Hospitality management is one of the most rewarding fields in the industry, with the potential for strong earning power, industry accolades and public recognition for a job well-done. With all of its benefits, however, the field is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. The challenges of a busy work environment, long (and odd) hours, and dealing with customers nonstop could easily lead to a career rut. But it doesn’t have to. Here’s the 411 on staying focused and engaged in your hospitality management position

Make learning a career-long endeavor

One of the best aspects of being in hospitality management is that there is always more to learn. Why’s this an advantage over other careers? Because, as a manager, it’s actually part of your job to learn as much as possible. Not only will it advance your career, it will also keep you stimulated at work. Plus, staff will appreciate you all the more!

There are a few ways to go about this. The first is with experience, so spend time alongside those working in areas beyond your own. Shadow them, ask questions and get to know their day-to-day responsibilities, the challenges they most often face and the roles they play in the business as a whole.

The second is with good old-fashioned studying. After all, there are some things that are best learned in a classroom setting. The most up-to-date standards and practices, trends in guest expectations, marketing innovations and business strategies are just a few of them. While you most likely don’t have the time to actually go to a traditional school, you can easily access areas of interest with online courses or free classes.

Pro-tip: It can be hard to get the ball rolling on continuing education, so choose an area that you’re actually interested in and think you’ll enjoying learning more about.

Enlist the help of a mentor

This tip is as relevant to the industry veteran as it is to the newbie because there is always someone who has more experience, more expertise or is just outright better (in a good way). So, take advantage of their know-how by developing a mentor-mentee relationship.

Whether it is official or casual, reach out to someone whom you respect and admire, and make checking in with them a regular habit.

This person can be a great source of knowledge and advice, especially when you hit a rough patch because they likely had a similar experience. Another benefit of cultivating this type of relationship is the possibility of a recommendation, formal or not, from a verified source that has industry clout.

Be the best you can be

Yes, it’s a slogan for the army, but it’s also a great piece of advice to keep in mind while on the job. Why? Because it means you’re working towards a goal. This equates to purpose, focus and motivation. Basically, it keeps work interesting.

This requires more action on your part than you think.

Yes, do the very best at every task and go above and beyond to take on new unassigned responsibilities. But also, engage with the industry at large outside of working hours as well as during them. Attend conferences and networking events, read trade publications and engage in industry-specific social media groups. Not only will you excel in your career, you’ll also meet great people along the way.

Keep lines of communication with other staff wide open

A surefire way to that career rut is by being in conflict with coworkers. The best way to keep this from happening is by communicating openly and honestly with both owners and more senior managers as well as colleagues and employees that are in more junior positions.

Keeping everyone on the same page by sharing as much work-related information as possible will go a long way toward preventing problems that miscommunication can cause. Give clear instructions and directions, ask for clarifications and explanations from other staff when necessary and address concerns and problems promptly.

Whatever you do, do not avoid the difficult conversations because this tactic will always make things worse in the end.

Make good hiring decisions

Taking the time to hire the right people for every position is especially important in the hospitality industry where the job performance of every person is evident not only to co-workers and management but also to guests and reviewers as well.

While taking shortcuts may seem to save time initially, the consequences of failing to hire competent, qualified, honest employees will be the time wasted cleaning up the metaphorical messes that they make.

Take the time to complete a thorough interview process, find the funds to pay the salaries that qualified candidates command and do not hesitate to fire employees who have proven themselves to be incapable, untrustworthy or unreliable. This will pay off in the end and save you plenty of those headaches that inevitably lead down the road that you’re trying to avoid.

The hospitality management field is ripe with long-term opportunity for those professional men and women who are not only willing to put in the effort to excel but also the effort to remain engaged. By following the tips above, any manager can get started down the path to continued job satisfaction and success.

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