It’s hard to deny that being a people person can prove beneficial if you like the idea of eventually moving into the hospitality field. It isn’t called the “hospitality” field because people like to ignore one another. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all is lost if you aren’t one of those people who is always happy and bubbly and constantly on the look out for someone with whom you can strike up a conversation.
It’s called hospitality for a reason
While a role in hospitality management will likely come with a certain level of guest interaction no matter what area of the field you choose, there are some roles that lend themselves to a higher degree of guest interaction. Moving into the guest relations field within hotels where you might be managing bell people, concierges, guest service agents, and handling all the responsibilities and issues that come with such a department can be draining for someone who does not like regular interaction with people.
The same goes for housekeeping. While you might think that housekeeping would be a more impersonal department where a mop and bucket are your best friends, it is actually a very personal area in which constant interpersonal skills are in use to help handle employee conflict, guest issues with things like lost and found, cleanliness issues, and similar problems, conduct training sessions, and deal with similar aspects of the job that can come into play. Even roles within the finance and accounting department can have you taking on a variety of guest issues when it comes to billing questions from guests and handling group billing where representatives of an arriving organization might want to meet with you to discuss how charges will be handled.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you don’t love dealing with people that you should just cast the whole idea of majoring in hospitality management aside. There are a number of valuable skills that can be honed and lessons that can be learned with an education in this area that can help make you more proficient in your handling of people. And it doesn’t mean that with such a degree that you have to chose to stay in the hospitality field once you graduate if you find you aren’t cut out for that exact work. You may instead find that such an education prepares you for making your own way in the world as an entrepreneur.
Options for other personality types
While the work entailed in the hospitality field might not fit your personality type, this doesn’t mean that you might not work well at the corporate or even ownership level. There are certainly positions within the field outside the property level that don’t entail the level of personal interaction and that you might find appealing. Working in corporate accounting, finance, revenue management, or information technology could work out if this is the case. Or maybe you have dreams of running your own operation one day and will use your education to build the foundation upon which you can create your own management team who will handle the interpersonal side of the work for you. With a good handle upon what it takes to be a successful manager in the hospitality field, you can be provided with the skills necessary to get others to handle the situations and aspects of the work in which you aren’t strongest.
The hospitality proving ground
Or maybe you’ll just use your education to enter the hospitality field to help you determine where you’d really like to be one day. The hospitality industry can kind of be like a proving ground where you may be offered a variety of roles and career-testing options all under one roof. Think of all the job options and fields that are found all within one large hotel. You could have finance, revenue management, sales, marketing, operations, guest-services, catering, restaurant management, and even casino management all open to you through a single employer, opening an array of possible career avenues to you. If nothing else, such options could help you get your feet wet before deciding which way you’d truly like to go with your career.
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The author is not a licensed educational or career professional or academic advisor. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.