A Custom Paper on Reflective Practitioner Assignment
As rightly observed by Dag Hammarskjord (1905-1961), "Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how it was." This is a conjecture that everybody who have or yet to complete a degree program will attest. Degree program completion is definitely like climbing a mountain and at the top awaits a profession. Along the way, there are many challenges, but finishing to the top is indescribable. At the beginning of the program, I was overwhelmed with the idea of getting through school leading to a career. As classes got underway, it became apparent that the degree program design was the best selling points. However, the assignments involved excessive reading and research and many a times I wondered if I could really manage to chase a career in the hospitality industry. My greatest desire was to be in the blend of aspiring individuals, hanging on to their every word, which has been a craving that I had ever since I joined college.
My interest in hospitality industry drove me to my current profession identity: Customer service/call centre assistant. While in this position, I keenly observe how to answer to customer queries and complaints whilst addressing them accordingly. Moreover, I witness firsthand the correct ways to handle rude and arrogant customers as well as innovativeness derivation procedures of the customer satisfaction. The degree program has equipped me well as my supervisors at the call center are particularly impressed by my detailed approach to the customer queries and complaints. My ability to communicate, reassure customers, and dexterity when handling rude customers and complex issues; attributes that I emulated from my lectures. Customer service management is an area that I wish to explore further in both my academic and practice. Conservatively, the need for the professional elite in the hospitality industry remains biddable.Personal Vision and Mission Statement
In the definition of goals and actions, personal vision statement makes it easy to stay focused. This normally acts as yard stick when measuring the progress and the reality thus helping to evaluate values. In this regard, as I reflect on my practice my vision statement stands to be "The realization of my purpose in life by orienting my efforts with clearly defined goals". On the other hand, the mission statement will guide me through my daily routine on the journey of life. Therefore, my mission statement will be "My professional achievement will take a step at a time to keep me in harmony with the realistic purpose of life and profession." The two statements can be used interchangeably.
Principles and values provide practical guidelines in the process of decision making and work behavior. Professional values are an extension of personal values such as honesty and generosity. The core beliefs remain the same while values may change. Landing on the professional values, need answers for many questions such as what matters in the work environment? What motivates you? What to expect from peers? What is the way forward to define professional success? After answering these questions, one can build on the values and figure out how to mesh these values with professional goals. Some of my professional values are, (1) In the course of professional learning mistakes comes in handy. Without these mistakes, learning may be very narrow as adventure may not be encouraged constraining learning. (2) Team work and group participation is another professional value. Working and learning with and from others will allow my views to be challenged as well as learning from others. (3) Continuous improvement is another value worth trying. In the field of hospitality, the principle is likely to settle because as a dynamic industry is somewhat dedicated to the professionals. These improvements are not simple and confrontation of failure is huge part of this.Developing Ethical Framework
No profession can continue to exist without ethical framework. Ethics as a branch of philosophy is more concerned with what is fair, right, and moral. In general, many professions have an ethical framework that governs the behavior in the profession. Hospitality management is not different as the ethical codes are said to overlap the profession. Not only can code of ethics be used as a guideline for expected behavior, but also as a handbook when taking action against those accused of malpractices. Nevertheless, many ethical challenges in the business world are poised by dynamic technology and innovations. Therefore, to remain competitive many businesses are forced to come up with sound business strategies in the determination of what is best for the business at short-sight. However, I learnt from the lecturers that one of the core factor that can be lost in rush of profit making is ethics. In this regard, hospitality industry and in particular the hotel business, ethics bring the balance between the hotel and any other stakeholders involved directly or indirectly. In the hospitality industry, ethics are often competing as well as contrary needs. The degree program has prepared me to understand that, for any business success, acceptable rules and norms biding the society, as well as the legal framework must be followed. From this, the primary purpose of any business is to make profit but societal, legal and moral responsibility are crucial factors to consider in the decision making process. Therefore, it is logical for a business to come up with strong and socially responsible model. OM or Operations Management of a hotel main responsibility is the day-to-day running of the hotel. This may sound simple but in real sense, it entails operational strategizing, suppliers’ coordination, budget management, support services management, and third party management. Every aspect of the hotel is touched by the Operations Management propelling a modestly performance. I know as an operations manager I have to walk on a thin tight rope to guarantee success. My academic and professional knowledge has prepared me face these challenges.
