You have an entry-level job in hotel management. So what’s next for your career? If you stay in the hospitality field, you’ll have opportunities to be promoted to higher positions with challenging work and excellent pay. However, you’ll face plenty of competition for coveted senior management jobs, so moving up requires hard work and dedication. Here are some things to focus on so you’ll stand out.

Develop new skills

People who have specialized skills are good candidates for promotion. A few possible subjects to study for a management career are business planning, accounting and finance, employment law, and advertising. You can take classes, complete online certificates, or read books to familiarize yourself with these subjects. A good way to get some hands-on experience with a new skill is to volunteer outside of work. For example, if you are trying to learn more about marketing, you could offer to help out with a campaign for a charity.

Help your coworkers

You may not have a chance to show off your new skills as you complete your day-to-day tasks at work, but you’ll find opportunities to put them to use if you help out your coworkers. When there’s a special event like a convention that requires a lot of extra work from your team, you can take on some new responsibilities that aren’t ordinarily part of your job. Another good time to use new skills is when someone is out on leave or when your employer hasn’t yet filled an open position. Helping out like this demonstrates that you are capable of working on projects that are more advanced than your current duties, and it also establishes you as a team player who pitches in where your employer most needs help.

Set realistic goals

You’ll be more successful at earning promotions if you set realistic goals for your career path. Of course, you won’t go from an entry-level position to CEO of your hotel in one jump. You have to take many small steps to advance your career, and that principle applies at every stage. Before you aim for a promotion, ask yourself if the new position would be a natural sequel to your current job or if there’s some intermediate position you should pursue first. And make sure that you have truly mastered the skills the new position would require. For example, you’re unlikely to be selected as a community relations manager if most of your work has been in budgeting.

Be appreciative

The fastest way to kill a potential opportunity is to act entitled to it, so don’t make this mistake! Instead, be appreciative of everyone on your team. Express your thanks to colleagues who mentor you, even if they don’t have the authority to give you a raise. Don’t view co-workers as competition to defeat; instead, treat everyone with respect.

Finally, don’t be disappointed if it takes some time to move up. Keep applying yourself at work with energy and enthusiasm, and you will find opportunities to advance. With perseverance, your entry-level hotel management job can lead to a rewarding lifelong career.

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