Feeling stuck in your current hotel job? Tips for moving up the ladder quickly
If you feel stuck in your current job or position, it’s up to you to get your career moving again. Standing out with excellent performance at work can open doors for you and lead to a better position. Stephanie Hein, professor of hospitality leadership at Missouri State University, explains how hotel employees can increase their chances of being promoted.
1. Network within your hotel
While people often think meeting people from other companies is the purpose of networking, networking can also help you advance in your current organization. Hein recommends that employees participate in their hotel’s community events and volunteer opportunities because “that helps you meet people from outside of your department.” She explains, “Any time you can meet people from outside of your department, it helps spread your name, it helps build your network, and it helps facilitate your growth and your development.” Once you meet people in other hotel departments and develop good relationships with them, they may be willing to mentor you or to recommend you when a position opens up.
2. Learn about different aspects of hotel operations
Hein encourages hotel employees to learn about as many departments as possible and to aim to be well-rounded. “That way, regardless of where the opportunity might be, you have experience and knowledge that would put you into the running for any potential promotion,” she says. “I think it's great for people to cross-train, if they can get experience in housekeeping, front desk, banquets. Essentially they get the big view, or the big picture, of what is going on in that property, how it runs. Then you tend to become the go-to person if you have that insight.”
3. Have good relationships with your coworkers
Hein notes that teams are essential to hotel operations and that employees should strive to interact harmoniously with their coworkers. “Keep in mind, your coworkers can help you and help advance your efforts when you work effectively with the team,” she says. “Having those interpersonal skills and knowing how to communicate, knowing how to effectively handle conflict that may occur within your team, that's essential to your success.”
4. Learn the financial side of hospitality
Hein advises hotel employees to develop mathematical and accounting skills, which are needed to help run a hotel as a profitable business. “Make sure you understand how to interpret your financials,” she says. “Understand how your decisions impact the bottom line, and learn how to make data-driven decisions.”
5. Make a good impression every day
Hein recommends that employees recall the mindset they bring to job interviews and apply it to ordinary workdays. Managers monitor your performance before offering promotions, so you want to make sure they see your best efforts. “It's important to treat every day as an interview, because you never know who's watching,” Hein says. “You never know what's being picked up. If you treat every day like an interview, you're giving it your best.”
6. Accept assignments that other people pass up
According to Hein, “one of the best ways to advance your career is to be willing to do the work that others won't do.” When you accept and complete these assignments, you establish yourself as a conscientious worker who can be relied on. “So, if you know there's a task that needs to be done or there's an initiative that needs to be launched, and nobody else is willing to take it on, and you know it has to get done, if you're willing to step up and do that hard work, that gets noticed. I've watched a lot of people advance their careers simply because they were willing to do the work that others weren't willing to take on,” Hein says.
7. Be humble
Hein advises employees to approach their jobs with humility so that they gain more from the experience. “Don't assume that you know everything. Learn from those around you,” she says. “Be open to new ideas and new thought processes, because if you shut that part of your thinking down, it's going to hamper you from being able to move forward.”
8. Have flexible expectations
Hein points out that people with flexible goals have more career options available to them. “If you can be open to opportunities and take on some different responsibilities that you never thought you would do, you just kind of open up your career path,” she explains. As an example, she says that you might plan to end up in the role of general manager, “and then you take another position with the hotel, and you find out that you really like that position. Maybe it's in human resources, and that's where you end up advancing your career with the company.”