Hands-on approach to management
Requirements: A job in a hotel is customer-oriented. It is important to have good communication skills. Fluency in spoken English and Putonghua is an advantage since most customers are from the mainland or foreign countries.
As a manager or assistant manager, you should know how each department operates and be willing to try new things.
A management trainee works in all departments of a hotel in order to gain an in-depth knowledge about the industry. They must be able to adapt to changes quickly. They also have to work night shifts and during festivals.
Qualifications: A bachelor's degree in hotel and tourism management is an advantage. So is a degree in a business-related discipline. Many hotels prefer to hire management trainees with some work experience; they seldom accept fresh graduates.
Average salary: The average salary of a trainee is around HK$10,000 to HK$15,000.
Work prospects: Trainees do not work in a specific department of a hotel. They are assigned to every department to help familiarise themselves with the overall operations of the hotel.
It is very challenging as they have to carry out all kinds of chores. For example, they may need to clean rooms or work as a waiter, depending on the department they are working for.
You may think future managers should not be performing such menial tasks, but this hands-on experience is very valuable and can help them move up the career ladder. You will never be a good manager unless you have practical skills to go along with your qualifications.
After a two-year training period, you can join a department and settle down in your job.
Long-term prospects: Those who complete their on-the-job training will be promoted to the post of assistant manager. Their duty is to help the manager in the daily operations of the department. An assistant manager is usually involved in budgeting, resource allocation, assigning duties and networking with other departments.
As a manager gains more experience, they may be transferred to other departments at the same level. Staff who have worked in various departments of a hotel have a good chance of promotion. Their ultimate career goal is to be the hotel's general manager.
Where to apply: The hotel industry could lead to a wide range of opportunities for job hunters. People who have worked in hotels can find jobs in other service-oriented industries like shopping malls and residential complexes. Then there's the tourism board and the tourism commission.