Do you know that networking as a hospitality professional can help unlock the next successful step in your own career? While this may seem obvious, it actually is incredibly valuable to know how to network effectively and strategically to get where you want in your professional path.
A study from Apollo Technical shows that 80 percent of professionals across multiple industries believe that networking is a significant instrument to career growth. With such immense opportunities for growth in an industry that’s constantly growing and evolving, it’s clear that all hospitality professionals should consider taking part in networking opportunities when they can.
What, then, are the specific advantages of networking in the hospitality industry? Let’s take a look at five essential benefits worth considering, plus where to go to effectively network in hospitality.
1. Sizable Boosts to Career Advancement
One key indicator of success in any career is job satisfaction. To maintain satisfaction in most careers, however, you need to consistently advance in your profession. Reaching this altitude is only possible if you’re at the top of your game as a hospitality professional, which is where good networking comes in by helping you push your career forward.
Proper training is one way you can attain job satisfaction in hospitality. How? Enough reputable training and experience marks you as unique among your peers in your profession, making you far more noticable both on a paper on your resume and in person at a networking event. As you increase your training or certifications and network with more people, you’ll get referred to more fulfilling job opportunities in the hospitality industry.
2. Increased Access to Lucrative Job Opportunities
The list of job opportunities is nearly limitless in the hospitality industry, given how many niches there are. Sometimes, however, you just don’t know where to go to find the right sort of role or whom to talk to build the right relationships that will lead you to your desired position.
Good networking allows you to tap into top job opportunities in hospitality directly from employers who make the hiring decisions. Proving yourself as a hardworking, capable employee opens up many opportunities to advance up the ladder or secure a referral. Moreover, actively belonging to a robust network of hospitality and tourism professionals well-positions you for new, exciting opportunities in the field.
3. Incredible Career Guidance and Support
To maintain any type of growth, you can’t rely on your own knowledge and wisdom alone. Instead, you should seek out guidance from a seasoned professional with many years of experience. Ask to hop on a video call or to grab coffee with someone whose career you admire and wish to emulate. Use their wealth of knowledge as an actionable resource – more often than not, experienced professionals love offering advice and earned wisdom to the younger generation.
Networking with professionals allows you to surround yourself with people who have greater, deeper insight into the hospitality industry. Striking up a mentor/mentee relationship with an industry veteran is a great tool to honing the knowledge and experience you need to advance your own career.
Listening to how a more experienced professional navigated their career and earned success can help you chart the right path to your own career development. Moreover, you can learn how to avoid mistakes or pitfalls that might deter your professional progress.
4. Additional Insight to Gaps in the Industry
Beyond hearing how other professionals got to where they are today, networking at hospitality events might even illuminate previously unknown gaps in the industry that you can work towards fulfilling. You might even uncover a new solution to bring to the table, or even pivot your career goals based on the new information you gather by participating in networking events.
The hospitality industry is constantly evolving; new technology leads to new experiences, and thus new jobs. Talking to top industry talent can alert you to where the industry is heading, and how you should best direct your skill-building in the future. If you specialize in emerging areas that top employers need, you’re all the more likely to get hired.
5. A Higher Chance of Getting Noticed
Quite rarely does anyone want to go into business with a person they don’t already know. Being trusted and recognized in an industry will open the door to dozens of new ventures. Make sure people know who you are by working hard and networking your way into exciting opportunities.
When you show up and contribute to networking events in the hospitality industry, people begin to recognize your face, name, and most importantly, your work ethic. With hardwork, time, and great effort, people will begin to know who you are and seek you out. Eventually, you might not even need to go looking for opportunities; people will simply know you’re the person for the job.
Where Should You Go to Network with Other Hospitality Professionals?
By now it’s very clear that networking is a surefire way to help advance your career in the hospitality industry – and beyond. To achieve real success, however, you need to go to the right places and meet the right people. Two of the best places to meet other hospitality professionals are at conferences and by belonging to professional associations.
Building your hospitality and tourism network can start with attending conferences for hospitality professionals, both locally and internationally. Several key hospitality networking events occur on an annual basis, with industry professionals looking forward to the event year after year. You might be able to attend these events through your current company, or through any professional organizations of which you are a member.
Different conferences in hospitality are created to explore particular themes. As such, each individual conference offers tons of new topics to learn about, develop skills for, and network in. Some of these conferences even offer virtual opportunities to attend, letting you grow your network from home. Take advantage of these conferences, and take note of the opportunities they offer to you – from informational seminars, to well-attended networking happy hours. You never know what you might learn, or who you might meet!
2. Professional Associations
A professional association is another prime networking option, awarding you access to exclusive events, groups, and more. Examples of these associations include the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the American Culinary Federation.
Aside from the cache you gain as a part of this group, you’ll always be informed about current trends in hospitality. Even if you haven’t attended any conferences in the past, professional associations will connect you to appropriate conferences, hospitality events, and mentor programs, among other significant networking career opportunities.
Explore More Professional Guidance
The role of networking in any industry cannot be ignored. Skillful networking can open countless opportunities, offering increased training, more job responsibility, and even flat-out industry knowledge.
As with any single facet of career growth, however, you can’t rely on networking alone to take your next step forward. Read our full catalog of blogs about professional growth to learn more.