5 common myths about working in a hotel
The hospitality industry is growing fast and there are so many options for careers that are available and lucrative. If you haven’t considered entering this field before, maybe you’ve been misled by some common myths out there. In a recent interview with Jo Niell, former HR Director at Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, Colorado, she dispels these myths that sometimes come up with potential new employees:
Your only option in hospitality is to work in a hotel. With the skills gained working with a team at your property, the sky’s the limit when/if you want to explore options other than hotel work within the hospitality industry, but it’s a great place to start. Don’t forget about tourism, resorts, cruise lines, casinos or destinations such as Disneyland. There are also jobs within the hotel that don’t mean daily contact with the front of the house… you can train for IT, accounting, special events planning (think weddings, corporate events, anniversary celebrations) or Human Resources.
You have to work long hours. Most employees work a standard 8-hour shift unless there’s a need to cover for someone who is out sick or has an emergency. In fact, you have a lot of flexibility to work the hours that suit you best: Are you a night owl? Only available on the weekends? Want to work part-time? Hospitality runs 24/7/365 and there are a lot of options to make the schedule fit your needs.
Hospitality workers choose that career because they’re not good in school. Again, not true. There is a wide range of skills that come into play in this industry; it’s a dynamic environment. Speaking multiple languages is a definite plus, as is being computer-literate and a good problem-solver. Hotel programs include classes in geography, accounting, human resources, marketing, etc. Many schools engage in research to develop new approaches to reservation bookings, room design, complimentary personal products, food service, etc. There’s a lot going on and it’s constantly evolving.
You won’t make much money working in a hotel. The pay depends on the job you’re doing. There are hundreds of jobs at a hotel, including back office administration, housekeeping, food service, front desk, special events, etc., and the pay ranges from entry level to very high. Among the more highly paid positions are Regional Chefs (who are developing new recipes, training and managing budgets), Regional Housekeeping Directors (managing budgets and responsible for quality control) and General Managers (in charge of all aspects of the hotel, personnel, finance, marketing, etc.). It takes some time and experience, but there are many well-paid careers in the industry.
Working in an upscale hotel/resort is all glamour. Of course, you may get to rub elbows with a celebrity or a VIP, but at an upscale hotel, you’ll be instructed to treat all guests the same way – no asking for autographs. Your mission is the same no matter who the guest is: give superior customer service, build loyalty and ensure they’re having the best possible experience at your hotel. It’s all about commitment, hard work and a desire to please.