The right way to quit a hospitality job
Thinking about making a job change? If so, you’re definitely not alone. One survey of U.S. workers found that 22 percent are planning to change employers in 2017. The number was even higher (35 percent) for workers between the ages of 18 and 34, though It’s actually a good time for jobseekers of any age to make their move. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5.7 million job openings in the U.S. as of March 31.
Of course, finding a new job is only the first step. You still have to resign from your old one – and there are decidedly right (and wrong) ways to do so. Before you broadcast your exit far and wide, consider these suggestions for ensuring your reputation, friendships and future opportunities within the hospitality industry remain intact.
Unless you’ve been with the hotel for two years, consider sticking it out. Frequent job-hopping, even in the hospitality industry, can be seen as a red flag by hiring managers. If you’ve been with your current employer for less than two years, and you’re making a lateral rather than upwards move in terms of position and responsibility, it makes sense to at least consider staying put for a while longer.
Whenever possible, notify your boss in person. Maybe your supervisor is away from the office but you know he’s checking emails. Unless he’s on an extended leave, you’ll appear more professional if you schedule an in-person meeting after his return rather than taking the easy way out and resigning by email. A willingness to discuss your exit face-to-face shows confidence and respect – two characteristics that can only help your career.
Don’t ‘ghost’ your coworkers. While you should refrain from announcing your intention to leave until after you’ve met with your supervisor, you shouldn’t disappear without saying a word. Keep your coworkers in the loop as you make your transition so they know what to expect. If you work in a large department, or have close working ties to employees in other parts of the hotel, an efficient group email is an acceptable way to make your announcement. It should go without saying, but keep the message positive and focus on the good experiences you’ve had working together.
The same goes for social media. Even if you restrict access to your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts to friends and family, you can’t be too careful when it comes to your career. You should frame anything you say online about your exit positively. Don’t air grievances, make passive-aggressive statements or do anything else that could damage the relationships you’ve built at your current employer or ruin your reputation with a future one.
Take time to express your gratitude. Compose handwritten thank you notes for your supervisor, any hotel executives you’ve connected with, any other department managers who have been instrumental in your career, and coworkers with whom you’ve built the strongest relationships. Describe how the association has benefited you, and encourage them to continue the connection (on LinkedIn, for example). You never know who might be able to help you land an even better job in the future.
Be flexible in your exit strategy. While two weeks’ notice is standard in most industries, your supervisor may appreciate a longer transition period to ensure the right replacement is hired and adequately trained. Of course, you have to consider the needs of your new employer. But the more time you can give your current team, the more they’ll believe that you want them (and the hotel) to succeed even after you’re no longer there.
Ask for references (and write a few yourself). Hospitality is a high turnover industry, and you may eventually lose track of the people at your current workplace who can best speak to your skills and experience. Before your last day, ask your supervisor and a few coworkers (or direct reports if you’re a manager) to give you a written reference on hotel letterhead or (maybe even better) on LinkedIn. You’ll then have permanent documentation of their high opinion of you.