Transferable Skills of Hospitality Professionals
If you’re one of the Hospitality professionals who has lost your job, fear not. This might not be a bad time to look for a new role. In fact, your experience in the food and beverage industry has armed you with some highly transferable skills that can get you hired elsewhere. Your skills are highly sought after in other businesses.
Teamwork, Flexibility, Customer Service, Crisis Management, Multitasking, Attention to Detail, Time Management and Respect but to name a few of the transferrable skills you have learned and earned while working in Hospitality.
I respectfully would like to convey to all businesses out there who are currently hiring that professionals who work or have worked in the hospitality sector have so much to offer any business, please don’t pigeon hole them because their experience and expertise is of value to all other sectors.
But what exactly are transferable skills? Transferable skills refer to skills that are being gained thanks to a specific job or occupation, that can be taken from that particular job and transferred to another. Working in hospitality offers many skills that can be transferred to many other working environments. Let’s get into some of them now.
Team Work: You’re not the only waiter in a restaurant, or the only person at front of house, hence you need to learn to collaborate with your colleagues and help them do their job, or ask them for help when you need it, especially when the hotel is crowded and the business could suffer if some customers are kept waiting, or are unhappy with their service. The ability to work as part of a team, as well as working in your designated role is a necessary skill, and one that is valuable in all professional environments.
Flexibility: When a hotel, restaurant or kitchen gets busy, it’ll hands on deck. Sometimes you may be asked to cover roles you may not usually, or be required to manage when you have never before. The ability to be flexible, to do what’s needed when it’s needed, to know what is needed and how to delivery that in times of crisis, or in a rush, is an extremely valuable skill in any organisation.
Communication Skills: Regular contact with new people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse ways of expressing their needs, wants, instructions and opinions means constantly adapting your communication style – a skill that will come in handy in and out of the workforce. Whether communicating with peers, managers, or customers, sharp communication skills are vital.
Customer Service: Ensuring each customer leaves satisfied and happy is imperative for any business. Working with a customer to satisfy their needs and leave a good impression for the business is a must have. And this skill will transfer to any setting, whether you’re working with customers, suppliers, board members or even other colleagues.
Time Management & Multitasking: In hospitality you will always have to juggle multiple tasks. From working in the kitchen, where multiple items are cooking at once, and new orders coming in all the time. Or cleaning rooms on a tight schedule, or dealing with multiple guests attempting to check in or out at once. Managing your time with each task, ensuring they’re completed to the best of your ability and ensuring customer satisfaction can be a tough skill to master, but working in hospitality means you’ve got it covered.
Organisation & Attention to Detail: Following the previous point, to be able to manage your time you must be organised. When managing multiple tasks at once, knowing what items or information you need is imperative, and knowing where they are kept is vital. Working in an environment with so many moving parts, organisation can be your saving grace. And when you are organised and can manage your time well, you are able to ensure high quality results with attention to detail.
Crisis Management: Knowing what to do when there is a mistake in the kitchen, when the hotel is overbooked, or someone arrives a month early for their trip, when someone calls in sick. Being able to keep a level head in a time of crisis, working toward a solution, and actioning it are skills that transfer across many different areas.
Teaching Skills: when new colleagues are hired, you may be responsible of training and preparing them properly for doing their job, or managing them on a small scale to make sure the work is carried out to the degree your customers have come to expect.
Patience: Customer service, diplomacy, multitasking…it all has to be done with a smile on your face and the patience of an angel. Those who have worked in the service industry know this first hand, and chances are, they’ll be able to apply this virtue to the position they’re applying for.
One of the hardest parts of changing careers, from hospitality to something else, is not knowing how to sell your skills and experience. Now, you know just how many of the skills you’ve learned and how they transfer to many different work environments. Don’t be afraid to use these skills to sell yourself to future employers!