Brain Food: How To Get Ahead in Hospitality

1 Get hands-on experience. Take evening, weekend or holiday work in a hotel, restaurant or visitor attraction to see if the industry is for you.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

2 Strong interpersonal skills are a must. Most of your time will be spent dealing with customers and staff.

3 School leavers can join a firm offering on-the-job and NVQ training. For managerial aspirants, a hospitality management degree helps.

4 Graduates should apply to management training schemes at groups such as Compass, Whitbread, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels.

5 Graduate starting salaries are low (£15,000), but promotion comes early. It is not unusual for a high-flier to become hotel manager at 23 and make the board by 29.

6 Moving between companies will give you a variety of experience and additional value. But by 30, look to establish your career at one firm.

7 Develop a management specialism (eg, marketing, reservation systems). It will give you an edge when competing for senior positions.

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