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They come in many forms, during novel situations and when you least expect them. What’s important is being able to recognize great opportunities and take advantage of them. This industry draws people from quite literally every background; it can be a lifelong career, a jumping off point or simply a reprieve from another world. What’s so amazing about hospitality is that regardless of where you came from or who you are, the sheer amount of social interactions you’ll have almost guarantees an environment full of opportunities.

open for opportunities

Opening Up

Before striking it big or simply making a new friend, you’ll need to learn to open up. This is easy for most front of the house folks, it’s their bread and butter, but for some it might not be your style. Even some of the best servers out there put up a facade in order to provide what they think is the best possible service. That facade may not be true to their personality, nor does it exemplify their strengths and full breadth of knowledge. It’s not as though you need to bare your innermost thoughts to strangers; letting a bit of your uniqueness show is what will attract positive attention. You may love to tell stories, dissect political strategies, educate others or have a myriad of other passions that could shine through a bit more if you just open up a little.

Owning It

People don’t take notice of the ordinary. Something unique, like a busser who speaks three languages or a line-cook who’s an amateur author - those people will be noticed. Why does that matter? Well, no one is going to offer you an opportunity if they think you’re ordinary, so own those unique strengths and let them show through. Obviously you can’t exclusively spend the day at work advertising your other skills, but make them more a part of who you are. Your life isn’t just to take orders, plate salads or bus tables, you are a collection of skills and knowledge that could be used in all sorts of roles.

opportunities seizing chances in hospitality

Seizing Chances

It’s not always easy to tell if you’ve got a great opportunity on your hands, or a dud, but you’ll never find out unless you try. Whether it be more responsibility in your roll, branching out to another department or making a contact outside of the place you work, it’s imperative that you don’t let any opportunities slip by untouched. It may not work out but just the act of testing the waters will give you the confidence to seize another opportunity when it arises. That opportunity might just be the one to send you down a new path to an even more exciting future.

The Other Side

There will always be an opportunity out there for you, it could be big or small, but you’ll never find it if you’re not looking. Broadcast your strengths, take stock of what it is that you love to do and take advantage of what avenues you have for expansion. A great place to start is where you already work, and if you’re persistent, it will be where you find your next opportunity. Everyone has a coworker that worked their way up from the bottom or made a connection that brought them to another field - it’s not impossible, it just takes persistence.

written by Alex Navarro