Posted on Jun 22, 2021 8:45:00 AM by Aaron
Can you remember going out to lunch and having an extremely likable server? They seemed to predict your wants and needs without constantly topping off your glass of water, and they were so charismatic and friendly that you wanted them to sit down and join you?
There’s a possibility that server was just born that way (some people are), but there’s also a good chance they’re only able to serve you so well because of what they’ve learned from that job.
Many servers, baggage porters, housekeepers, sous-chefs, and hotel concierges all gain skills that help them for the rest of their lives. These skills can transfer to any career, but if you’re considering a job in hospitality, check out this list of the seven most significant things that job will teach you.
7. People Skills
We’re living in a digital age where people use computers and cell phones not just to communicate, but also to order food and clothes, request a car ride, and even watch the ballgame. But that doesn’t mean that we’re stuck on autopilot just staring at screens like the humans in the Pixar film Wall-E yet. Human interaction is still inevitable.
Being able to communicate clearly and personably is probably the most recognizable skill you’ll acquire from a hospitality job. You’re often required to talk to people, over and over again—sometimes more often than you’re currently comfortable with.
The saying goes “practice makes perfect”, and you’ll get plenty of practice building your people skills. Hospitality jobs teach customer interaction and guest service, and how to interact with just about anyone, whether they’re overly excited, confused, unsatisfied, or even intoxicated.
Often when dealing with a guest, you’ll have to answer questions and solve problems right on the spot, without guidance or additional help. Showing initiative to personally grab a guest a bottle of water, or calling about ticket availability to a show they want to see, can be a great precursor to leadership.
Your manager is sure to notice that you’re coming to them with fewer and fewer questions, and instead, handling issues on your own.
This leadership can help you move up the ranks if that interests you, but it’s also a life skill that lends itself to any career and will benefit you in all your future endeavors.
A hospitality job takes commitment; you’re on your feet for many hours at a time, performing thankless tasks, and constantly doing your best to please the customer—all while praying to take a bathroom break. And yet somehow, at the end of your shift you realize you survived—and still have gas left in the tank.
The job is satisfying an innate human urge to help others, and the faster you can recover from arduous work, the faster you can fulfill that urge.
This is because you’re building up your resilience! Just like in a video game, you’re leveling up the toughness that helps you through even more difficult situations down the line.
These are bound to happen outside of work, too, and the resilience you’ve built translates magnificently to any situation large or small.
In addition to resilience, a hospitality job also teaches you to handle difficult situations with adaptability.
Being able to adjust whenever something new comes your way is key to being successful in hospitality. If a client suddenly asks for vegan options instead of vegetarian, you have to adapt. If a guest requests to change rooms because they need a south-facing window, you have to adjust to make it happen. Even if the time clock suddenly has moved to a new location on the wall, you have to adapt.
You’ll soon learn that every time you’re thrown a curveball or change-up, you’ll still be capable of hitting it out of the park.
Not everything can be solved or fixed right away, and sometimes you have to practice patience.
You’re going to have to accept it when you just want to go home, but your last table orders another round of drinks and is not willing to move to the bar.
Patience is usually the best way to deal with a difficult customer, frustrating task, or even an annoying vacuum cleaner. A hospitality job will teach you how to calmly handle delays and problems without becoming annoyed or anxious.
This is possibly one of the most important things you can learn from a hospitality job. You never know what someone is going through, and therefore you need to honor their feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions.
You will deal with people from all kinds of ethnicities, age groups, classes, cultures, and personalities, but you should treat them all the same. Respecting your coworkers and customers is a surefire way to stand out as a kind and likable person.
The quote, “treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO”, applies one hundred percent in this industry. Empathy, equality, and equity go hand in hand with respect, and since there’s no way you can experience exactly what someone else is going through, you’ll quickly learn how important it is to treat them with good old-fashioned R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
In hospitality, it’s impossible to run solo. It takes a village for any hotel, restaurant, cruise ship, theme park, or catering company to operate successfully.
You’ll quickly appreciate being able to turn to your coworkers to help meet demands, and they’ll appreciate turning to you. You’ll be a part of a team, all working together towards the same goal—satisfying the needs of your guests and visitors.
Teamwork can translate to all parts of your life; it helps you complete a group project, win a soccer game, or even raise children.
Think of the Three Musketeers: what happens to one, happens to all. The camaraderie you’ll feel with your coworkers will resemble that of a family.
And hey, if you’re interested in being a part of our family, don’t hesitate! We’ve always got room for one more in our ranks.
At KAJ, we’re focused on helping the people of hospitality, so please contact us if you’re interested in learning more. Our team is always ready and willing to help you, so you can soon learn (or improve) all of these skills while helping others.