Careers in Hospitality and Tourism – Part 2

by Egi Gaisie
What are your thoughts on hospitality and tourism careers?

Occasionally, I relocate some plants from my garden into my living room, creating a unique environment in an indoor space. I developed this habit only a few years ago.

My mother had turned 95 years. This landmark age was going to be celebrated, however, virtually, because of the covid19 pandemic in 2020. I wondered how to create a unique environment in the living room set up; “Use what you have”, the thought kept ringing in my mind.

I didn’t have to think far to identify what I had…plants! Plus creative ideas! I turned the living room into a vibrant indoor garden!

Finding a career you love is priceless! The most important factor in choosing a career has to do with who you are as an individual. So, when thinking about careers, consider what you have/who you are!

Carefully consider the following four factors (which determines what you have/who you are) when deciding on a career path:

Interests-what you enjoy doing: I remember ‘cooking’ in my childhood days; using sand as my imaginary food, I would form a mold shape of the ‘food’ and plate it on a saucer, adding it to the tray of real food my father was going to be served. When I got older and allowed to use the oven, I would create various recipes without reference to recipe books. My baked products usually didn’t turn out right ….I can vividly see my pawpaw cake…it looked more like a baked pancake! However, my father seemed to enjoy it and that made me happy.

A mother narrates her observations of one of her children’s interest:

Kojo likes cooking, even the way he decorates the food when he serves it, even the way he brings the served food to you when we are celebrating birthdays! He has it planned ahead, even if we won’t have a party, when the day comes the way he will decorate the place just to show that it’s a special day for a celebration…!

 Kojo says he wants to be a chef. He is 11 years old now. I will keep my eye on him.

The activities you enjoy doing in your free time can give you insights into careers that would be satisfying and fulfilling for you.

Talents-natural gifts; they come to you easily with little practice:

Another narration from a mother:

From the time my daughter could hold a pencil in her hand, she drew pictures. She drew everything. If there was nothing particularly compelling nearby she’d lay her left hand to one side and draw a picture of her hand.

It created a little bit of concern in high school. She’d take notes in class but always saved a third of the right margin of the page for sketching. Naturally when you’re sketching, you’re not looking at your teacher.

The teachers discussed it among themselves one day. Thankfully, my daughter’s art teacher was present. She assured them that was typical of artists. They could draw and listen at the same time.

Of course, she applied to, attended and graduated from art school. Now, people commission her to do what she loves to do . . . draw.

While I was enhancing my cooking skills through home economics classes in secondary school, I also became interested in sewing. I can still picture the assignment (homework) on basic hand stitches!

Sometimes patching pieces of cut materials, I would cut and sew dresses for myself! And they were no ordinary styles!

So how would you differentiate having an interest and exhibiting a talent?

If some activity fascinates you, draws your attention to something which you have either done before or not done yet, then it is your interest. People would normally develop an interest over a period of time. E.g. Floral arrangements etc., (Anything).

If you are good at something from birth, something you acquired on your own or a natural ability/skill, that’s your talent. E.g. singing, painting, drawing, athletic abilities etc., it can be anything.

Many people also exhibit natural gifts (talents) in the form of what we now label as soft skills/people skills or interpersonal skills. They may easily pick up languages, are assertive, affable, etc.

Knowing your interests and passions and aligning them to a career, will enable you find fulfillment and visualize yourself investing significant time and effort into your work.

Consider your Values: Everyone has values or things that are important to them. We take our values with us wherever we go. Some people crave prestige, while others look out for opportunities to express their creativity or are passionate about helping others. Some want flexible hours, independence, earning a high income or meeting and interacting with people. Still, other people want careers where they can make an impact or contribute to a social cause. If you value family and personal time, for example, you may aim for a career path that allows you to have a strong work life balance.

Choosing a career that aligns with your values and beliefs is critical. If it doesn’t, you’re likely going to be unhappy in the jobs you take along your career path.

Consider your Personality: This is about the way you think, feel and behave. You are an extrovert if you are naturally an outgoing person or a ‘social butterfly’. However, if you are shy, quiet and prefer to spend time alone or occasionally with small groups, rather than often being with large groups, you are an introvert.

Have you observed that marketing and sales personnel are usually more noisy/lively and entertaining than accounting personnel (usually quiet and reserved)? An individual’s personality sometimes makes them more adaptable to certain jobs. People whose personalities match their jobs are more likely to be happy and happy people are more productive, and more productive people earn more money.

When you choose a career that matches your personality, you are more likely to be happy and earn more money. What more could you want?

Assess your skills and strengths: Identify the areas where you excel and the skills you’ve developed through education, work, or personal experiences.

Joining school clubs, trade/professional associations and engaging in varied voluntary activities does not only make it easier to carry out this self-assessment, you will know yourself better and you will be truthful to yourself!   Refer Careers in Hospitality and Tourism – Part 1 cont. the narrations of Sophia and Doris in the post prior to this.

Choose a career that allows you to leverage and enhance these skills. Determine what tasks and activities come easily and what you excel at. To help you understand your strong suits, consider the following questions:

  • What tasks or activities do you find easy and enjoyable?
  • What are you particularly knowledgeable about?  
  • What past accomplishments are you most proud?
  •  In what situations have you received positive feedback from others?

Find below a visual summary of useful factors in identifying your ideal career path.

Learn as much as you can about the career options you identify.
 “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius.

Underlining all of the above, don’t forget the God-factor!

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