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Lifelong Lessons From A Hotel Job

By Dennis Nessler | April 14, 2020

One lurking problem is that the hotel industry has lost its allure for young jobseekers, with many of the brightest and most motivated candidates not even considering our line of work. Even though the accommodations and tourism sector collectively represent a tremendous employer overall, many youths see us as a stepping-stone towards something better rather than the end destination.

To shift this mindset will take a sweeping effort that goes beyond one mere industry-oriented article. But what I can inscribe today is a trio of fundamental lessons that hospitality teaches better than any other trade. Feel free to take these and use for your purposes, as my hope is that these can help to inspire more people to consider a career in a hotel.

Manners are important everywhere you go. There’s never a time to not be courteous or to say thanks. No matter where you land, maintaining a strong sense of cordiality at all times will earn you the respect of your colleagues, and working in a culture that values service will instill this behavior far better than any other because it’s what we do! Especially in today’s cellular-centric world, a stint in hospitality might even teach a fresh-faced team member to refrain from looking at their phone for the duration of a business meeting.

Operations requires effective teamwork. Unless some other businesses where different subdivisions are more ‘siloed’ and independent in their functionality, a hotel requires the smooth coordination of numerous different skill sets. If any one of them is lacking, this fault will inevitably percolate onto TripAdvisor, and in a negative way! So, not only does hospitality immerse young employees in this great departmental diversity, but it also teaches the importance of no loose links in the chain. In essence, our industry imbues an understanding of something being greater than the sum of its parts.

Going the extra mile is always noticed. Service at its most basic level is a matter of quid pro quo— delivering upon exactly what was requested and nothing more. But then, those who are observant will quickly decipher that taking the time to anticipate guest requests or going out of your way to deliver beyond what was expressly asked for will ultimately prove to win over the recipients. And this ‘win’ can be rewarded in the form of customer loyalty, word of mouth, online praise, better tips, increased restaurant covers or simply an improved work environment. Knowing how well this extra step will be interpreted by the other party is an insurmountable nugget of wisdom to have that will work wonders for not only future jobs but also one’s personal life.

While undoubtedly these three fundamentals may be quite obvious for you, understand that they are that way because you’ve lived and breathed them for many years by now. The same cannot be said for a college student or high schooler looking for a means of employment and unsure of their long-term prospects in hospitality.

Lensing these three lessons as holistic and lifelong benefits may help to motivate these youthful individuals into becoming more valuable team members that hopefully end up staying with you for a very long time.

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