How can you succeed in the hospitality industry, especially if you wish to remain with the same company, at least in the short term?
Try these simple guidelines for getting ahead or taking control of your own career development!
A few simple concepts include:
• Remember, promotion is a reward, it is not a right
• In order to be noticed take a simple project and turn it into something that is both memorable and that showcases your abilities
• Don’t dress for the job you’ve got, dress for the job you want
• Keep improving
Promotion is a Reward, it is not a Right
How many people in our business get frustrated because they see others progressing faster than they are? One might hear “I have been with the company for 3 years now…” as what is meant to be a convincing argument for promotion.
The truth of the matter is that the growth and development that most people are seeking is going to happen when they show they are ready for it, and not before. Nobody can expect others to recognise and reward their potential if they are not at least prepared to create opportunities for that potential to shine through.
This can mean volunteering, rather than waiting to be asked. It can mean being proactive about offering assistance, or asking for learning and development opportunities rather than waiting for someone else to offer them.
It is just as important to realise that the career growth you seek has to be earned.
In order to be noticed take a simple project and turn it into something that is both memorable and that showcases your abilities:
The message is simple and is perhaps one of the best pieces of advice for anybody wishing to move their career along. It does work!
Here’s an example;
A number of years ago, an employee was asked by the senior manager to make submissions in two categories for a company awards program – “Best Training Initiative” as I was Training Manager and “Best Environmental Initiative” as I was head of the Green Committee. Our holiday park hadn’t won anything in ages, and the chances of us winning were perceived as slim. But I gave both submissions my best shot, and we won in both categories!
People at the awards night were, for the first time in a long time, sitting up and noticing not only our park and our General Manager, they were noticing the person who prepared the submission.
And within 6 months, promotion occurred for that employee. The project opportunity was the vehicle to success. It would not have been won if the project had not been a result of above average effort.
“Project work is the vehicle by which the powerless gain power. Forget about ‘empowerment programs.’ Instead, volunteer for every lousy project that comes along: Organise the office Christmas party. Turn that dreadful holiday party into an event that says, ‘Thanks for a terrific year!’ to all employees.”
“Contrary to all of the project-management literature and all of the project-software checklists, the point of the exercise is not to do a ‘good job’ of managing the project that your boss dumped into your lap. It’s to use every project opportunity that you can get your hands on to create surprising new ways of looking at old problems. To do that, you need to understand the four steps that go into every Project: finding and creating a great project, selling the project, executing the project, and handing off the project so that you can move on to the next one.”
Don’t dress for the job you’ve got, dress for the job you want:
This is not just about grooming and presentation, although in hospitality this is obviously important. It is more about showing people your potential through your actions, your confidence and your demeanour.
If you want to make the transition from, for example, Front Office Supervisor to Front Office Manager within the same business, the people who count should not just see a really competent Front Office Supervisor when they look at you, they should see the next Front Office Manager.
Things they should see include the skills, the values and even the time management of someone who is ready to make the transition. They should see someone whose opinions other people respect, and who acts and moves with confidence.
Things they should not see include someone who gets involved in politics and gossip, who is unreliable and who lacks the presence of someone who is in control.
Training and Development is important for career growth for two main reasons – it can help prepare us for the next role, and it can also make us better in our current role.
Everyone can learn. Everyone can improve. Why do elite athletes – the best tennis players, golf players, football players and so on – continue to train even when they are already highly successful? It is because they have the ambition to constantly improve, and it is because if they don’t someone will come along who will end up beating them at their own game.
Many people have the goal of succeeding at the equivalent of the “elite athlete” level of the hospitality industry, but don’t necessarily have the passion to keep improving through training and learning!