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4 career options for those with hospitality or retail experience

By Jana Angeles

It’s been a tough week for many people working in hospitality and retail as tens of thousands Australians were laid off from their positions due to the stricter social distancing measures implemented by the Australian government for the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve been a seasoned professional working in either of these industries, you’re most likely looking at other career options that can help you sustain a steady income during this economic crisis

Did you know that your skills and experience in hospitality or retail can help you transition into other career paths? By studying a qualification with Upskilled, you can broaden your skillset in either IT, marketing, HR or business administration, and are most likely able to apply any transferable skills you’ve gained from the hospitality or retail sector. Courses are also 100% online, meaning you can tend to your studies in the comfort of your own home when you’re in-between jobs.

SkillsTalk explore some of the career options you can pursue if you've worked in hospitality or retail, and are looking to change careers or simply work in an industry that allows you to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

1. Information technology.

male programmer working on computer with two screens

IT is a lucrative industry, offering plenty of job opportunities in programming, cyber security, networking, gaming and more. With technology constantly evolving, IT professionals have stability when it comes to their jobs, considering that their skills and knowledge are sought-after by companies around the world. In addition to this, there are opportunities for individuals to work more flexibly as their tasks can be done remotely. 

In general, having a well-rounded knowledge in a range of technical skills can help you stand out when looking for jobs, so a background in IT can work to your advantage from other candidates. 

If you have no experience working in the field but would like to kickstart your career in IT, consider studying the ICT30118 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology with Upskilled. You’ll have the opportunity to undergo training in network administration, technical support, web technologies, and more. The course can be completed within 12 months and is a great course pathway in helping you secure positions like systems administrator or data entry operator

What transferable skills in retail or hospitality can I apply in an IT career?
  • High attention-to-detail
  • Ability to work in a team and autonomously
  • Flexibility in changing priorities
  • Ability to solve complex problems
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Undertake repetitive tasks with accuracy
  • Ability to work to deadlines

2. Marketing.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in the hospitality or retail industry is connecting with customers online through social media platforms - with Instagram being the most influential social media channel for hospitality and retail companies. 

You may be an experienced barista who has been tasked in managing the cafe’s social media branding via Instagram, sharing beautiful shots of food and beverages taken by customers. Did you know that managing an Instagram page and knowing what type of posts engage customers is already having basic social media marketing skills?

Upskilled offers a Social Media Short course that is run intensively for 8 weeks. This course can help you quickly gain some basic knowledge and understanding of the world of social media marketing by being able to successfully plan and execute a strategy and improve online branding. This short course can be a stepping stone to securing entry-level positions as a social media coordinator in either a full-time or freelance capacity.

If you have a genuine interest in all facets of marketing, Upskilled also offers the BSB42415 - Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication, which covers topics like analysing consumer behaviour, promoting products and services, and developing product knowledge. This 12-month online course can help you find entry-level marketing roles, either as a coordinator or assistant.

What transferable skills in retail or hospitality can I apply in a marketing career?
  • Ability to work in a team or autonomously
  • Knowledge in a wide range of tools and applications
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Organisation and time management skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Creativity and an eye for design
  • Understanding consumer trends and behaviour
  • Analytical and numeracy skills
  • Approaching customer complaints and enquiries with empathy and tact

3. Human resources.

HR concept

The field of HR has had to make a total shift when it comes to the recruiting needs of job seekers by finding ways to connect with potential candidates online during the COVID-19 pandemic. More HR professionals are working remotely and have the ability to screen applications online, getting in touch with candidates over email and phone, and being able to conduct interviews using applications like Skype or Zoom.

The HR industry is evolving and the needs of clients are changing, with more demand for headhunting candidates using social media channels like LinkedIn, so HR professionals need to be savvy when it comes to technology, especially with millennials taking over the workforce.

Giuliano Maritan, an Upskilled alumni student, wanted to make a career change after working many years as a chef in the hospitality industry and he knew that the only way to be able to do this was to work towards a qualification in the HR industry. He wanted something flexible and choosing Upskilled meant that he was able to tend to his studies online, giving him the ability to upskill around his work schedule.

He says, “Changing careers is a hard task, so there has to be a starting point. For me, that was realising I was unqualified for anything else besides being a chef. I also realised that I was the person responsible for turning my dreams into reality.”

If you want to get qualified in HR like Giuliano, you can kickstart your career in the field by studying the BSB41015 - Certificate IV in Human Resources, which is a great course for those looking to develop knowledge in the industry. 

You will undertake subjects like supporting performance-management processes, supporting recruitment and induction, leading effective work relationships, and more. This qualification can help you develop relevant knowledge and skills that can provide opportunities to work in entry-level human resources positions.

What transferable skills in retail or hospitality can I apply in an HR career?
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Highly organised
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Being flexible in managing priorities
  • Proficient in technology and software
  • Excellent decision-making skills

4. Business administration.

Business administration is a great field to explore if you’re looking to secure your first office job, and in most cases, is well-suited for an individual that enjoys a variety of tasks. It’s also a field that can give you a greater understanding on how a business operates. 

Business administration is also a field with plenty of entry-level roles, with the majority needing a certificate or diploma-level qualification and some basic administration skills and experience. There is a lot of crossover when it comes to business administration if you’ve worked in retail or hospitality, as there is a huge focus on having customer service skills as well.

If you’re looking to do a qualification that can help you work towards securing positions as either an administrative assistant or office administrator, consider studying BSB30415 - Certificate III in Business Administration with Upskilled. This 12-month online course can equip you with the skills and knowledge to be able to design and produce spreadsheets, create electronic presentations, process customer complaints and more. 

What transferable skills in retail or hospitality can I apply in a business administration career?
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Time management and organisation skills
  • Attention-to-detail 
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Handling customer enquiries and complaints with efficiency
  • Accuracy in performing repetitive tasks

Build your expertise in another industry

If you’ve been a seasoned professional in hospitality or retail, you may be wondering what career pathways to explore during this economic crisis. Now is the time to take the opportunity to put yourself out there and study a course that can help you broaden your career options. By studying with Upskilled, you can tend to your studies online and work towards a qualification in IT, marketing, HR or business administration. 

You’ll receive the support of a trainer and have access to student support services, helping you stay on track with your online studies. Majority of Upskilled courses can be completed within 12 months, so you can fast-track your career and use your qualification as a tool to have in your resume, highlighting your industry skills and knowledge to potential employers. Contact one of Upskilled’s education consultants and enquire about a course today. 
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