involves a “sandwich” year or semester; this will allow you to find a student placement in a hotel that will allow you a great opportunity to get your foot in the door while completing your studies.
Getting your foot in the door
If you completed a course with a placement, then you may already have a foot in the door. If you didn’t don’t worry; plenty of hotels have entry level positions for graduates within their operations and front of house team. Find a role that suits your skills and experience, and get stuck in.
Don’t expect to find a management job straight out of university, as many management roles require at least a few years experience working in a hotel environment before entrusting you with a senior role.
Progressing through the Ranks
Progression through the ranks will depend on which area of the hotel you currently work in. For example, if you work in the front of house team, you could progress to front of house supervisor or manager within a few years, building your experience and skills as you go through training.
Review your current job and the positions available above yours, figuring out what path makes the best use of your talents and will help you develop the skills you will need as a hotel manager. It is more important to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to do the job well than it is to get the job within a certain time scale; take your time in your progression journey and take in every bit of knowledge you can along the way.
Landing the Top Role
Once you feel that you have built up enough experience, it may be time to ask your employer for the final promotion to hotel manager. If there are no vacancies in your current workplace, you will need to decide for yourself if you want to pursue other opportunities to land the top job or if you would prefer to wait it out until an opportunity opens up with your current employer.
This all depends on your personal view on your career progression; if you are happy with your current employer and are happy to wait a while then there is no reason to leave just for a change in job title, but if you are not entirely happy and feel that you have achieved everything you can in your current role with no prospect of progression anytime soon, then it may be time to consider looking at hotel manager roles at other hotels.
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