For an operations manager in a modern five star hotel, ethical framework is essential. Negative consequences can be incurred if the hotelier fails to act ethically. The business can loose loyal customers and employees to the competitors. In some instance, the hotel maybe forced to defend its actions in court. Any operation process comprises of input, processing, and output management and the operations in the hotel embeds the same feature. As an operations manager I will be required to source raw materials for preparing foods, décor, and entertainment for the production process. In this stage, my experiences come in handy as I make certain choices inconsideration to taste, size, color, and class. There maybe a possibility that this may lead to ethical problems especially with the suppliers. In this case, I must ensure that the hotel buy from the suppliers known to act and operate in an ethical way even if the prices are slightly higher. The environment is one area that can be critically affected. A good example is that some businesses/suppliers may choose to dispose waste product in unethical way and as operation manager, I have to advice the hotel management not to source from the suppliers who damages the environment. Guests and clients who discover that the hotel is sourcing from such suppliers may boycott the services offered by the hotel. For instance, a few years ago, some customers boycotted buying Apple products because Apple was sourcing parts from a Chinese company that was treating its employees badly: an issue also considered an ethical.
In the processing stage, say in the kitchen, restaurant, and the guest rooms, ethical competence and literacy is an emphasis and as an operations manager I am obligated to work closely with the staff. For this reason, the staff must be treated in an ethical way and if this is not adhered to, the employees may loose a sense of connection with the operations and thus the hotel in general. As a trained and competent manager it is will be my responsibility to ensure that the hotel remain competitive at all levels. Despite the complexities of work, employees may perceive that they are treated in an ethical manner if a strong sense of being valued is created. I emulate this attribute from degree program and my call centre supervisors.
The output or rather the presentation is another core building block of the hotel business. One crucial aspect in the hotel is the customer service, if a service is delivered in manner that is not ethical the hotel may lose customers to the awaiting competitors. Assorted dishes for example, are the way forward. These dishes are hits today, and thus the output derived from both input and the effort of the processing. I may be wrong to prepare the dish using a different recipe and then lying to the customers, a violation of the code of ethics in this industry. Additionally, as a manager, I must work closely with the staff interacting with the esteemed customers and guest to ensure that ethical considerations are adhered to during these interactions. Hotel business is very competitive and if customers fill that they are being treated in an unethical way they may go to the competitors.
Nurturing the Future with Professional Strengths
Initial professional development patterns have evolved in many reflecting ways in the conceptions of profession and professional knowledge. Over the last few years of my degree and supervised practice, I have taken a typical technocratic development route to my career. Over this time, I have experienced a growing trend from the beginning to the final sign-off formal process of my supervised practice. Encrypted on me are professional strengths that guide me through the dynamics of work as an hotelier. The virtue of fortitude is one of these strengths. With this regards, emotional health follows emotional stability within which reason and will is controlled and governed via intellectual virtues such as prudence and wisdom. Emotions that includes fear, hope, and despair brings difficulties in what life brings in career and professionalism. With this virtue, I can make decisions with strength in mind thus endurance adversity with courage. This virtue can and will help me through my professional career in making decisions, interacting with guests and overall management.
Dependability is another professional strength that I must have to make a successful operations manager. If there is, one thing that I have always wanted and always been is dependable, an important attribute for success in any field. Dependability goes hand in hand with accountability. In my area of interest, dependability is crucial. As an operations manager meeting deadlines is of extreme importance. From my degree program, I learnt to complete my assignments in a timely manner and my supervisors have always counted on me to handle the customers. I am accountable for taking the responsibility of the dream of becoming an operations manager in hospitality industry. When accountable to your own life people can always trust and believe in you. On my personal front am responsible for my own life and I believe I will succeed in my career. As a practitioner, I will remain to be accountable to my actions and decisions ethically, legally, and morally ideal traits for success. I must also be accountable to my seniors and subordinates and thus the trust. Running a venture such as a hotel is not easy and therefore calls for both dependability and accountability.
In Operations Management, excellent organizational skills are essential when bringing balance to the host of different duties. As one of my professional strength, good organizational skills encompass time management, physical and mental organization abilities. I am a leader to be and this strength can help me through projects, processes, and duties. Naturally, it may seem that we are all organized, but the truth is that most people work actively on it. Often in an office scenario, a person with good organizational and time management skills has clutter free desk at all times. As a norm after speaking with my seniors and lecturers, I take notes to help set the next plan of action based on the conversion. I have a good memory as I can recall quickly on the information needed at a given time. I always employ this virtue to locate anything of importance. Using my time management skills, I can break down large goals into smaller achievable tasks to help me complete the task on schedule. This keeps me to progress in a linear fashion when meeting goals. In response to these essential skills, I spend less time correcting mistakes, fixing clutter and searching for information. When I save time, it means I can do other productive work. With these alternate skills, I can track progress of any project while devoting sufficient time on the master list that show all the current activities tracking profits and at the sometime eliminating unnecessary expenditures. In addition, I can instill trust. We all know that at the workplace, good organizational and management skills establish a sense of trust and professionalism. As a manager, I will project an image of control and reliability that can help me easily win the trust of my associates and that of the clientele. Finally, if I manage these skills I can reduce stress at workplace. At an organized environment, I feel more relaxed as opposed to a cluttered one. Therefore, organizational and time management skills are definitely strong professional strength in the field I dream to pursue.
