It might behoove all of us to take a page from the playbook of Michael Massari. The highly successful and highly personable senior vice president of Caesars Entertainment Corporation didn’t get to where he is today by sitting back and watching it happen.
Massari says he knew a career in the hospitality industry was right for him from a young age, but advises others who may think similarly to try something different before deciding on hospitality. Fresh out of Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania, he mapped out his professional goals—working backward from the ultimate job he wanted.
“I asked myself: What job would I have to do to get this one, and this one, and this one?” he recalls. “You have to be thoughtful about the next job you take and how it fits into your plan.” In his mid-20s, he turned down offers for general managers of smaller hotels and even took a step down the ladder (and a pay cut) for an opportunity in Las Vegas—in his mind, the king of the hill in the hospitality business. “Be strategic about the end game instead of taking an extra $5,000,” says Massari, noting it can be worth it to eat ramen noodles a few more years to reach your dream job.