5 Rules To Achieve Success In Your Hospitality Career


After a year of uncertainty, the hospitality and travel industry is taking strides to move forward. Hotels, brands, employees, and management are seeking ways to respond to evolving conditions, and succeed as the world gets back to a new normal.

As you’re working in the hospitality industry, these are important trends to understand. You can achieve your career goals and prepare for success—even while working in a competitive and shifting market.


The 5 Rules for success in hospitality spell an acronym: SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resourceful, and Timely.

You may have heard of SMART goals, and SMART Time Management – but let’s apply these key principles to achieving unparalleled success in your hospitality career.

Be Specific

Where are you working today? Are you in a front or back office position? Are you in hotel management? Are you an architect or designer of sustainable hotels? No doubt, you got here by planting specific intentions and having specific goals. These goals helped you get to where you are today.

Now, fast forward with what you envision yourself working in 5 years. Do you see yourself exploring an architecture career path? Do you imagine running a fully sustainable hotel or spa? What are your specific goals for your personal 5-year plan?

Be Measurable

In a lot of ways, in the hotel industry, we rely heavily on data and measurement. For instance, we use OTA Insight data for predictive market intelligence in the hospitality industry. For example, the data shows that leisure travel is rapidly recovering in Australia, as Australians look for a winter escape to the Gold Coast and Cairns.

While earlier measurements indicated that there would be a longer recovery time, fortunately, we’re seeing measurable evidence that consumers are traveling again. 

Think about your own career goals. What are your current goals, and what measurements do you rely on to know you’re heading in the right direction? What do you envision for your 5-year goals? Do you have specific markers in place? 

If you are exploring a career in architecture, when will you enroll in your first class? Who would you like to interview, and by when? What are the touch points that you can measure to demonstrate that you’re moving ahead to accomplish your goals?

Be Actionable 

There’s no question that every career goal needs to be actionable. In other words, you have to be able to break big ideas down into smaller bite-size steps. If you notice that your current career goals are just staying posted in your journal or on the wall, break down the goals into smaller actions. 

Focus on specific, measurable, and actionable goals. Now, ask yourself the important question. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you taking actions today to get you to that desired outcome?

If you’re dreaming of being an architect for sustainable hotels, what actions can you take today? You might immerse yourself in reading news, posts, and interviews with architects who are building sustainable hotels. You could attend talks, webinars, and classes on sustainability. You might join online forums to discuss possible ways to reduce greenhouse gases, and reduce carbon footprint.

Be Resourceful

To be successful in your hospitality career, you’ll need resources. Many people think of resources as only money. But, there are other resources to explore such as passion for expanding experience, desire to learn, and investing in communication skills. 

What are you doing today to be fully resourceful? Is there someone who is currently a sustainable architect who you could interview? Is there a person you could intern with to expand your horizons?

Do a similar search as you explore where you’d like to be in 5 years. Focus on how to apply your resources to achieve your dreams.

Be Timely

It’s often said that the single most important resource we all have is: time. 

You didn’t get to your current position overnight. You trained, practiced, and worked hard to get where you are. Think about how you can use your timely awareness to set specific goals – and achieve them within a specific timeframe.

Now, look at yourself in 5 years’ time. Imagine you’re having a heart-to-heart with your future self. Look back at the milestones that helped you get to your future.

Sum Up

Use the SMART method to achieve your goals—now and in the next five years. This is a hands-on system to get to the top of your career in hospitality.