How to successfully transition from a non-management to a management position at your hotel job
What’s the best thing about working in the hotel industry? While there are no wrong answers, the right one for many professionals may be the incredible advancement potential inherent in hospitality. After all, where else can you find general managers who started as front desk agents, maintenance directors who were once room attendants, or industry leaders whose first jobs were as dishwashers? In hospitality, beginning at the bottom is actually a good thing, as it helps you build the resilience necessary to handle the demands of a hotel career, as well as learn how the business works from the ground up.
Of course, if you’re working in a non-management position but have loftier aspirations, you’ll need a plan to help you advance. Consider these tips for making the successful leap into a management role.
First, put in your time. If you’ve been working on the line for less than two or three years, you’re probably not truly prepared for a leap to a sous chef position in the hotel’s restaurant. The same can be said for a jump from front desk agent to front desk manager, or room attendant to housekeeping manager. Even if you’re acing your current role, your employer will want to see that you’re committed to hospitality – and his or her hotel – before considering you for a promotion. The best way to prove that is by putting in your time.
Note: Faster advancement may be possible. How quickly you move up may be influenced by the size and type of property you work for, turnover at the hotel, and your employer’s hiring and promotion policies. When interviewing for your first hospitality job or considering a move, be sure to ask about opportunities and timelines for advancement so you know what you’ll be working with.
Pursue opportunities for learning and development. You don’t need to sit around biding your time while you wait for a management position. Seek out every opportunity to learn and develop instead. Ask your supervisor to delegate a special project or allow you to take on additional duties. Enquire about cross-training and continuing education options. Read everything you can about the industry and attend networking events.
Ask for feedback. If you have your sights set on a future management position, you’re going to need more frequent feedback than just an annual performance review to make sure you’re on the right track. Periodically – perhaps once a quarter – ask your manager for a one-on-one meeting to talk about your performance and areas in which you can improve. Then, create a plan and track your progress.
Work on your leadership skills. The best managers recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments of others, empathize with the professionals on their team, are humble and human, actively listen, and communicate effectively. You can practice all of this while in your current position. You may also want to explore taking online business leadership courses, joining a volunteer organization, taking improv classes, or participating in other activities that will help you learn to be a strong, adaptable leader and team player.
Find a mentor. Whether you choose your supervisor, an executive at the hotel, or another successful professional in the industry, a mentor can offer encouragement and support as well as help you plan and prepare for an eventual leap into a management position.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Search our comprehensive database of both non-management and management jobs here!