Home for the long summer break, thousands of students are looking for work to supplement their often-crippling student debt.  Unable to find and in most cases inexperienced for a traditional office job, they are more likely to find work in the hospitality sector: hotels, pubs, restaurants.  This sector is popular amongst the transitioning student demographic who need quick access to cash and don’t want to commit to more than a couple of weeks at a time so they can juggle a bit of travelling, do the obligatory music festival, perhaps the luxury of a family holiday, or generally just ‘hang’ with their mates.

A few years ago, I was signposted by a friend to a number of hospitality agencies and passed these on to my son and stepsons, all of whom would need to earn some money during their Uni summer break.

One of them (most unusually) took the hint and duly signed up and is just home after a super experience working for the 2nd year running at Royal Ascot.

He literally worked his socks off, often doing a 12 hour day from setting up to tidying up, and providing an excellent level of service in a corporate box.

We know it was rated excellent because at the end of his final shift, he was handsomely rewarded with a very generous tip, the type of which should see him right for beer for the entire Autumn Term and beyond, possibly.

Why? Because apart from being a committed and hardworking individual, he understood the importance of engagement in any service-based role. Whilst it may seem obvious in the hospitality industry to keep a smile on your face and engage with your customers, the principle applies throughout the entire service industry. A stint in a hospitality role is fabulous experience for anyone considering a customer facing role.

Here are my 7 top tips for success in the service sector:

  1. Be courteous, polite, confident and SMILE
  2. Always arrive on time, or even better, early
  3. Establish eye contact with everyone you meet and ensure you have a firm handshake
  4. Be prepared to go the extra mile
  5. Show willing, even if the task may seem menial or pointless to you
  6. Remember that anyone in authority was also the ‘newbie’ once
  7. Don’t leave the minute your day or shift is over, instead ask if anything else needs doing