Consider these 5 factors before accepting a hospitality job offer
While every job search is different, it’s not unusual for a professional to spend several weeks to months hunting for his or her next position—even in a continuously growing industry such as hospitality. That could mean dozens of days spent scouring job boards, reaching out to networks, submitting applications and resumes, scheduling interviews, and waiting for the phone to ring—preferably with some good news. It’s no wonder many people are eager to jump at the first offer they receive. However, you shouldn’t—at least not until you’ve taken a moment to consider these five factors.
1. The people you’ll be working with
Managers, supervisors and coworkers play a huge roll in how much you’ll actually enjoy your job. Workplace happiness surveys (like this Harris Poll) routinely find “working with people I like” near the top of the list of reasons professionals are happy in their positions.
While their all virtually strangers to you at this moment (unless you were referred by a friend within the hotel or restaurant), the application and interview process likely yielded some valuable clues into the types of personalities you can expect to surround you every day.
Ask yourself questions such as “Were the people I met friendly?” and “Did we connect on a personal level?” and let your answers—and any gut feelings you may have had—guide your decision.
2. The work environment
The environment at a small privately owned hotel and one in a large resort chain will be decidedly different. The experience you’ll have as an employee for a local mom-and-pop cafe will likely vary from what you’ll find at a fine dining establishment. Whether you should accept a job will depend in part on whether the atmosphere offered is right for you.
Consider what you need to be successful. Can you thrive in a hectic workplace or would a slower pace be more your speed? Do you require lots of contact with your manager or are you comfortable supervising yourself? Do you work best in establishments where everyone is like family or do you prefer a more formal organizational structure?
3. The geographic location and commute
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average professional spends 25.4 minutes commuting to work. However, travel times vary greatly depending on location. In addition to the frustration of sitting in traffic, long commutes can even contribute to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and back pain.
Consider how long it will take you to get to and from the hotel or restaurant each workday. If you’re taking public transportation, will multiple bus or subway lines be required? How will inclement weather affect your ability to get to work?
4. The stability of the organization
While the hospitality industry is a healthy one—and total jobs within it tend to continue in an upwards trajectory even in economic downturns—not every hotel or restaurant succeeds. In fact, according to some data on the subject, the average foodservice establishment fails within five years. The same study found 90 percent of independently owned restaurants fold within the first year.
Before you accept a job with any hotel or restaurant, it may be wise to do a little research on their financial health. If it’s a publicly owned organization, you can likely find such information online. If it’s a privately owned establishment, ask your contact about recent growth and future plans for growth. His or her answers may be revealing.
5. The compensation and benefits
More money doesn’t always mean it’s the right job—but accepting an offer that includes a salary you can live with is important. While all the money in the world won’t buy happiness, happiness also won’t pay your rent or mortgage. Be honest with yourself about how much money you need to make to cover your monthly budget, save for emergencies and invest in your future.
Consider the benefits package before making a decision as well. Lots of perks—including health and dental insurance, a 401(k) (preferably with matching contributions) and continuing education opportunities—can indicate an organization is doing well financially as well as values its employees.