Insights + interviews

Tips on Surviving Your Job in Hospitality

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Singapore continues to gear up with Singapore Tourism Board to drive the hospitality sector in Singapore. However, the number of professionals in the industry, is not expanding.

When one thinks of the hospitality industry, negative connotations of an unhealthy lifestyle come to mind. Long hours, low pay, unbalanced diets, eating at different hours, not getting enough rest between shifts are just some of the symptoms of a perceived unhealthy industry.  Many find this industry notoriously difficult to survive in and professionals in the industry often become stagnant in their progress and end up leaving the industry.

We had a moment with Andrew Chan, a Hospitality Industry Expert, and Founder & CEO of ACI HR Solutions, to share some advice to fellow hospitality professionals on how they can survive and build their career in this industry. Andrew Chan has over 20 years of business experience in the hospitality industry and has worked with several prestigious brands such as Singapore Airlines and the Carlton Group.

Uncover the Behind-the-Scenes

Whilst not dispelling the myths as entirely untrue, there are many positive areas to look at and reasons why you should consider building a career in the hospitality industry. According to Andrew Chan, there are many parts to the hospitality industry one may find niche and this may not be commonly known to the general public.

The people you meet and interact with, be it guests, clients or colleagues, they can be some of the warmest and most passionate people you will ever meet. Secondly, it goes without saying, if you love travelling or working abroad, then the hospitality sector is one that is able to deliver those aspirations.

Work-life Balance, is it Possible?

Work-life balance is an important element to the workforce, and people are encouraged to adopt such a lifestyle. Certainly, one may assume that this is impossible in the hospitality industry. This is one industry that is tiring and keeps long, often odd working hours. That is unfortunately true. Additionally, if you are in a client-facing in roles such as sales or F&B, then you will likely develop unhealthy eating habits as well.

However, achieving work-life balance is definitely possible. Andrew Chan shared with us that the key is to be self-disciplined. Take ownership of your schedule – ensure that you are getting sufficient rest during off-days, maintain a good exercise routine and most importantly, set aside quality time with friends and family outside of work to balance out what you put in at work. Whilst drinking (alcohol) and eating can be a big part of the job in hospitality and often unavoidable, moderation and once again practising self-discipline will go a long way to a healthier lifestyle.

How does One Press Forward?

Every job has its bittersweet days, but despite the many seemingly negatives to a hospitality position, perhaps you are thinking how do I continue to grow in my career?

Andrew shares some insights into what has kept him motivated for 20 years.

“I’ve met some of the most wondering people working in this industry. Some of them are even my best friends now, and given that the sector is so transient, they can be found globally. As the nature of the sector is about being hospitable, you can imagine the wonderful sharing between friends when they visit. This hospitality does not only apply to friends. A few years ago, I was visiting Mauritius for the first time. As a member of a global tourism association called SKAL, members of the club knew I was visiting and made special efforts to meet and take me around for the entire day – on a weekend!”



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