The world has changed.
The hospitality industry has been irreversibly affected. Thousands of people have lost their jobs. The future is uncertain and impossible to plan for.
This uncertainly is an opportunity for you to pause and think about your hospitality career and come up with a flexible career plan.
But first, let’s look at some facts on how the hospitality industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Where we are in the world today
The hospitality industry has been widely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, people have lost their jobs and are going to keep losing their jobs as things escalate further. Even though governments have some financial relief funds, it is not nearly enough.
Hotel owners and restaurants owners cannot pay their employees because no one is coming to stay and eat with them. They are small businesses and with government instructions across the world to close the business, such as the UK and Spain for example, it is almost impossible to pay wages.
Everyone that is not part of the essential workforce is told to stay home, many people have no income and must claim unemployment. As an example, unemployment claims have hit the highest level ever in the US, with 9,95 million people claiming unemployment in the last two weeks of March alone.
What’s next? When will we “go back to normal”?
Truth is, once we are able to travel again, go out to eat and enjoy social gatherings, everyone is not going to get their job back, a lot of people will lose their jobs permanently.
The demand will not instantly get back to what it was just a month ago, the economy will not magically spring back.
After the last recession began in early 2008, it took until 2010 for the economy to start picking up again. The coronavirus impact on the hospitality industry has already been estimated to be greater than any other crisis in recent history, as commented by Christopher Nassetta, the CEO of Hilton.
Living in uncertainly in the new norm following the pandemic
Uncertainty is something we need to get used to living with. More so now, and in the future following the coronavirus pandemic, than ever before.
You cannot prepare for everything that might happen someday, we never expected this to happen, did we?
Truth is, unexpected things change our lives and our careers all the time. Some bigger than others, but things like that will still keep happening once the world will be open to travel again.
You will always need to be prepared for things to take a turn and for your plans not working out the way you anticipated them to, especially career plans.
This is why you need to have a flexible plan for your hospitality career now.
Making a flexible career plan
If you are overwhelmed with everything that is going on right now: it’s ok. You do not have to figure everything out now and be productive. Do what you need to do now.
But if you feel like you can sit down and think about your career in the hospitality industry, please do take the opportunity to really dive deep.
I think that a flexible career plan is the best way to pursue any career goal, especially in the hospitality industry.
A flexible career plan does not mean you are lost and just bounce around without any direction. A flexible career plan is one that allows for change and side steps without damaging the greater vision and goal.
10 or 20 years ago, hospitality careers were linear and expected, and dare I say, boring.
Hospitality careers today and in the future, require new skills, adaptability and a greater understanding of the bigger picture of the hospitality industry than ever before.
So you need to be able to flex your muscles and adapt to the ongoing changes the hospitality industry is faced with every day. And that means being flexible with how you pursue your career.
Think about the bigger picture
To start thinking about your career in the hospitality industry ask yourself these questions:
What is the favourite part of my job right now?
What skills do I have?
Categorise your skills into two buckets: hospitality-specific & transferable
Review the industry: what hospitality sector would you like to work in?
What skills do you already have to work in that sector?
What skills do you need to get to work in that sector?
I've got a template for you to answer the above questions if you like that, find it in my resources.
Once you answer those questions, you will have a foundation to start building your future hospitality career on.
A career in hospitality does not mean you need to pick between hotels, restaurants, travel, or cruise lines and stick to them forever.
A career in the hospitality industry has endless opportunities and possibilities!
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