Myths about a Career in Hotel Management
Choosing a right career is very important for an individual. There are careers beyond Medical, Engineering, Management, Fashion Designing, Interior Decoration, Law, Corporate Relations, etc. that have equal or greater scope. Many other rewarding careers exist that most of us are not even aware of. The few of us, who are daring to take the chance, lack the right amount of knowledge. The remaining others are discouraged by their parents and become sceptical. Thus, they end up following the sheep. One such rewarding field is Hotel Management.
Often, when people hear Hotel Management, they visualize a man who wears a white chef coat with an apron. He either cooks the food or serves it. In today’s scenario, most of the people still think that Hotel Management is just about cooking or serving food. But, in reality, the field has grown tremendously in recent years and stands apart as a rewarding career in itself. If you are also one of those who have such common misconceptions, then read on this article.
Here are several myths about a career in Hotel Management, and a quick reality check :
1. Hotel Industry & Hospitality Industry are the Same Thing
The Hotel industry is a component of the Hospitality industry as a whole. The Hotel industry is only one small piece of the Hospitality Segment. The Tourism and Hospitality industry also includes aviation, cruises, theme parks, restaurants, fast food joints, event management, housekeeping services, transportation, estate management and much more.
2. Hospitality Industry is just about cooking and serving skills
Many of us feel so as we don’t know the industry dynamics at all. People who do not work in the hospitality industry do not know the amount of skill that is required to operate it. It is true that it is not rocket science, but the successful operations within the industry are quite methodical.
Hotel Management is much more than just cooking or serving food. It is a serious business that involves food and beverage production and service going up to housekeeping department – who maintain clean and comfortable environment in the hotel, front-office operation – who ensure smooth operations between departments and looks after the needs of the guest on arrival and during the stay in the hotel, event planners – who are involved in conception and completion of the events such as conferences, festivals, etc, and sales and marketing people and accounting department to name a few. Hence, there are numerous specialized career paths to explore in a hospitality industry.
This industry is an amalgam of effective management strategies and planning, practicing control tools, operation management, marketing and sales tactics, skilled employees, staff development and routine training. There is a definite value in their measurable, calculated approach.
3. Job Options in the Hospitality Industry are Limited
Do you like to be lively, enjoy singing or dancing ? Perhaps you would do well working as a performer on a cruise ship or showing your bartending skills on a floor. Do you love social media? Working as a social media marketing coordinator or consultant for independent hotels could be your cup of tea. The point is that, within the hospitality industry, you are constrained only by your personal ideas and not by opportunities.
4. All Hospitality Workers are Maids
It is true that there are a plethora of jobs such as bellboys, maids, servers, and other similar positions that do not require formal training.
However, with the right education, you can bypass these low paying positions and jump start your career as restaurant, hotel supervisor or manager, housekeeping supervisor, lobby manager, front desk executive, bar manager, wine steward, or event planner. These positions are more interesting and offer much better pay.
5. The Hospitality Industry is Glamorous
On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that working in the hospitality industry involves only mixing with celebrities and the rich and famous. While this does happen, but most of the time it involves just plain hard work, learning new skill sets and performing new challenging tasks.
6. It’s hard to find a Hotel Job and that too is low paid.
The Hotel Industry is said to be an industry with most employability potential. It is rated as the biggest employment provider worldwide. The industry has lot of potential for technological adaptation. The Industry is full of opportunities and in times to come it will be the industry with maximum growth potential for freshers. The time span from an entry level position to a managerial position in general has reduced to 2 years in some leading hotel chains. When it comes to landing the best jobs in the hospitality industry, skill set is the key, and social media is playing a growing and critical role in finding qualified individuals to fill job openings.
The Industry is full with job openings and career opportunities but only if one grooms her/himself as per the industry standards. The Hotel Industry is paying good salaries at entry levels as compared to many other career avenues and it has started good innovative practices on work life balance. In near future it is forecasted to be among the best rewarding careers.
Once you graduate with a hotel management degree, there are limitless opportunities waiting for you. You are eligible to join hospitality sector as a operational trainee or management trainee moving up the ladder as a manager to director operations in few years. The initial salary is approximately INR 15000 which goes up to lakh per month and more with experience. You get to work with international and national chains like Marriot International, Hilton worldwide, Hyatt, Carlson, Oberoi’s, Taj, ITC, Jay Pee, Radisson and many more International hotels, Fast food, Fine dining chains. If you get an opportunity you can take a transfer easily from India to overseas. So, it’s not wrong to say that your degree can become your passport to the world.
