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The Hospitality Service industry has expanded way beyond the maid in the hotel or the clerk behind the desk. The many opportunities now include some of the careers listed below:

Hotel Manager
Sales Manager
Travel journalist
Banquet Manager
Bar/Club Manager
Tour Escort/Operator
Travel Consultant
Casino dealer

Do any of these sound good to you? You do have to like people, be a hard worker, professional and have common sense. You also need to be able to smile, smile, smile and always have a polite attitude. People can be rude and downright obnoxious sometimes. You have to have the patience of a saint plus the fortitude to deal with it. The work hours can be long, and for people with families, the job could affect family life. You could be called in on short notice if someone doesn’t show up or work over your shift if someone calls off. This type of job is highly demanding and has an enormous amount of pressure with it. If you thrive on pressure and can handle people in a friendly manner, regardless of what they throw at you, it is a highly profitable job to have. The better you are at handling people, the better you’ll do and the faster you’ll advance. If you stand out from your co-workers you could go really far.

What is the upside of the hospitality industry? A career in hospitality can be very rewarding. It can take you places you never considered going to in your wildest dreams. It can be very glamorous, exciting and you have the opportunity to work with all kinds of people. Each day is different and has it’s own challenges to work through and overcome or enjoy.

Where do you start? Well, the first step is entry level. This will give you the experience and skills you’ll need to level up. The job skills you learn are related to your position and are usable in all levels. The next step is the skilled level. In this level you will learn specific job skills that can be transferred from one position to another. Then there’s the managerial level. This is where it all falls together. Your experience, training and initiative are combined so you can supervise employees and manage the business.

If you are interested in the managerial aspect of the hospitality industry, there is schooling that you will need. There are programs that range in length from a few months to several years. Demand is increasing for people with special skills obtained in colleges, junior colleges, technical institutes, vocational schools and high schools. It’s possible to obtain a four year college degree in other fields and enter into a trainee or junior management position. The strongest background for a career in hotel management is to have a bachelor’s and master’s in programs in hotel and restaurant management. Graduates of these type of programs are highly sought by employers in the industry. They go through on-the-job training programs before given too much responsibility. Eventually, advancement to a top management position can be achieved if they are in a large chain operation.

Hospitality is our country’s third largest industry employing nearly 9.5 million people nationally. It’s a great job opportunity. So what do you think? Are you ready to go on an adventure?

By Linda Lee Ruzicka

Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She also does freelances work for Beyond and Hospitalityjobsite , and Hospitalityjobsiteblog .

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