The Many Doors to a Career in Hospitality

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So you want to work in the hospitality industry. Front desk, concierge, housekeeping, maintenance, and food service – these are positions typically associated with hospitality. But what if those positions don’t appeal to you? There are many doors to working in hospitality that let you do what you love and still enjoy the atmosphere and perks of the industry.

1. Human Resources. Many of the larger hotel/resort companies have extensive human resources functions. Since every business needs to manage their people, compensation, benefit programs, set policy and comply with federal and state employment law, people with a strong human resources background can find a diversity of positions available. Whether you want to be a generalist or specialize in succession planning or change management, you can find many fulfilling positions in HR.
2. Construction. Over nine new hotels opened in Savannah in 2009. Specializing in new hotel construction or renovations can put you in the high-energy environment of the hospitality industry.
3. Culinary/Executive Chef – Many larger hotels and resorts have upscale dining rooms, casual restaurants, catering and room service. If you work for a hotel chain, you may be able to move to different locations and cuisines within the hotel group. Executive chefs enjoy a level of respect and authority to manage their kitchen, create menus and a distinctive personality for the hotel cuisine.
4. Accounting/Finance – The accounting department in a hotel company is at the heart of the operation, keeping a daily watch on revenues and expenses. It is a fast-paced, dynamic department, far from the green eye-shade, boring bean counters some associate with accounting. Managing payroll, accounting for the day’s room, restaurant, gift shop revenues and other services; forecasting and budgeting and reporting daily on all financial activities gives the Executive Team the information it needs to manage successfully.
5. Event Planning/Conferences – While the front office is focusing on overnight guests, there is a great deal of opportunity for those with event planning, marketing and public relations expertise in the area of meetings and conferences. This is volume business, and requires great personality, ability to handle a lot of details and multi-tasking. It is an exciting, often stressful area of hospitality, but also has the potential for high revenue generation.
6. Information Technology – Your knowledge of systems, computers software and hardware, and communications systems will keep a hotel/resort up and running. In a 24/7 environment like hospitality, IT keeps the hotel systems on line and communicating with each other. Troubleshooting, installations, and creating systems tailored to the business, location and services can make an IT position exciting and fun.

So, if you always wanted to work in hospitality but didn’t think you had the background, think again. There are many areas where you can put your training and experience to use.

Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, is a freelance writer, blogger, and workplace consultant. Based in Savannah, GA, her work has appeared in "Training" magazine, "Training & Development" magazine, "Supervision," "Pulse" and "The Savannah Morning News." You can read her blogs at, and on the web at

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