To mark National Spa Week, Victoria Rosamond, Lecturer in Applied Management at the University of Derby, shares her top tips for those who want to get ahead in the spa industry.
Top tips to get ahead in the spa industry
In a fast paced industry with so many routes in and qualifications to be had, how can we really stand out? Be proactive and take control of your career with some tips I have learned along my journey.
Attitude is everything
This is something we are being told more and more by our industry employers and although it seems obvious and makes complete sense, it is not always easy to find candidates with the right attitude. So, what is the right attitude to have and how can you ensure it comes across correctly? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer here, but it is important to recognise that attitude is not always interpreted through what is said but often what is not said. Think about how you approach a person or a situation appropriately. Know your audience, specifically within interview and networking situations, then think about how you choose to represent yourself in that context.
Skills can be taught but passion comes from within
The spa industry is undoubtedly one full of passionate people and it is easy to see how these people have used their passion to take them to the top of their game. The service sector can be full of long hours, weekends spent working and people who are not always easy to manage (staff and guests) but without passion for the industry you work in, it is easy for people to fall out of love with what they do. Passion is about belief – belief that your drive to make a difference will go towards creating an even better industry for us to work in. Passion comes from people. Spa sits within the contemporary hospitality industry, which is ultimately about making people happy, with a desire to please and create positive outcomes. Associate yourself with other ambitious people to allow your passion to flourish and stay strong.
Failing is the first attempt in learning
You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it – a phrase that comes up in education time and time again and it is so true. We all make mistakes from time to time, but how we learn from them is what makes it count. Aside from all of these anecdotes, the spa industry is the perfect example as we perform everything in the moment. The industry is diverse in nature, we learn from doing, and only have one chance to get it right. In some situations, service recovery is key. The best recovery comes from owning your mistakes, being transparent in how you will correct them and using these experiences to grow.
With good basics, your options are endless
I am a great believer that experience does not always equal expertise. Although experience is often the way we learn in the spa industry, the quality of the experience we gain can have either a positive or a negative impact on the way we work and the future steps we take. Always give your best to the guest and your team, see things through to the end, do not cut corners and keep your standards high, regardless of what others do. Although this can sometimes feel like a thankless task, as your career progresses, your efforts will be recognised and open endless opportunities.
Know your industry
The spa industry is growing by the second and we are not short of free resources to keep ourselves up to date – use them! Our guests are savvy, they read and have access to a whole host of information so it is your job to keep a step ahead. Knowing your industry allows you to be well informed in professional scenarios, allowing you to benchmark yourself and know your competition. It opens up doors and avenues of information to build your network, build your career and keep that passion alive.
For further information about the Devonshire Dome, the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus, click here.
To find out more about spa courses the University of Derby has to offer, click here.