Hospitality Career Progression

How will COVID affect my hospitality career progression

Hospitality Career Progression: How do I become a General Manager?

At some point, you will start thinking about your hospitality career progression. In fact, the most common question I get asked during my student seminars is:

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“How do I become a General Manager and how long will it take me?”

So, how do college graduates get going with their hospitality career progression?


How long will it take you to make it to General Manager status?


My answer is always the same:



There are 6 ways to achieve Hospitality Career Progression

  1. Daddy or Mummy owns a hotel, and they appoint you as the General Manager


  1. A rich aunt, uncle or godparent dies and bequeaths their hotel to you in their Will.


  1. You Win the Multi Million Pesos Jackpot in the National Lottery and you buy your own Hotel.


  1. You marry the Hotel owner’s son or daughter….even though they are ugly or have a terrible personality!!


  1. You work in Housekeeping and one day get tempted to try on a wealthy guests’ clothes. You accidentally get seen in these clothes by another wealthy guest who instantly falls in love with you.  The guest pursues you, eventually discovers you’re not a wealthy guest but they marry you anyway and buy you a hotel ….. oh, wait!

I think I may have stumbled in to the plot of Maid In Manhattan!


Okay, so if we are going to be a realist, it is the 6th route which is most likely.


  1. The 6th route is the longest route with many trials and tribulations. It is a journey packed with learning experiences, different job roles and a mass of staff handling problems…and oh yes lots of fun and memorable experiences too!

Naturally the 6th Route is the best one for you if you want a well-rounded hospitality career progression.  To be the best GM, the most experienced GM and gain the respect of your Management Team and Staff you need to know, and have direct experience of, each and every hotel department.


Simply put, there are no short cuts.  You need to take every opportunity that arises, work in as many different apartments as possible, and do jobs even if you did not have them on your agenda! Even if other people see them as a “step down” for you.

Working, and gaining experience, in all the hotel departments will add to your fund of knowledge, your skills and experience and your ability to lead teams.


For a great example of hospitality career progression just check out MY RANGGO’s article about Tiffany Marie Somes; Ferra Hotel Boracay.

Tiffany is the Hotels Operations and Resorts Manager at Ferra Hotel, Boracay.  And gaining a well-rounded, on-the-job experience is exactly what Tiffany has been doing. As a result, she is not only learning everything she needs to know, but she is also being groomed to be a future GM.


Hospitality career progression is not easy.

It is certainly not automatic.

You could be the most promising hospitality graduate in the world, but that isn’t going to get you plucked from your entry-level position into the role of GM.  You need to commit yourself to your own hospitality career progression.

There will be many challenges facing you along your journey.  Each challenge will enrich your experience, skills and knowledge.  Every challenge and each learning curve, will mold you into being a better Manager in future.


One final “take home” from this article:

Beware! Being a Senior or General Manager is not all sunshine, roses, big desks, or endless cocktail parties.  Trust me it can be lonely ‘at the top’ at times.

And that is why I say to everyone, starting off on their journey, foster your friendships; friendships need to be worked on and developed.  Friendships are what get you through the challenges you may face in your career, and your life!


Feel free to let me know what you think, experiences you’ve had trying to find work or ask any questions. Just click on Comments

What do you think?

Written by John Savage

John H V Savage, is the Executive Director of International Hospitality & Tourism Educational Programs (IHTEP Asia) has spent over 55 years in the International Hospitality Industry and worked in over 45 different countries for Multi-National, National & private owners.

John is a highly entertaining motivational lecturer, as well as a TV star in China for his 5Star Butler Course. John is also the author of the What They Can Never Teach You At Hotel School eBook series

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