Looking At Your Tourism Competencies Scores…
We talked to tourism leaders and employees about what it takes to enjoy and succeed in a tourism career. Using their responses and psychological testing research, we developed the Tourism Competency Questionnaire. This questionnaire that you just filled out and scored focuses on key factors, like customer service, that are important in a tourism career. Every factor won’t be important in every single job. However, if you are going to grow in the field as a whole, you will want to become interested and skilled in each factor.
Remember, this is just one, short test. You will want to consider all of your other skills and experience when you make your career decisions.
In the following screens, you will be looking at your scores in each of these areas. If you score high, it means that this is already an area that is a priority for you. If you score lower, it does not mean that you cannot work in tourism or that you can’t work to move your score higher. There may be certain activities that you are somewhat able to do, but that you don’t really like to do. A lower score just means that if you are committed to a tourism career, this is an area in which you will want to stay motivated, develop and learn.
High (Above 4)
Medium (3 to 4)
Area for Development (Below 3)
Tourism leaders agree that many tourism jobs take a good deal of organizational skills. You will be coordinating small details and facts. You may be coordinating people, activities and transportation.
Some conflict is inevitable in any work situation. You will eventually run into someone who is unhappy, angry, or disappointed about something. You want to be able to deal with this person effectively. You want to make them less emotional and you want to help them work towards a solution.
If it was high, you are likely good at preventing and dealing with conflict.
Most tourism jobs involve collaborating and working with other people. This teamwork is important to get things done efficiently and to serve the customer well.
If it was high, you will likely enjoy working with others.
Many tourism tasks require a willingness to stick with a difficult problem until it is solved. This is often difficult to do, when there are many exciting distractions around you. Perseverance is important.
If your score is high, you likely follow through and stick with things until they are done.
Leaders say it is essential for tourism employees to show a strong interest in learning. Interest in learning about local attractions and events, tourism across Canada, and other cultures helps you relate to customers and advance your career. A general interest in learning is also important to keep up in such a rapidly changing sector. Tourism leaders stress how important it will be for employees to keep pace with technology skills.
If your score was high, it is likely that you are already curious to learn more about tourism and travel.
Regular 9-to-5 hours are not a realistic expectation in many tourism roles. To grow in the sector, people have to be willing to work non-traditional hours.
If it was high, you are likely prepared to work flexible hours.
Tourism leaders agree that a strong focus on customer service is essential in the tourism sector. It is often the level of customer service that will make people decide whether or not they want to return to a facility. A high customer service focus often means that employees are willing to put the customer’s needs ahead of their own. It means listening to people patiently even when you are bored or annoyed by what they are saying. People who naturally excel in customer service get real, personal satisfaction from making customers happy.
If it was high, you already show a tendency towards meeting other people’s needs and serving them well.
You probably know some people who just love to be around others. They are socially oriented and get their energy from being with people. They usually enjoy talking on the phone and spending a lot of time with friends. Then there are other people who need more time alone. They can feel overwhelmed if they are around other people for too long and might feel like they need time to get away and regenerate on their own. There is obviously nothing wrong with either type of person. Industry leaders agree, however, that tourism is a highly people-intensive sector. Many, though certainly not all, jobs involve constant interaction with other people.
If your score was high, you are likely to be a social person who is excited and inspired by being around other people. You will enjoy the social nature of tourism. If your score was low, there are still lots of behind-the-scenes opportunities in tourism, from destination planning to research, housekeeping to culinary, maintenance to writing.
Tourism leaders agree that a generally positive outlook is important in the tourism sector. Customers expect to be around cheerful, enthusiastic employees. They become tense and agitated around negativity. With a positive outlook, tourism employees are better able to deal with the unexpected and the fast pace that comes with the sector.
If your score was high, you already show a more upbeat, positive attitude. This will be helpful in your tourism career.
Employers from all of the tourism industry groups agree that good communication skills are a must in the tourism sector. Verbal communication is particularly important. Employees are often talking to customers all day. They need to be understood. They need to listen well. They also need to be able to think of things to say. If employees want to move up through the tourism ladder, it is also important that they feel comfortable in written communication, like writing letters or memos.
If it was high, you likely feel good about your communication skills. Communication is an area in which anyone can continue to learn and develop. You will benefit from building on your communication strengths.
The ability to be flexible – to adapt to change and variety – is really important in the tourism sector. When you are dealing with people, you cannot predict what they will need and want. Things are constantly changing in the tourism sector – surprises are common. Industry leaders are also looking for employees who will be able to adapt to many different tasks and jobs.
If it is high, you enjoy changing situations and variety. You will likely enjoy adapting to the rapid pace of the tourism environment.
While there is lots of opportunity to move up the career ladder and pay scale, many tourism jobs start off at an entry-level wage. How willing are you to start at the low end? How important is it to you to make a lot of money right away?
If your score is medium or an area for development, you will want to think about the immediate importance of money in your life. Not all positions start with lower wages, but many do. Can you see yourself working for entry-level wages for one or two years? Would you accept or resent the fact that you were not earning more for the work you were doing? These lower wages don’t last forever. You will generally also be able to increase your wages through tips. Nevertheless, you must be prepared.