Getting started in a career in Hospitality

So, you’re thinking about finding a job in hospitality – that’s great!
This once in a lifetime pandemic aside, it is one of the largest industries in the world. In the UK alone, roughly 3.2 million work in hospitality which generates around £139 billion for the economy every year. This makes it one of the largest sectors in the UK and accounts for 10% of employment. Facts and figures aside, hospitality is an excellent choice – whether you’re looking for a job or a career! But, why should you consider a career in hospitality? Where do you start the job search? Let’s find out! 

Why Hospitality? 

“Customers may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel”
– Unknown –
First things first, hospitality is a chance for you to create an amazing experience for someone, a lasting memory they will carry with a smile. It can be tiring, like any job, but can also be incredibly rewarding! It offers you the chance to work in amazing venues like stadiums, museums, galleries or concert halls. It’s a profession that can take you all over the globe – if there’s someone wanting to be served food or a beverage, there’ll be a hospitality job. The flexible hours give you control over your time if you’d like to escape the 9-5 or make time for other pursuits. It’s a great opportunity to meet interesting and creative people from all over the world! You’ll also learn transferable skills applicable to almost any other industry!
There’s a reason almost everyone you meet has worked in hospitality at some point or another in their life. 

What to expect

It’s no secret, hospitality is a fast paced job. Often you’ll spend almost entire shifts on feet, interacting with patrons or guests directly. Not only will you be representing the business you work for, you will have a direct impact on the performance of that business. Good service will help to keep customers coming back. 
You can also expect to work some unsociable hours, such as early mornings, evenings or weekends. The average salary for a hospitality worker in the UK is roughly £25,000. Depending on your hours and the venue you work in, this can vary. 

How to decide the right Job for you:

In order to find the right hospitality job for you, you need to ask yourself a few questions. This will help you clarify the best location and type of role to look for. 
The first and most important question you want to ask is what you want to get out of your job in hospitality? 
  • If you’re looking to make a career in hospitality, you want to find a place you can see yourself working for as you’ll want to spend some time there building your skills. If it’s a chain – choose your favourite. They may have a training scheme or program for internal promotion. This will give you the chance to work your way up the ranks. Alternatively, if you choose an independent venue, they will likely have a smaller staff and offer a chance to take on wider responsibilities and take on senior roles in a close knit team. 
  • If this is a job for a shorter-term period, find something that you can make the most of during this. Perhaps the hours allow time for other pursuits or study. Perhaps consider something closer to home.
Other factors can impact your choice, such as: 
  • Location: Ideally, you want to minimise travel costs so you can keep more of your hard-earned cash. However, there may not be any opportunities close to home. The largest concentrations of jobs are in heavily populated areas – such as cities. The location can also impact the pay. Jobs in London, for example, will pay slightly more than those in regional areas to account for the cost of city life. 
  • Salary Rate: This can vary widely from place to place. So you want to find something that best allows you the lifestyle you would like to lead. Do your research and perhaps a personal budget to find out how much you would need to earn then select jobs accordingly. Certain roles that require particular skills or that have managerial responsibility will pay higher than entry level jobs. 
  • Work Life Balance: It goes without saying, you don’t want to spend all of your time working. As we touched earlier, it’s likely you’ll be working alternative hours. So consider whether you’re willing to work early mornings or late nights. Depending on your schedule, decide which will suit you best. It is likely you will be working weekends, but not a given. 
  • Chain: Working for a chain has its perks. There is better job security, great opportunities and a wide variety of locations. However, pay will likely be uniformed and often slightly less than that of independent businesses. There will also be more procedures and stricter roles – your tasks will be clearly set out as part of the company’s framework. Hours tend to be less flexible as well.
  • Independent:  There is less security as it is often a small business. There are also less opportunities for progression as the staff tends to be smaller to keep costs down. This means if you do work for an independent business, you’ll likely know the owner and the higher up management in person. You’ll be part of a close knit team and share in more tasks – giving you the chance to get experience in different tasks. There will also likely be a bit more flexibility with hours too. 

Finding the right job for you: 

Once you’ve decided on the correct role, it’s a matter of finding it. Jobs sites such as Indeed or Reed have many job postings for hospitality jobs. There are also specialty sites, facebook groups and other ways to find work. The most important thing is to do your research. 
Another tip is to simply keep your eyes peeled as you go about your day to day life. There may be flyers up or signs at venues saying they are hiring. You can also ask someone at your favourite cafe or restaurant if they have any jobs going – it never hurts to try your luck!
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