COVID-19 impacts making some in the hospitality industry change career paths

DELMARVA-There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been a trying time for the hospitality industry.

“It was one of the hardest hit industries just because initially there was a stay at home order but from that stemmed the fear and the uncertainty,” Shelley Hastings, a hospitality coach, said.

Hastings said the pandemic caused many workers in the industry to really consider changing career paths.

She said there are many reasons as to why they want to make the switch some of it has to do with being laid-off and some being scared of the pandemic.

“Some just don’t want to deal with the risk any longer whereas others it’s more just the inconvenience of being in that situation with the hours and what they are having to deal with,” Hastings said.

Hastings adds due to more people staying at home it gave them an opportunity to jump into new careers they have always wanted to try.

“It’s slow and they have more time that they are able to actually now develop themselves personally and professionally,” Hastings said.

But while some are looking to change their careers during this time in the hospitality industry, we are told in areas like Ocean City, there is still a demand for workers, even going into the off season.

“So we definitely still are seeing job openings because of the vacancy created by the summer work travel program not happening this year,” Susan Jones, Executive Director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, said.

But Hastings said whether people stay at their jobs or leave, there’s no guarantee on what will happen.

We are told this is really just a time for some people to reflect and see what options are best for them.

“These are really trying times for everyone so it’s not a bad idea to go see a coach and to find out what your strengths and your weaknesses are,” Jones said.

Jones said that in Ocean City there are usually around 4,000 J1 visa workers in the summer time, many staying through October.

Since those workers haven’t been here this summer, many businesses have been struggling when it comes to manpower.

So, if you’re concerned about how the virus will play out, but you don’t want to leave your job, experts suggest you find a second job instead.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Maryland, Virginia