5 mentors every hospitality professional needs
These days, most people believe having a mentor is key to success, especially in the hospitality industry. Much of the time, a person who is in a senior role in hospitality has worked many different positions throughout their career; therefore having extensive knowledge and perspective from every angle of a career in the industry. But you shouldn’t stop at one—in fact, there are actually five types of mentors that every professional needs in his or her professional life.
The mentor just above you
It can be really difficult to figure out what to do next in your career. Which connections should you form? Which skills should you learn? Which jobs should you apply to?
Rather than trying to answer those questions by yourself, find a mentor who’s one or two steps ahead of you professionally. He or she will be able to give you advice backed by an intimate knowledge and understanding of your position. After all, he or she was just there! Since you don’t want to compete with this person, I recommend looking to someone who works for a different company or office than you.
The mentor working below you
While it may sound bizarre to get guidance and support from someone with less experience or power, it’s actually a fantastic way to keep yourself up-to-date.
For example, a more junior employee will be able to tell you the new communication system isn’t working weeks before the official data will. Plus, newer hires also usually have more open minds—which means spending time with them will make you more creative and experimental.
The mentor who’s honest with you
If there’s a person in your life that always tells you the truth—especially when it’s hard to hear—that’s the person you want as your “tough love” mentor.
You may not like this person very much, if at all! But he or she is great to have in your roster. When everyone else is saying, “That’s a great idea,” he or she will say, “Are you crazy?” And if there’s something going on you should probably know about (like a bad rumor, a departmental restructuring, or an unfavorable new policy) you can bet this person will give you the heads-up.
The mentor who supports you
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the super supportive mentor. When you need reassurance that you’re smart, deserving, and capable, this person is there for you.
Oftentimes, it’s this dose of external confidence that inspires us to keep going or take a risk. (And if that risk has almost no chance of paying off? Well, that’s why you have a mentor who will be uncomfortably honest with you.)
The mentor who connects you
You also should look for a well-connected mentor. He or she will take your career goals and figure out who you can help you with those—and how you can get in touch with them.
Having a close professional relationship with someone who owns a vast network is the next best thing to owning that network yourself. Take full advantage of it (and try to return the favor by introducing your mentor to a couple contacts of your own.)