I had previously answered a similar question regarding leaving the company and returning to HR. I wanted to give a different perspective since I did not want to repeat the same answer.
Similar to human resources, operational positions such as those in front offices have many similarities. These include customer service, dealing with unhappy guests, and conflict management. You can also learn skills in organization (e.g. Assigning rooms, detail-orientation (as seen in group master accounts), and many other skills. Although it is not the same thing, there are many very similar skills.
I am pointing out that you don’t need to abandon your human resource education by entering the operation. It could actually be a great advantage for a career in human resources. The lack of operational knowledge is one of the most common complaints about human resource professions. It is hard to count the number of operational managers who complained that HR professionals were not available on time, didn’t stay late, and worked weekends and holidays. They also complained about the fact that HR was absent from operations with “all hands on deck”.
A former hotel steward, I was a human resource pro. I cleaned hotel rooms during major checkout days. Assist the banquet team in resetting a meeting room in record-breaking time. Assist the kitchen staff in plating thousands for guests.
Yes, these were things I did to be a team player. However, I did these things to learn and to be part of the operation. I was able to become a better HR professional. It gave me a better understanding of what happened in an operation.
It’s simple, think about it. How would you answer the question if you were given the chance to visit the operation?