From holiday camps to bingo halls, the entertainment and leisure industry offers many different roles and working environments. As a graduate entrant, you could be managing a leisure centre or organising a summer camp. The work can involve administrative tasks such as marketing an event or maintaining the facilities of an entertainment business, or it can be people-focused, for example, managing staff or being responsible for customer liaison. It’s rewarding to help people have fun and be entertained, so the entertainment and leisure industry is often perceived as an enjoyable career choice. But you’ll also have to balance the demands of the public with the commercial needs of the business.
This article was written before the start of the pandemic in 2020. As a result of Covid-19 – both the short-term closure of venues during lockdowns and the longer-term financial problems caused by both these closures and the recession – you might find the entertainment industry difficult to enter at the moment. Nonetheless, you may still be able to find related work or experience, for instance with employers that offer online entertainment or large chains that may still be recruiting with the future/adapting to the current situation in mind. For more guidance on getting employed under the current circumstances, take a look at our article on job hunting during the pandemic.
Where could you work?
Some of the many areas of work within entertainment and leisure include:
- tourist information
- sports centres
- holiday reps
- leisure centres
- outdoors activities instruction
- guided tours.
The entertainment and leisure industry is so huge that it can offer a variety of career choices, in all sorts of places. Your working environment might be a retail gaming outlet, holiday park, leisure and sports centre, or head office. You could work for a small enterprise employing under 20 people, or for a large leisure group that owns a number of outlets across the country. There may be opportunities to travel as businesses expand and new complexes are created.
Getting in and getting on
You’ll need people skills such as patience, friendliness and a good sense of humour in order to manage staff and liaise with the general public. Commercial awareness is key to making sure that the business is successful. It helps if you have the ability to keep the bigger picture in mind as you need to look at the success of the business as a whole and not just one individual part of it.