7. The Hospitality Industry Requires You to Work for Long Hours
Yes. Till 2015, it was correct at entry level positions or during industrial and vocational training schedules. Things have improved drastically and HR managers in Industry are now talking about work life balance, recreational activities, family benefits and many more. Jobs in the hospitality sector offer plenty of variety in terms of skill enhancement when it comes to the number of hours worked. Few organisations have now adopted a culture of 5 days week work schedules.
Because the hospitality industry is a 7 day a week, 24 hours a day kind of business, you can choose a position that works around your schedule. Day shifts, night shifts, broken shifts are always available.
8. Hospitality Jobs are for the Uneducated
The hospitality industry offers a dynamic work environment, so it is true that an expert with a skill set of a particular field might do well here; but that does not mean that individuals who work in hospitality sector are uneducated.
Today hotel management is a career by choice and the process to be accepted into a top program is rigorous in reputed Hotel Management Institutes. The curriculum for a top hospitality program will include fundamentals of management, business communication, marketing, accounting, organisational behaviour, economics, law, foreign language, behavioural sciences, environmental science, facility management, computer science, among many other technical subjects.
9. You Are Restricted To Hotel Industry after Pursuing Hotel Management
With a hotel management degree one is not constrained to the hotel industry only but sky is the limit. This industry offers a number of exciting and diverse career opportunities, which are directly related to the HM degree such as,
- Accommodation manager, Catering Manager in hospitals, conference centers, care homes, etc.
- Event manager : working in exhibitions and fairs, conferences, product launch, etc.
- Airlines : work as cabin crew, culinary manager, flight attendants, etc.
- Travel & Tourism sector : open up avenues such as travel agents, sales managers, and tour managers, etc.
- One can work as skilled human resource in cruise or in a casino.
- One can work as skilled human resources in multi-cuisine fine dine restaurants, fast food outlets.
- One can opt for Government Jobs as Management Officers or can pursue a career with armed forces in catering division.
- One can work as Public Relation Officer in many MNC’s
- One can opt for a career as free lancer
- One can be a content developer
- Work as a professor in education sector and many more new avenues are opening up for them.
10. Only those with Low Score in School should go for Hotel Management Degree
It takes a lot more than just marks to own a Hotel Management degree. One needs to be skillful to be a part of this exciting yet challenging industry. The vast course curriculum it encompasses within itself certainly doesn’t make this course lack in knowledge management. Student scoring high marks are also opting for this rewarding career as it not only provides exposure in terms of meeting new people or developing one’s overall personality, but with globalization, it is one of the fastest-growing industry, and is ranked 2nd in terms of employ-ability after IT sector. So, today is the perfect time to get started.
11. Women Don’t Have Good Prospects in Hospitality Industry
Despite significant progress in many years, it is still believed that women can’t do well in hotel industry orthe industry doesn’t provide healthy environment for them. Many hold a perception against women stating they are not firm enough to make any decisions. But hospitality industry is quite incompetent without the grace and elegance that a lady brings with her. Take an example of guest relations – women employees are more preferred over male due to their pleasing personality, and women also fair better at verbal and interpersonal skills, and are also good at handling pressure. According to the many published reports women perform large chunk of hospitality jobs, and the proportion of women in senior positions has also increased. So, it is fair to say that the industry today holds more potential for women than ever before.
Skills Required :
- Good written and spoken communication skills
- Good Interpersonal skills
- Pleasing personality
- Ability to keep calm during stress
- Business skills
- Energy and enthusiasm
- Technical Skills
Career Path to Follow In Order To Pursue Hotel Management after 10+2 (In any Stream) :
Path 1 – Pursue graduation in Hotel Management for 4 years or a 3 year recognised Diploma of AICTE
Path 2– Pursue short Diploma in Hotel Management for 1 year, then pursue internship.
Career selection is one of the most important and calculated decision of one’s life. One needs to explore and understand in-depth career opportunities and not depend on half knowledge/information, and land up with a wrong career choice. Making the right career decision is hard but can bring you the huge amount of happiness and satisfaction. Hotel Industry is beyond cooking, serving food or operator answering phone call on the second ring and surely has a lot of scope in the coming years, and with globalization it is going to stay as a leading career choice, it has large employment opportunities.
Contributed By :
Prof. ( Dr. ) S. K. Singh
COO, Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management