Evolving Career Landscape Of Hospitality

In many ways, the crisis has acted as a catalyst, fuelling innovation, and resulting in increased use of technology to improve customer experience.

Hospitality is one of the world’s largest sectors and one of the key contributors to employment generation and growth for many countries. While the recent pandemic affected how the sector operates, it also brought significant learnings and changes, which are now making way for a more agile future for hospitality. 

In many ways, the crisis has acted as a catalyst, fuelling innovation, and resulting in increased use of technology to improve customer experience. There is a greater opportunity for the sector to reinvent itself while unfolding new career requirements globally. 

This also translates into the reimagining of hospitality education, which will complement, rather lead - the future of the industry with a talent pool that is equipped with a diverse skill set. 

Hospitality is characterised by service-oriented businesses with human capital at their core. It’s a sector that used to be traditionally associated with hotels, but over time, this common misconception has been demystified. 

We see brands from all industries and sectors focusing heavily on service. Business today is as much about delivering a great experience as it is about a great product. Brands are spending millions on humanising their brand, and even more on hiring people who can translate this into the consumer experience. In fact, this makes for a differentiation factor – good brands sell a good product, but great brands build a relationship with their customers and make them feel good about buying their product.

That makes hospitality an appealing, widely applicable career choice. Hospitality graduates are valued in essentially all industries which keep service and user experience at the forefront. This includes entertainment, recreation, travel, event management, wellness, aviation, high-end real estate, automobiles, banking and finance, consulting, luxury retail, among others. 

A career in these industries offers task variety and personal interaction and demands an aptitude for innovation and independent thinking, which will lead to the creation of more personalised experiences for customers and users. 

As the hospitality sector recovers rapidly and realigns itself to changing norms, work, as well as growth possibilities for hospitality graduates, are likely to increase. With a focus on reinvention, hospitality is now pivoting towards providing more specialised and experiential services. 

The sector’s expansion and pandemic-induced business challenges have resulted in operations being leaner and more efficient, led by smart and skilled professionals. 

As the career landscape for professionals broadens to cover diverse areas, the demand for candidates who are equipped with the right set of skills will also increase. These include technical, management, and most importantly - ‘human’ skills: critical thinking, adaptability, communication, emotional intelligence, relationship management, and creative problem-solving. 

Now is the perfect time for young professionals to upskill themselves and adapt to the new normal. The post-pandemic world will create dynamic opportunities for industry aspirants and will demand a greater understanding of areas that are going to become increasingly important, such as technology solutions, low-touch service models, disaster management, active operational planning, contingency back-up, and others. 

With technology playing a significant role in the revival of the industry, new hiring parameters have also opened doors for media, marketing and operational experts who are proficient at deploying emerging digital technologies. With virtual platforms taking centre stage for communication strategies, brands are leveraging them to build their presence and constantly engage with customers. 

Hospitality is one of the most resilient sectors and has demonstrated its ability to recover time and again. 

COVID disruptions have only pushed the industry to reboot and relaunch itself with new opportunities, policies, and efficiency. 

I believe that we’re living in the age of choice, freedom and possibilities. The mindset of Gen Z has transformed the business landscape. And so, right now is the best time for aspiring students to explore exciting career opportunities in the hospitality and allied services sector. 

For hospitality professionals, the timing couldn’t be more right to upskill and reskill themselves and give a new direction to their career as they witness the evolution of the industry and enter a workspace that is more vibrant and resilient than before. 

Hospitality, which amounts to 10% of the global GDP and accounts for one out of nine jobs worldwide, will be one of the main contributors to the rebound of the global economy and to the recovery of the job market. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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