The value of honesty and integrity are two other important values that add up to the mixture to my professional strength. To guarantee success in today’s corporate world, the two virtues are very important and you have to make them your allies. You might amass wealth or material benefits through dishonesty or unscrupulous means but in the end, you might loose it and in the process peace of mind and self-esteem may be lost. This may manifest itself in many forms. Honesty and integrity are great qualities of an operation manager, with these comes great responsibility. As a manager in the hospitality industry, many will watch and honesty is one value that may find its expressions in smallest appearance even though many people may trust naturally, as they do management.
The value of self discipline gives people the capability of taking actions regardless of the emotions. Best intentions cannot get things accomplished. Say you want to shake some weight, take some actions, wake up for a morning jog everyday. Now someday outside is cold and you do not go, then you jog for a day because that the free day of the week. Again, you decide to jog tomorrow, a day that may never come. Self discipline comes in handy in this illustration. Everyday in life and through degree program, I have always been driven by self discipline. Through this value, I can easily overcome procrastination while at the same time achieving my goals. I perceive self discipline as muscle training. The more you keep practicing the more energetic you become. It is normal that management of stress and anger may prove difficult. For most people in the hospitality industry, the greatest challenge is dealing with angry and abusive customers. Most of us were never built to handle such pressure, and at times, we may shout or insult the angry customer. This is where self discipline comes as a virtue to help persevere with the actions of the unsatisfied customers. This indeed generates inner power and strength to overcome emotions to follow through the process of hospitality. In the end, this virtue of self discipline boosts self esteem, satisfaction, and consequently happiness.Refuting Professional Limitations
"Academic qualifications are not everything but they do mean something". I concur with this statement as today’s corporate world is putting more emphasis on examination results. We can discard this and believe that academic qualifications do not mean anything when pursing careers. However, there are dangers recognized when we go to this extreme. Definitely, obtaining degree is very important and this is one motivating factor for pursue a degree program. Nevertheless, obtaining only a degree may render you qualifications poor and chances of promotion and remunerations may dwindle. This is one of my future professional limitations as I pursue a career in the hospitality industry. For the post of a manager, the five star hotels will look at academic qualifications despite the vast experience of working in the sector. To land the desired job, a Bachelors degree is not enough as today’s college system is failing to provide the intended benefit of the degree.
I have come to understanding that a B.A degree is only step of the two-step process to master’s degree in the field necessary to compete in the hospitality professional labor market. I would say that with a B.A degree I have poor qualifications which are one greatest limitation. The punch line out there in the classified is "Bachelors’ required, master’s preferred." This is a greatest hindrance for my career success. A master’s or PhD may guarantee more years and the experience. In this, harsh economic times no one wants to hire a novice when there are holders of master’s or PhD in the field. In the hospitality industry a master’s degree, appear to produce much more opportunities and compensation. As an added step, I have to acquire more qualification to secure a job that I have always waited for. I know the road to receiving a master’s degree or PhD maybe long, expensive, and time consuming but I have to take this path to become an asset in the labor market.
Lack of ambition is another limitation to my professional career. This universal weakness lacks appropriate remedy. People who are on payroll remain seldom. Many a times I have found myself on the trap of the inability to create new goals and take actions. Several reactors have led to this weakness. To begin with, I find myself loosing focus on my goals and priorities as I am too busy helping others to achieve their life expectations. Often I am too good to people as unconsciously feel that I might disappoint them. Second, I see myself stack in the same job as the labor market proves to be tough to crack. My critic voice in my head keeps telling that I should be grateful of what I have even if it not what I intended to do. Times are hard and chances of a dream job can sometimes reach a dead end. As a professional, change is often uncomfortable and change is not welcomed because at times may lead to fear. Layoff and cutbacks brings fear and the side of this is withdrawal. Such constant changes lead to an emotional impact. As I pursue my career in hospitality this greatest fear can make me keep of the radar screen to avoid being on the on the list during the next cuts. This fear steals all my morale.Professional Diversity
As one of the oldest business in history, hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing industries of the economy. This is a diverse industry and people can work in many areas of interest. There are numerous opportunities for advancements, from the restaurants, lodging, hotels, travel, and tourism. These are separate yet related segments, interrelated in the delivery of generous and kind service to guests. People are travelling looking for leisure and work and this has led to drastic change of the face of this industry. Not only has the industry expanded to include areas of tourism and convention planning but also integrate diverse cultures. The demand for qualified people to fill rapidly the opening positions is on the rise but competition on the other hand in the labor market is still hoisting.
