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Hit Your Stride in Hospitality

Hit Your Stride in Hospitality

Roberta Chinsky Matuson | Monster Contributing Writer

If you’d like to work in an industry where it’s possible to go from the dish room to the boardroom, a career in hospitality may be right for you. You’ll probably have to wait tables and prep a few meals in between, but the rewards are well worth the work.

And while the hospitality industry has kept itself lean over the past two years, there will be a growing number of opportunities for newcomers as the economy continues to pick up. Urban areas tend to have more hospitality jobs than rural areas, with tourist meccas topping the list.

“People always have to eat,” says Gerald Fernandez, president of Providence, Rhode Island’s MultiCultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA). “That gives you some job security.”

What’s Hot?

Service-oriented positions and chef jobs are currently on employers’ radars, according to Robert Bosselman, PhD, director of Florida State University’s Dedman School of Hospitality. Business clubs and private clubs, as well as colleges, schools and hospitals, are good options to consider.

If you’re willing to take a gamble, consider working in the gaming industry. Casinos are popping up all over the country.

Need to get away from it all? Work at a major resort or on a cruise ship.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you can root for your home team while ushering in the fans. And don’t forget the major arenas and stadiums. You will be the envy of all your friends when they find out you’re essentially getting paid to see your favorite rock band in concert.

Break In

So how does one go about obtaining a gig in this industry? Bosselman notes that there are openings in hospitality venues in every city. Visit the restaurants, hotels, stadiums, etc., that you are interested in working for with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, and you’ll likely land a position.

Be Ready to Pay Your Dues

Don’t be discouraged if you’re offered a position as a dishwasher. Bossleman points out that some of today’s top chefs and restaurant owners started their careers washing dishes. If you aspire to move up in the kitchen or be a restaurant owner, back-of-the-house experience is a must.

Fernandez says entry-level jobs provide opportunities to learn the basics, such as sanitation and food preparation. Furthermore, “the industry is growing so rapidly, that if you are motivated and people-oriented, you will move up quickly within the organization,” he says.