How to Transition Out of Hospitality Into a New Industry

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July 29, 2022
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min read

If you don’t want to work in hospitality anymore, you’re not alone. It’s completely understandable to want to leave your role to find one that makes you feel happier, healthier and aligns better with your goals. We’re here to help you make it happen.

We’ve outlined how to leave your job in hospitality and which industries you can break into with your hospitality experience. 

Signs it’s time to leave your job in hospitality

You may have a gut feeling that it’s time to leave your job in hospitality, but it’s never a bad idea to validate this with an exact reason — or two, or three. Since March 2020, over 1.2 million people in the U.S. have left their hospitality jobs in search of other opportunities. 

You could consider other opportunities because:   

You’re not being paid enough 

The average annual salary for hospitality workers in the U.S. is $33,150, which translates to $17 per hour. With rising living costs and inflation, your wages may no longer be enough to cover expenses or live comfortably. You may be looking for a job that will give you some financial breathing room and pay you appropriately in terms of market rate. 

You want a more consistent or regular schedule

Hospitality schedules can be notoriously inconsistent or inflexible. Many employers in this industry require you to work major holidays. If the schedule is becoming more trouble than it’s worth, it makes sense to consider opportunities that will offer you the schedule you want. 

There are no opportunities for growth 

You may have hit a ceiling at work where there are no other positions you can be promoted into. Switching jobs and careers will help you feel less stuck and get you to your desired level of seniority.

You want to work remotely 

Hospitality jobs typically require you to work on the premises for every shift. This could make you more vulnerable to catching illnesses and getting injured. Working remotely can be a more suitable option if you’re concerned about your physical health. Working remotely also eliminates daily commuting time. 

You’re burnt out

Hospitality jobs require a high amount of emotional labor, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this. If you feel exhausted by the idea of dealing with your day-to-day duties, that’s a strong sign that you might want to consider other opportunities that take less of a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. 

You’re not interested in hospitality anymore

What was once shiny and new may not be as exciting anymore. You might not be interested in hospitality anymore, or maybe something else excites you more. Whatever the case, it’s normal to want to explore new interests. 

Jobs that can use your hospitality experience

You can break into many industries with your hospitality experience. The main skills you used in your hospitality job are highly transferable to industries like tech, finance and retail. Here are some strong options for new jobs: 

Sales or account representative

Many hospitality jobs involve sales, by nature of the role. Whether you worked at a restaurant, bar or lodging, your role most likely involved pitching upgrades or more expensive add-ons to customers.

Sales and account reps do this as well. If you enjoyed the sales aspect of your hospitality job, you may want to explore a sales representative position. You can get a sales jobs in tech, for example, to transition into a new industry.

Customer service manager

In hospitality, you likely made it a priority to keep keep guests happy with a positive experience. Similarly, customer service managers strive to provide excellent service, which is often the focal point their resume. This similarity makes it a natural fit for someone with hospitality experience.  

Administrative or executive assistant

You’re likely a quick thinker and flexible when it comes to shifting priorities. These qualities would make you well-suited to an administrative or executive assistant role. These types of roles call for someone organized who can roll with the punches. If this sounds like it could be a good match for you, take a look at these administrative assistant resumes to learn more about the skills and experiences of admin professionals.


Hotels aren’t the only places that need someone to keep watch at the front desk. Plenty of offices across all industries need someone to greet and check in guests. Other responsibilities of a receptionist include: coordinating deliveries, answering phones, and responding to emails. Your background in hospitality would translate well to a receptionist job in a high-paying industry, like tech or finance. 


Recruiting has a sales-y element to it because it requires you to sell a job seeker on a particular opportunity. If you’re interested in a career in human resources, recruiting would be an excellent way to get your foot in the door. 

How to prepare to change industries

When you change industries, your job search may take longer than if you were searching for another role in hospitality. We encourage you to continue your search until you accept an offer that meets what you’re looking for. 

1. Consider your skills and passions

Since you won’t necessarily have direct experience for the new roles you’ll be applying for, you’ll need to emphasize your hard and soft skills more heavily on your resume, cover letter and in interviews. Getting a sense of your skills before you start your search will not only help you figure out what kinds of jobs you’d be suited for, but will better prepare you to convey what you bring to the table. 

Ask yourself some self-reflecting questions to discover your passions and dislikes:

  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What could you talk about for hours on end?
  • What are you definitely NOT interested in doing?

The answers to these questions will help you be more intentional and discerning in your search. 

2. Find jobs that fit those skills and passions

Now that you’ve pinpointed your skills and passions, you can narrow down the careers that would best suit you. For example, if you enjoyed working the front desk at a hotel, a career as an office receptionist may be a good fit.  

3. Start your job search

We recommend using popular sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Monster if you want to cast a wide net. You can also niche down by looking on sites like SalesJobs or FlexJobs. 

You can use Teal's Job Application Tracker to save jobs, add notes, and stay organized.

4. Prepare your resume and cover letter

Update your resume and cover letter to make sure you're giving yourself the best chances at landing interviews. 

On your resume, update the bullet points under each role you’ve held to highlight skills and accomplishments that would be most relevant to the jobs you’re trying to land. 

Use your cover letter to explain why you’re passionate about pursuing your new career path, and how your background in hospitality would make you a great match. 

Planning to apply for a large number of open jobs? A resume building tool like Teal's can help make things a little easier. Teal’s AI
 Resume Builder lets you tailor your resume to be specific to each job you apply for. Studies show 63% of recruiters prefer to receive a resume that’s directly tailored to each open position. 

5. Network with people in your desired industry or position 

Networking can open more opportunities and help you better understand your desired industry. Try to connect with people in your desired field to get a better sense of what the job you want is really like. You might find there are other types of roles out there that interest you more. 

Networking with the right people can also help you get referred to a job. Referrals can increase your chances of getting hired by 4x

Frequently Asked Questions

What transferable skills from hospitality can be highlighted when applying for jobs in a new industry?

Hospitality professionals possess a wealth of transferable skills that are valuable in many industries. These include strong customer service, communication, problem-solving, multitasking, and team collaboration. When applying for jobs outside of hospitality, emphasize how these skills can contribute to roles in customer relations, project management, or any position requiring interpersonal skills and a service-oriented mindset.

How can I identify which new industry is a good fit for my hospitality experience?

To identify industries that align with your hospitality experience, start by assessing your interests and the aspects of hospitality you enjoy most. For example, if you excel at event planning, consider roles in corporate event coordination. If you're passionate about food and beverage, explore opportunities in food service management or sales. Research industries that value customer experience and service excellence, as these will likely appreciate your hospitality background.

What steps should I take to network effectively when trying to move out of the hospitality industry?

Begin by connecting with professionals in the industry you're interested in through platforms like LinkedIn. Attend industry-specific events, webinars, and conferences to meet insiders and learn about the sector. Consider informational interviews to gain insights and advice. Don't hesitate to reach out to former colleagues or customers who may have connections or opportunities in other fields. Always be clear about your intent to transition and the value you bring from your hospitality background.

Emily Polner

Emily Polner is a freelance writer based in New York City, passionate about career development and helping people find new roles.

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