Life Outside of Work: Striking the Perfect Balance
While hospitality careers are popular for the many personal and professional rewards they offer, it is possible for employees to become overwhelmed by the demands of working in such a fast-paced, hectic environment. Thankfully, you can excel in your hospitality job while avoiding burnout caused by long hours, stress and a demanding position!
Are You Cut Out for a Hospitality Job?
Front line hospitality jobs (those dealing directly with the public) are best suited to people who love working with people. The social interaction and active lifestyle that come with these positions are great for outgoing, extroverted employees. However, there is no time for a bad day when you work with the public. You must arrive to work each day in a good mood, polished and ready to handle whatever your job and customers will throw at you!
Back of house employees, meanwhile, are those who support the restaurant, hotel or cruise ship operations in cooking, cleaning, financial and other positions. These employees usually choose the hospitality industry because the job opportunities are endless, with abundant promotions and training opportunities.
Hospitality Industry Offers Unique Rewards and Challenges
The nature of the hospitality business is such that 9-5, Monday to Friday shifts are rare. Hospitality jobs usually involve various hours and shifts on weekends, holidays and evenings. Most restaurants and hotels experience a “peak” and “down” time cycle, when hours of work change according to the amount of work that is available. Hospitality employees need to be flexible and able to adapt to the constantly changing environment.
Amanda Manke, server at the trendy Toronto Japanese restaurant and Bar Ki, has enjoyed the rewards of her hospitality career since she first began serving in 1998. “When I first started out in the hospitality industry, I didn’t know how much money I could make. In the beginning, it wasn’t about the money,” she says. “I started serving because I enjoy a job that is completely different each day and it’s great to have interaction with new individuals. But I’ve stayed because the money is great if you are good at it!”
Manke has since worked in nine different dining establishments in city and resort settings. She credits her success in hospitality to her passion for her work and outgoing personality. Manke used her hospitality career as a stepping stone to help her financially through college and understands the importance of balancing work with the obligations of her personal life. Her advice for new hospitality employees:
- Plan your day and learn to prioritize in your work and personal lives.
- Take time to do the things you enjoy in your personal life. Remember, the business won’t collapse if you take a few days off!
- Do what you love and love what you do! Be happy in your hospitality job, or find one that better suits your talents.
- Take advantage of training opportunities offered by employers. Learning the skills required to excel at your job reduces the stress involved in your daily routine.
Professionalism--Multi-Tasking Key to Successful Work/Personal Relationships
Hospitality employees must be able to handle several tasks at once to accomplish all of their duties within their shift. Multitasking is an important skill to master and requires a good memory and the ability to prioritize. Remember that you are only human and will make mistakes – and the restaurant or hotel won’t fall down around you! Recognize your strengths and work on overcoming your weaknesses.
Whether you work with the public or behind the scenes, it is important to keep your job in perspective – especially in environments such as resorts, where you may be living and working with the same people each day. Forming relationships with coworkers and loyal customers is a natural part of the job, but it is important to maintain a professional attitude, keeping work and home life separate.
Dedicating every second of the day to your work can be as detrimental to your performance as not trying hard enough. Leave work at work and set aside time at home at the end of each day to do something you truly enjoy doing.