Even though the industry is highly competitive, students who have acquired necessary skills and knowledge can expect steady opportunities. As a prospect who awaits upwards advancement in the management, I require practical experience and positive attitude. The industry is very rewarding for those who have paid their dues. Good organizational skills, time management, self discipline, dependability, good communication skills, and confidence are some of the traits required by professional in this industry. Management in the hotel industry is the most beneficial opportunity that hospitality industry can provide. This is not an easy feat as the industry is competitive and impression at every turn is a necessity. A degree in hotel management or other related majors are the entry requirement for pursuing a career in this industry. However, a master’s degree holder has a better chance of landing the job. With the degree behind you and of course, other necessary skills and you can enter and climb on the competitive career ladder on the pack within this challenging commerce. There are other careers that I can also chase which formulate the basic entry point such as concierge, reservation ticket agent, meeting and convention planner or hotel clerk.
In the hospitality industry, there are two main ways of getting new customers. Taking good care of the present customers to keep them not to be someone else’s new customer and solicit new customers in any way possible through discounted packages and advertising. The focus on the existing customers is vital especially when the demand has gone low. There is a big difference between a loyal customer and satisfied customer in the hospitality business and every customer have their own definitions of values and preferences. For this reason, the interacting staff must pass the message if the hotel will or will not meet the said needs and preferences. To keep on new clients coming, operational practices must be built around the customer’s real needs and desires as customers needs are ever changing. From this, loyalty will improve and not forgetting the satisfaction. As an add on, interaction with the customers should be real and on the personal level- after all in business people conduct business with other people and customers are people. As an operational manager, I have to look trough the eyes of the customers. The simplest illustration is evident in the front desk such as "welcome we have been waiting for your arrival" This approach is more personal and inviting and does not require much creativity. This makes the customers feel appreciated and valued.Professional Potential Renewal
To fulfill my professional potential I have to go for further studies so that I can increase my job prospect in the saturated market. Undertaking a postgraduate course or master’s degree can increase employability. Further studies will provide extra confidence when seeking employment in the competitive world of hospitality industry. I can also go for further studies to facilitate my career goal through further qualifications. This strategy will mitigate my poor qualifications problem as I can take the road to achieve adequate qualifications. I love the field of hospitality and I wish to re-invest both my time and money again with the goal of fitting long-term plans for my career.
Certain things in life remain uncertain and the economic outlook is changing minute by minute. What contributes to my lack of ambition is the fact that I never know what the future holds, as I have to hope for the best while I prepare for the worst. I have to keep positive of what the future has to offer. To overcome the fear of change I may consider rewarding for above and beyond through career development opportunities to develop significant motivators through company-sponsored training coupled with continuous learning to spruce my resume. Stress management is mitigation for the lack ambition. I will have to take breaks, participate on weekly lunch outings and afternoon walks with colleague to lighten the mood. This is a proactive approach towards work place stress. Becoming a source of positive inspiration will remain but in controlled state. Layoffs often trigger the survival instinct. Stressful? Yes but I have to be creative while reevaluating my skills and values and perhaps my career goals. This will keep me going no matter how dark my professional limitations will feel like.
In retrospect, my academic, personal and profession experiences have shaped my path towards my career profession in the hospitality industry. More than ever, with the newly acquired knowledge, experiences, and insight to pursue my profession I can partake the imminent future. Looking back now, I can profess that the degree program and my current profession have given me a strong foundation to grow professionally in the area of my interest: hospitality industry. I wish to emulate the attributes of my supervisors at the call center and my lecturers in my future career practice. Interestingly, with the top of the mountain in site I could not be more pleased with path I have taken towards the success in my profession of choice.
Elizabeth King Freelance writer at Assignment Writing Service. Music fanatic. Evil thinker. Twitter fanatic. Bacon lover. Avid internet nerd. Hipster-friendly travel geek.