This will be a short one, but worth posting in my opinion because it comes up so often with my students. I don’t believe in ‘regrets’ per se – I think all of our actions lead us exactly to where we need to be.
But if I could pick one do-over from my early career it would be to get a job in a hotel!
Accommodations and food and beverage (F&B) make up roughly 80% of the tourism sector in Canada (and arguably in most countries). While I have extensive front-line and management experience in F&B, I have never worked in a formal accommodations setting (outside of caring for paid guests to my home).
The first interview I did out of school was at a lovely boutique hotel with a serious arts pedigree. I interviewed for an entry-level marketing position. I spoke with the GM! I didn’t get it because I didn’t have any hotel experience. To sell a hotel, the GM explained, a person needs to understand how it works.
Kind man that he was, he encouraged me to apply as a bell person for the summer. Unfortunately my ego (and, let’s be real, the cost of living in Vancouver) got the best of me and I never pursued it.
As it turns out, I got an amazing first job in the industry and parlayed it into a pretty sweet career.
But at the end of the day, I wish I had lugged bags that first summer. It would have made my options that much broader.
Do you have a major career regret? Hit me up here or on twitter to share!