Kristyn Emmer

So You Want to Work in Hospitality?

It seems that there is quite a wide range of views when it comes to the industry of hospitality. Often times, people can think it’s simply hotels and food service, but the industry defines itself much broader and much more exciting than the narrow view many have. Even that, though, is a misstep. According to the Intercontinental hotels group report, there are around 15.5 million hotel rooms around the world, which the large majority of them are in New York City (not surprisingly).

Beyond that, the hospitality industry maybe surprisingly spreads to lodging, the airline industry, cruising, any form of transportation, event planning, and tourism generally. So with all those pathways, there is plenty to talk about when it comes to hospitality, so let’s dig in to the real news about this industry.

You’ll have a wide range of career options. That’s right. No matter where your passion lies, it’s highly likely there is a place for you in the industry. You’ll have your choice from operations, as in managing the front desk of a hotel, restaurant logistics, and banqueting. In fact, if senior management is your lane, then you’ll be excited to learn that promotions in this field are quick and come often.

Perhaps you love marketing and design, sales, or finance, hospitality needs you. Maybe you love taking care of the needs of people or you love entertainment, you can find a place here.

Or maybe you’re a person who loves a whole wide range of things and has a difficult time pinning it down, the hospitality industry welcomes people side stepping into other career paths seamlessly.

You can truly go everywhere in the world. Hospitality really is the world’s language. It’s an industry that is understood all over the world and is needed for the economy to go. So if you’re itching to see the world and explore what’s out there, the hospitality industry could take you there.

In fact, you might not even have to switch companies in order to get there. Many organizations that are well known in the industry have a presence all over the world. With that, though, be aware you might have to learn another language or two to actually be where you want to be.

You’ll work with fantastic people. Because this industry is all about interacting with people, both colleagues and customers, you are guaranteed to meet some incredible people in the world. This is, after all, the business of making people happy, so you are bound to work with mostly vibrant, excited, passionate people.

In addition to that, this is an industry that really touches people from all walks of life. That means on any given day, you’re getting to see parents and teenagers and the elderly and children and newlyweds and work travelers. It’s a field that will always keep you moving in that respect.

With all this said, there are some considerations. The hospitality, especially starting out, is not your typical 9-5 job. In fact, it might take you a while to get there if that’s what you are looking for. It’s an industry that really doesn’t stop around the clock and around the calendar. Holidays and big events often mean busier times, which means that you might not be able to get off for the holidays.

Additionally, although you might advance quickly, you will likely not find yourself starting in a very glamorous job. It might be something that you feel is way below your education level before you advance to those more coveted positions.

If you can look past these though, you’ll be sure to find a rewarding place, especially if you can embody a positive spirit. Employers will be looking for customer-focus, initiative, communication, and a willingness to relocate. The most important thing of all is passion!

Continue the conversation on the CSU Career Center’s Facebook or LinkedIn page.

About the Author

Kristyn Emmer is a Careers Adviser at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and is the Blog Content Strategist for the Colorado State University Career Center. She received her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education in 2015 from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Organizational and Professional Communication Studies from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Kristyn has a passion for being student-focused and dedicated to supporting students by building and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships through compelling and meaningful conversations.