Launching Your Career In The Service Industry
Many people ask for advice on starting a career in the service industry. My answer to this is there is no straight-cut answer! The service industry is a unique world where there isn’t one straight path to success.
Working in the service industry involves equal part experience and personality, complemented by training. Unlike many other fields, educational specialization isn’t mandatory.
Registering with an association like WAACSP will position you in the service industry, but there are a few things that you need to do to kick start your career:
Prepare yourself for the opportunity by getting some experience. It is often a requirement to be hired in the industry, so it may seem difficult to get the first experience. You may decide to try an entry position to better understand customer service and eventually be promoted to your desired position. Experience will teach you a lot about service and teamwork.
Presentation matters. You never have a second chance to make a first good impression. So make that first impression count:
Your resume and LinkedIn profile must be flawless, detailed, and with no spelling errors.
Choose an excellent profile picture that looks professional (vacation photos or pictures with family and friends are not an option).
Be intentional with how you portray yourself on social networks where what you share is public.
Build a network of contacts. WAACSP is a great place for networking, one of the tools it uses is the rating system which showcases one’s abilities as a customer service professional making you more visible to potential employers.
Training will improve your service level bringing it to international standards and will make you feel more confident in interviews and at work, but it doesn’t compensate for lack of experience. While many service professionals learn “on the go”, there are courses for customer service professionals, such as those offered by Employme Nigeria and Institute of customer service professionals (ICSP) Ghana.
When meeting with a recruiter for an interview, make sure that you are well prepared.
Take along recommendation letters from your former employers and check that they will be reachable.
Provide all information and be candid. It is better to tell everything truthfully than to risk losing their trust. Be formally dressed and arrive on time.
Finally, it is really important to have the right mindset; this is possible with introspection. With Self-discovery, the sky is only the beginning of your service career.