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The hotel sector is vast, and exciting. It is continually developing alongside customer needs but also technology. Being a hotel manager is more than a job, it is a vocation. It is a very exciting career with many opportunities for personal and professional growth.
There are opportunities all over the world ranging from working within the budget hotel sector, right up to luxury hotels, not to mention resorts and leisure facilities. There really is a hotel for everyone. You might want to consider a few aspects to find which suits you best:
So, whether you’re interested in looking after travellers in a hostel, couples on honeymoon in an adult only resort, or business delegates within a conference hotel, there are many opportunities available.
To succeed in this career there are several key skills which will help you to be successful. These include:
Within the hotel industry, there is no ‘one size fits all’ purely because the scope of the sector is so broad. This means that there are various ways in which you can become a hotel manager.
Many people within the industry start at the bottom and work their way up over a period of time. There are many examples of hotel managers who started work as a waiter, or housekeeper, and over time were promoted to supervisor, assistant department manager, department manager, assistant general manager, and finally general manager. Depending on the size of the hotel, this progression may be very quick. In a smaller business with a very flat hierarchy there will be less steps on the ladder to the top.
During this progression, you can develop knowledge and skills in a specific area e.g., housekeeping, food and beverage etc, as well as building up transferrable skills. In this context transferrable skills could be related to:
It may also be possible that progression can be via job opportunities in other sectors. For example, working in tourism or other parts of the service sector. These are all supporting the development of the skills needed of a hotel manager.
Another common career path is through education, such as a qualification in hospitality or sometimes, in management. Studying can provide you with the skills and knowledge which are then applied by gaining relevant experience. The acquisition of this qualification can reduce the time it takes to progress to the top management position.
This could be seen as a very challenging question to answer, since the scope of the job role is broad and the sector equally wide ranging. However, these are the key areas that are generic to many hotel settings:
Depending on the size of the hotel, and structure of its personnel you might also be required to do all, or some of these:
Whilst the hotel industry can be very exciting, each hotel can be likened to a small kingdom. The detail required in so many different areas, can make running it very hard work. There is therefore a need for a level of both physical, and psychological stamina to maintain it.
The hotel sector can be very unpredictable. For many this is the draw, the fact that one day is very rarely the same as the previous, or the next. This can also bring about its challenges, with many factors out of your control. Whether this is the weather, economic trends, VIPs and their never-ending demands, irate customers, or unexpected supply shortages.
The role of the hotel manager is by no means a boring job, yet the excitement and challenge can be addictive.
Whilst the industry may be vast, the job market is also fiercely competitive particularly for those jobs at the higher end of the sector. Therefore, as you progress through your career towards your ultimate goal it is always worth remembering a few things:
There is no one route to becoming a hotel manager. Start by considering your interests, experiences and skills - and what you need to learn more about.
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