Are you ready to make the switch to a new and exciting career? Have you ever seen a successful person and wondered if you could be in their position someday? When you join the hospitality industry, this dream can become a reality. Whether seeking a supervisory role or imagining a different path entirely, hospitality offers numerous ways to help you achieve your goals.
Finding Your Path
One of the many benefits of working in hospitality is the opportunity to learn and grow. You can start in one field and branch into a different role as you discover more about yourself and where you fit. You may even come to hospitality with knowledge or skills from an unrelated industry that incorporates well into your job.
Ashenafi Endale was a teacher in Ethiopia before moving to the United States. He started his hospitality journey as a dishwasher, moved into a supervisory role, and is now chief steward. In his current role, he uses his love of teaching by training his peers.
David Starr did not begin his career in hospitality either but retired as a facilities engineer at the Kennedy Space Center to work at a hotel in the Caribbean. His work experience proved vital to constructing and developing an Anguilla resort.
For veterans, specialized positions in engineering, operations, and IT utilize their service experience and make the transition to civilian life easier. Mike Phillips and Kinetra Watson found a home in hospitality. where their ethics and teamwork shine through in both their attitudes and their work.
Profiles in Success
A hospitality career is for anyone with passion and a desire to help others; a college degree or prior work experience is not always required. Many employees start in entry-level positions and grow into roles with more responsibility over time, transforming their jobs into rewarding and successful careers.
The potential for a future as a general manager motivates employees like Derek Jefferson. Currently serving as lobby ambassador, he knows his dreams are possible because he has seen employees work their way up the ladder.
Sarah Dennis saw an opportunity for growth and seized it. While working as a night auditor, she decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree with the tuition reimbursement benefit provided by her hotel. Now, she is an accounting manager and a college graduate. And she isn’t slowing down yet!
Sometimes your path is not clear-cut. Reneé Seibert took her first job in hospitality as a teen to earn money for a car and quickly moved through the ranks, becoming a general manager at 21. Her uncertainty about the future led her to college, and she realized she wanted to return to the warmth of the hotel industry. Today, she works as director of sales for Sonesta.
Julie DaWalt also had no plans to pursue a career in hospitality when she first started working as a housekeeper. Over time, she worked her way into a general manager role and now serves as regional vice president of operations. Her advice? Show some empathy and accountability, and always work hard. “If you have these things,” she says, “people are going to recognize you.”
Rajaram Srinivasan did not just grow over time in his hospitality career; he was promoted his first week! Going from an engineering technician to a trainee supervisor was only the first of many promotions, and he now serves as director of engineering. Rajaram says his work not only furthered his career opportunities in the industry, but also helped him become a multi-skilled engineer.
Davonne Reaves started as a front desk agent aspiring to become general manager. She soon realized her dreams were bigger and now co-owns three hotels and founded a hotel consulting and investment firm. Davonne credits the industry for its support of her passion.
For Danny Dang, the industry not only supports his professional growth, but it also offers a lifetime of rewarding experiences. Danny started as a driver before working as a bellman and night auditor. In his current role as sales coordinator, he helps with weddings and corporate events. Danny’s passion for the industry is unmistakable, and he raves about the opportunities to pursue your interests and grow in whatever role you choose.
It’s Your Turn!
The first job you take in the hospitality industry is often the stepping-stone to a fulfilling career. Take the first step simply by being yourself and discovering what interests you most.
Learn more about the different hospitality positions available and how you can translate your skills and experience into a rewarding career.