What's in a day?

As general manager you've arguably got one of the most glamorous, yet responsible roles in a hotel. To a certain extent you're a figurehead, motivating your managers and charming the guests – but when the schmoozing stops it's down to you to make sure the business is profitable. And, as each business is so different, you could work anywhere from a budget hotel in a city centre to a deluxe retreat in the country.

Key responsibilities:

  • Motivating a large hotel team to deliver service standards
  • Driving a sales and marketing strategy
  • Meeting budgets and exceeding revenue targets
  • Networking at dinners and functions
  • Liaising closely with the sales and revenue team to make sure business is coming in at the right price

What sort of hours will I work?

You'll start first thing in the morning and regularly work a 12-hour day, although a lot of that will be networking or dinners. Chances are you will be living in the hotel, too.

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The best bit about being a general manager…

With this job there’s potentially great kudos, glamour and the chance to really test your mettle.

Gareth Banner, general manager at the Hempel in London adds:  "There are opportunities to work abroad and it's never boring. If you're successful, you'll have a great lifestyle, good package, benefits and invitations to meet wonderful people."

And the worst bit?

"It's a 24-hour business and you're either cut out for it or not. As you work your way up, you'll be working long hours for fairly low pay, but it does improve and it's so rewarding."

What skills do I need?

  • Financial acumen
  • Sales flair
  • Leadership and liaison skills
  • Personal charm so you can chat easily with guests
  • Persuasiveness
  • Resilience when facing setbacks
  • Enthusiasm

What qualifications do I need?

A hospitality-related degree or diploma, such as restaurant and hotel management, will stand you in good stead, but you'll definitely need bags of experience in all hotel departments.

Who would it suit?

According to the team at Blend Recruitment, the best general managers are 25% sales manager, 25% strategic thinker and 50% financial wizard… But being charismatic helps, too.

What sort of salary can I expect?

What do you want to earn? Depending on whether you're in a budget, three-star or five-star hotel, you could be banking a salary of £25,000-£150,000.
Source: Chess Partnership 2009

Where can I go from here?

If you're with a big company, you can move on to being regional general manager and then operations director, based at head office. Otherwise, you could progress to a bigger hotel or take your career international.

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