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How To Get a Job in The Hospitality Sector

Dynamic, challenging, exciting – these are just a few words you could use to describe the hospitality industry. In Australia, it’s very common for people to first enter the workforce through this booming sector. It’s also very common for workers to achieve successful and lucrative careers in hospitality. 

Maybe you’re looking for a part-time or casual job in the industry. Maybe you’re considering turning your love of hospitality into a full-time career. No matter your ambition, we have some insight that will help. We spoke to FlexiStaff Business Advisor, Eric Bambaci, who shared everything you need to know about getting a job in the hospitality industry. 

What jobs are available in hospitality? 

According to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), the hospitality industry is made up of all businesses that provide food, beverage and accommodation services. This includes cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs, as well as hotels, motels and other accommodation providers.

Within these businesses, there is a diverse and extensive range of job roles on offer. In cafés and restaurants, you can work in the customer-facing area known as front-of-house as a waiter or barista. Alternatively, you can work in the back-of-house as a dishwasher, kitchen-hand or chef. You can also work in hotels and accommodation providers as a receptionist, guest services agent or housekeeper. 

If you decide to pursue hospitality further, these roles can also lead to a professional career with many management positions available in cafés, restaurants and hotels.

What if I don’t want to work in hospitality long-term?

For international and domestic students alike, working in hospitality while studying can be the perfect way to build your resume and gain work experience (and income!). With flexible working hours (for example, as a barista you may start early in the morning, whereas as a waiter or bartender, you can work late into the evening), it’s easy to fit shifts around your study schedule and classes.

Working in hospitality doesn’t have to lead to a full-time career if that’s not what you want. Instead, treat it as a means to develop your soft skills (which we discuss further below). These skills will be incredibly helpful in whichever career pathway you decide to pursue.

Can international students work in hospitality?

Yes! International students can definitely work in hospitality and many already do. Taking on a part-time or casual job is a great way to earn some money while you’re studying, and meet new people at the same time. 

Since hospitality jobs offer flexible hours, students often find that the work hours align quite well with their studies and other commitments. According to Eric, hospitality providers understand that international students may have limited availability. As a result, they often try to organise your work schedule around your study commitments. 

While international students are usually only allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight, the Australian Government has temporarily relaxed the number of hours for student visa holders working in the hospitality industry. This means that you have a great chance to make some extra money in your hospitality role. 

What skills can you learn in hospitality jobs? 

You may not see yourself using your expert coffee-making or champagne-pouring skills outside of the hospitality industry. But don’t forget that your hospitality job will also develop your soft skills! These skills – which include communication, teamwork and problem-solving – are incredibly important. The hospitality industry just so happens to be the perfect place to hone them. 

Along with organisation and time management skills, Eric says that it’s the social and communication skills that can set up hospitality workers for success in future careers. 

Even if you aren’t planning to further your career in hospitality after you finish studying, it’s a good idea to make the most of the soft skills you’ll gain through the experience.

How can international students get a job in the hospitality sector?

There are a number of ways that international students can find a job in hospitality. Eric recommends that students look into the different avenues available to them, including Facebook groups, advertising platforms such as SEEK and Indeed, LinkedIn and recruitment companies. 

“The old-school ways of taking a resume into venues is still highly valued as well,” says Eric. 

Worried about not having any experience in the industry? Don’t worry!

“When we are hiring, we aren’t necessarily looking for people with previous experience but with a good attitude and a willingness to have a go,” explains Eric. “We teach the basics here in our office, and have many different avenues to suit all candidates in hospitality.” 

As Eric points out, your hospitality training can begin before you even have a job in the industry. 

“Practising all the little things at home when having dinner parties or taking notes at restaurants or bars about the things they like about service is also super important,” he advises. “Culturally, as well, this can help with providing an understanding around how people interact in Australia.”