Tempted to leave the 80-hour-a-week grind to run a multiroom slice of paradise? Good news: According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the hospitality industry may generate 300,000 new jobs by 2014. Not all will be in paradise, of course, but here are some tips on pursuing this dream career, courtesy of Hix Island House manager Bob Gevinski and the AHLA.
Take a class.
The association's American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (
) offers distance learning courses and certification programs covering all facets of hospitality management. For aspiring managers, the institute's new Professional Development Program includes an online workbook that delves into such topics as quality service, food and beverage systems, and conflict management.
Learn to multitask.
"Between guest requests, vendor issues, deliveries, and other urgent demands," Gevinski says, "I'm constantly prioritizing and rescheduling my day."
Accept the 24-7-365 work schedule.
Managers are always on call, for a clogged toilet at midnight or a muffin request at dawn. In addition, at small properties, the manager must be experienced in (or at least familiar with) multiple disciplines, such as marketing, accounting, landscaping, coffee-making, and human resources.
Adapt and adjust.
For hotels in foreign destinations, learn the language and traditions by frequenting local establishments, befriending residents, and becoming a familiar face around town. In other words, make nice with the fruit vendor, the ferry captain, the bartenders: These are your new best pals.
Surf the Web for jobs.
, or the AHLA Career Center's listings at
. If you have some cash, there are inns for sale around the world. Stoke your fantasies at