It can be daunting to try to pick a career path, but it’s not impossible. If you are still in education or have only just finished high school, you might not know what you want to do yet. This guide will help you figure out the right kind of career path for you, as well as the possibilities in hospitality and careers you can get with a business degree.
Read on for our top tips on how to select a career path you’ll enjoy, as well as our step-by-step plan on how to achieve your career plans.
How to choose a career: career path steps
Most people spend about a third of their life working, so you’ll want to make sure that you pick a great career path that suits you. Some people know their dream jobs right away, but for most career finders it can be hard to figure out what they want to do. Here are some steps to help:
1. Think about your interests
One of the best ways to look at careers is to think about what interests you. This might bring a simple solution. For example, if you like animals, you might want to look at a career such as veterinary medicine, animal care, or even something like dog grooming. If you enjoy being around people, you might want to aim for a hospitality career path.
Of course, even once you know what your interests are, there are many different career paths to think about that might suit you.
2. Analyze yourself
The next step is to think about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s no surprise that different skill sets and different personality types are better suited to different careers. Think specifically about what things you are good at and what things you need to improve on.
This will help you have a realistic view of what you might enjoy. For example, if you enjoy working with people and are good at mathematics and planning, you might find a job that overlaps the two.
It’s also just as important to look at your weaknesses. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid careers that need these skills. For example, if you struggle with your IT skills, you can always look at training courses or qualifications that will help you improve.
A good approach is to list the different subjects you have studied and rank yourself in them. You can also look at job applications and consider the skill requirements they list.
3. Take self-assessment tests
While it’s great to look at yourself and assess your strengths and weaknesses, it’s also a good idea to use self-assessment tests as these will often give you ideas you haven’t thought of before.
There are plenty of free tests online that can help you look at your skills as well as what types of jobs you might be suited for. You may well be surprised at the results that come up.
4. Learn about different sectors
There are three main sectors that people work in, so it’s worth looking at the different opportunities that each of them offers. These main sectors are:
- Private – most jobs will be in the private sector, where you are working for a privately owned company that aims to increase its profits. This generally leads to the best potential for growth and a higher salary. There are all kinds of career paths in the private sector.
- Public – the public sector means working for the government. This gives the highest chance of stability in your career, but the options are limited to things that the government needs. For example, there are plenty of jobs working in finance within the public sector, but fewer jobs working with animals.
- Non-profit – the non-profit sector is also called the charity sector. These roles usually have less potential for career growth but some people find that working for a charity is a meaningful career. There is a wide range of roles in the non-profit sector.
If you think about what each sector provides, you might be able to align this with your main career ambitions.
5. Research different industries
Even if you know what type of role you want to work in, there are plenty of different industries available for most roles. If you want to work in something niche, like the sciences, your options might be more limited.
For example, if you aim for a career in biology your options include working in education, research, or industry. On the other hand, if you want to work in finance, then there are opportunities in almost any field.
6. Speak to a professional
If you are struggling to find a career path that interests you, reach out and talk to professionals. Alongside school careers advisors, there are plenty of recruitment agencies who can help you narrow down the type of field that might suit you.
7. Plan your route
Once you have picked a career that you want to aim for, the next step is to plan your route to get there. This includes setting education goals and professional goals to aim for, but for now, start with:
- Find out the requirements – figure out what skills and qualifications you need to work in this field.
- Plan studies – look for places where you can learn the skills you need. Make sure that the qualifications you are studying for are properly accredited and will be recognized by companies when you start job hunting.
Look at entry-level jobs – most careers involve starting in entry-level roles and working your way up. Be sure to look at the different steps that you could take in your career path to see what options there are. You might find that some roles allow you to reach a certain level before you then get to decide from various paths.
Les Roches’ accredited business degree will give you all the skills and qualifications needed to start on your career path in hospitality management.
How do I choose a career as a student?
You might think it’s too early to start thinking about your career, but it’s never too soon. The sooner you work it out, the more time you can dedicate to achieving it.
How to decide on a career path during high school
For school students, think about what you enjoy in your classes. You might be able to identify specific things within subjects. For example, if you like teamwork and working with others, you might want to look at a hospitality degree, where you could have plenty of opportunities in your career to work with others.
A great way to decide on your career path is to talk to a career advisor who will be able to give advice and suggest careers you might not have even thought of.
How to decide on a career path after high school
If you have left school, maybe you can look at examples from your current job. Alternatively, you can look for volunteering opportunities in your local area. This can help you sample things before you commit to a career path.
There are plenty of charities that are always appreciative of any volunteer help. Volunteering at a theatre might find you a love of film production while volunteering at a summer camp might help spark an interest in hospitality management.
How to make a career choice when you are undecided
If you are undecided, the best way is to make sure that you try as many things as possible. This can include voluntary roles, part-time jobs, and studies with internships. For example, hospitality qualifications with proper hospitality internships will help give you a feel for the role, so you can feel sure that you are following the right career path.
It’s also a good idea to talk to people who work in the fields you are considering. This will help you get some opinions and first-hand accounts of what it’s really like to work in a certain career path. Just be aware that everyone’s views will be different.
Don’t let anyone put you off your dream career path just because they don’t like it. You can also ask people how their studies helped in their career, such as finding out why studying hospitality and tourism can help with a hospitality career.
List of career choices in hospitality
Even if you can’t decide on your career path right away, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are lots of careers where you can study, work, and progress while still keeping your options open. For example, all the soft skills you learn while working in hospitality are great for essential career development in other fields. A lot of these roles are also seen in other industries, meaning that you can side-step into a different industry easily if you ever decide to.
Some great roles in hospitality that can help you keep your options open are:
- Hotel general manager – This involves managing all other staff and ensuring that the hotel stays profitable while meeting all the expectations of guests.
- Food and Beverage manager – Also known as F&B, this is managing inventory, orders, budgets, and planning of special events for restaurants, bars, and catering.
- Revenue manager – This is all about optimizing pricing and supply lines, as well as analyzing the constantly-changing income of a hotel
- Communications – For bigger hospitality venues or places with multiple sites, communications is vital to make sure everyone at every level has the information needed to do their job properly.
- PR manager – Public Relations is everything about how your guests and others see the brand, increasing visibility, and brand recognition as well as dealing with negative press which could affect the business.
- Hospitality consultant – Consultants are hired by hospitality venues to help guide them to new directions, changing their image, or becoming more profitable.
- Director of operations – Operations includes optimizing the day-to-day runnings of a venue, coordinating other staff, deliveries, training, and more.
- Human resources manager – HR includes interviewing and hiring new staff, making training programs, payroll, dealing with employee grievances, and handling issues between employees.
What is an ideal career path?
The ideal career path is the one that suits you and helps you feel satisfied with the job that you do. Some people’s ideal career will be something with a lot of earning potential, while others will want a career that focuses on helping others. Only you can answer what the ideal career is for you.
Choosing your career path is very personal. You will need to think about what interests you, what you are good at, and what your aspirations are. Don’t be disheartened, as there are plenty of options and everyone can find a career that is meaningful and enjoyable.
Follow our step-by-step plan for a way to figure out a great career path and determine your route to achieving your goals. Considering a career in hospitality management? Try our Hospitality Management Bachelor’s degree.