If you’re not quite sure which direction you want your career to follow, taking a job in the hotel industry is a great way to gain experience across many different roles to discover what type of work you might really enjoy. There are many flexible opportunities in the hotel and leisure industry including reception duties, housekeeping and maintenance, restaurant or bar work and all can lead to positions with managerial responsibility. Hotel work can be demanding, but it can also be great fun and of course, there is always the chance to broaden your horizons by working in hotels in other countries particularly if you have language skills.
• Entry Salary: Around £15,000pa
• Experienced Salary: £30,000+pa
• Average Hours: 35-40 (full time); 15-20 (part time)
• Welcoming guests, organising bookings and carrying out general administration
• Waiting on tables or serving in a bar
• Preparation of food and general kitchen duties
• Maintenance duties including electrical work
• Housekeeping, laundry and general hygiene skills
• Providing information and assistance
• Events planning
• Security duties
As a hotel worker, you need to remember that you are always dealing with paying guests, so it helps to have a welcoming, friendly personality. Maintaining a cheerful attitude combined with a willingness to offer assistance at all times is essential. A responsible, reliable approach while being able to stay calm and clear headed in a crisis is an advantage. Hotel jobs nearly always involve shift work and unsociable hours so you need to be flexible over working during the evenings and weekends. Be prepared to be on duty during bank holidays and willing to help out when there is an unexpected need for extra staff. Hotels revolve around tight schedules so it is preferable to have good timekeeping and an efficient manner. You’ll need excellent organisational skills so having a good memory is helpful. If you are a good communicator and enjoy taking an interest in people and their stories, you are sure to enjoy the sociable aspect of working in a hotel.
Due to the extensive range of roles within the hotel and leisure industry, you can start without any specific qualifications or opt for further education in a specialised area such as studying to become a chef or manager. Larger hotels will often have opportunities for anyone with beauty, health or fitness qualifications. Obtaining basic vocational certificates in hygiene are preferable for restaurant, bar and kitchen work. If you think you would like reception or administration work, aim for general computer and office skills. Hotels often have a variety of apprenticeship schemes which enable you to gain the right qualifications while gaining invaluable practical experience. Whichever role you might like, the hotel industry provides an ideal career path for anyone who wants to progress into higher managerial posts.