6 ways to get promoted quickly at your hospitality job
According to a recent national survey (January 2016) by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) along with WageWatch, Inc., there are plenty of success stories for hourly, entry level employees to move quickly up the ladder. The report reveals that throughout the hotel industry, many general managers, senior execs and even CEO’s began their early careers as dishwashers, food servers, hosts, and front desk attendants who were swiftly promoted up the ranks. The lodging industry is often quick to promote employees, with 94.4% of those surveyed stating that new hires are eligible for promotions within the first year of employment.
Because of that upward mobility, the benefits and the rising trend in hotel occupancy levels, many of those who “start their careers in the lodging industry, tend to stay, finding new opportunities and high job satisfaction” according to the report. The numbers show that the overwhelming majority of salaried employees stayed with their companies for 5 years or more. The hotel industry is clearly a place to grow, offering plenty of opportunities for advancement. There’s truth in the advice your parents gave you to work hard, always do your best, get along and be willing to go the extra mile. If you’re a hard worker in the hospitality industry, it's likely you’ll be rewarded and promoted quickly.
Tips to Quickly Advance to a Higher Position
1. Work hard and be willing to move around to all the different departments in the hotel. It’s one of the best ways to learn every job and understand how a hotel operates. That knowledge makes you a great candidate for quickly building a management career.
2. Sign up for a hotel’s in-house management program, such as the Hilton Elevator. Hilton offers this program as a fast track to top level positions in their international hotel business. It’s designed to give candidates the breadth of experience needed to take advantage of big career opportunities after only 18 months.
3. Earn some industry-specific certificates. You can expand your knowledge and your network as well as add important skills to your resume to help you stand out in the crowd. Along with a few years of experience, these certificates may open some doors to bigger opportunities.
One of the most prestigious of these is “Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA).” This certificate course is offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and you can apply thru the CHA application form. Other courses can be found on the Official Course Page for the AHLEI. Another source of online certificate courses is Cornell University. You can view their list of certificates at the Courses Page for Cornell.
4. Find a mentor. As with most things, finding someone who can show the ropes can make it easier to find your path up the ladder. Once you find your mentor, observe carefully. Watch how he/she learns from mistakes, follows through and goes the extra mile for guests and fellow staff, modeling your own behavior after theirs.
5. Anticipate your manager’s needs. Don’t stop at your current job description, but learn to anticipate what else needs to be done and take the initiative. Take action on your own if you notice a customer needs something or there’s a task you can perform that would save time in your manager’s day.
6. Demonstrate high levels of social skill. Learn to make your customers feel relaxed. Smile and become skilled in the art of warm, personal, competent and friendly interaction. Be someone your manager can rely on to connect with guests, engage them in conversation and show great attention to detail in all areas of service.
It’s a great time to be in the hotel business. It’s a dynamic, growing industry that means more jobs and big opportunities for advancement.