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5 Transferable Hospitality Skills That Will Help You in Any Career

As one of the country’s leading event staffing agencies, providing temporary hospitality, retail and chef jobs to some of the UK’s most exclusive venues, we know the power that listing a hospitality role can have on your CV. You may be a student looking for flexible work that fits in between your studies and wondering how temp work in hospitality will help you when you’re looking for a career in law, finance or even media.

It’s a good question, after all, what does an electrical engineer or teacher have in common with a hospitality worker? Well, it’s an industry bursting with opportunities to build upon skills that will serve you throughout your career, no matter what that may be.

This year, join the thousands of Arc Team Members and get ready to supercharge your CV with five sure-fire transferable hospitality skills to impress future employers.

1. Problem-Solving

The hospitality industry is by nature, highly unpredictable with challenges arising at any given moment; from dreaded double-bookings to mixing up orders and of course, dealing with complaints of bad food when they’ve managed to finish the whole plate. Apart from being able to trump your office-based friends with some incredible often unbelievable stories, you will also be able to rack up some serious problem-solving skills.

From a late-night run to the local supermarket because the kitchen has run out of ingredients to putting your housekeeping hat on when a room supposedly accessible at 3pm is still not ready when your guest arrives at 10pm. You have to think on your feet and act quickly to resolve any issues all whilst maintaining a high level of professionalism and a cool head. The difference with hospitality is that your office is open to the general public and offers plenty of wine, beer and spirits, you’ll be developing your problem-solving skills in front of a “live audience” of “well-oiled” guests. This added pressure may be uncomfortable but it is the situations that put us far out of our comfort zone that develop our best skills.

These skills are extremely valuable in the hospitality world but can be applied in any job role, after all, despite all your best efforts to avoid problems, they will inevitably happen at some point during your career. Problem-solving skills empower you to tackle challenges head-on and allow you to become adept at addressing obstacles rather than being hindered by them. Prove this to a future employer and they’ll want you on their team!

2. Flexibility

In hospitality, being flexible comes with the territory and we’re not just talking about flexing your feet for ten hours a day! Switching hats, taking on extra responsibilities and navigating unknown territories are the catalysts for resilience and success. Many hospitality professionals, whether Chefs or Housekeeping, Waitresses or Hosts will have found themselves doing another job that they’re not totally qualified for at one point in their career. While not always the ideal scenario, navigating challenges as part of a team is intrinsic to ensuring seamless service.

In many businesses today, flexibility from employees is expected as much as turning up on time, hitting targets and pulling your weight in the tea round. For employers, those who possess the ability to pivot seamlessly to support the ever-changing demands of a business are a prized asset. In the dynamic world of business where stagnancy leads to failure, flexibility is an essential ingredient to success.

3. Communication

Effective communication is a skill that transcends time, industry, job role and geography. It enables us to connect, collaborate and contribute, needs which we as humans have an inherent need to meet. In the world of work, strong communication skills are often cited as one of the most sought-after attributes for future employees.

Why? We spoke about the power of communication in our blog on why hospitality rocks. Communication is a powerful tool and even more powerful when you do it well. It helps to build relationships, decrease conflict and inspire others, increasing productivity at work and forming the basis for great teamwork. In hospitality, it’s at the heart of your day-to-day work, whether you’re based front-of-house or back-of-house, communication is the anchor to a successful shift.

Communication skills take on an even more profound significance when catering to guests from diverse cultural backgrounds. The ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally helps hospitality professionals navigate through the various language barriers, customs and traditions, ensuring that guests feel not just welcomed but understood.

4. Cultural Understanding

Hospitality is a career path that can take you around the world, it’s at the forefront of the tourism industry and a huge contributor to the economy in many countries across the globe.

Understanding and appreciating different cultures is a key skill to have under your belt, especially if you are looking for a leadership role. In our multicultural society, it’s likely that you’ll be working in a diverse team with people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions. Respect for diversity is essential but to truly understand and bond with a person of a culture different from your own is a special gift.

In hospitality, if you’re not working with a diverse group of people, you’ll certainly be serving them as guests. This experience will give you the opportunity to learn and understand foreign customs, give a glimpse into their world and learn what aspects of service different cultures value. You never know, you may learn the lingo and widen your horizons, allowing you to work in all four corners of the globe!

5. Time Management

When hungry, thirsty and tired customers turn up at your restaurant, bar or hotel, there is nothing they want more than an efficient service: a meal served promptly, quick service at the bar and a swift check-in. Time management is a critical component in an industry where customer satisfaction is paramount; it takes just one kink in the chain to cause a disastrous domino effect.

Take for example a professional kitchen with a team of chefs or brigade de cuisine (check out our blog on the chef career path here) each Chef has to ensure their section is keeping up with the others so the food can be served on time. However, it’s not just the hospitality industry where time management is important, it is crucial in every industry and job role.