Have you recently graduated and thinking about your next steps? Perhaps your current role is wearing you down? Maybe you just want to work in one of the most exciting and rewarding industries around? Whatever your reason for wanting to get into travel, it’s a sector that can offer you so much.
Rachel became a Travel Counsellor when she was 27. Now 32, she’s still loving every single second of running her own business. Read on to learn more about her journey and let her inspire you to step into the thrilling world of travel.
Why did you decide to become a Travel Counsellor?
I was a manager at my previous company (which was also in the travel sector), and I spent a lot of my day managing people rather than consulting with my clients. I ended up missing the travel agent side of things.
I also wanted to work from home and have a better work-life balance. Most of all, I wanted to get a dog! A friend of mine had moved to Travel Counsellors and was raving about the freedom, the flexibility, the support and the systems. I started looking into it and realised how perfect it sounded!
What are the best things about being a Travel Counsellor?
I really love having the independence to build my business exactly how I want it. I also really enjoy running my day in a way that suits me. If I fancy going for a coffee with a friend, there’s no strict company policy that says you can only take a 30-minute break – so I have the freedom to do that. You take complete control of everything, and I find that makes you work even harder. Plus, if you fancy a day in your pyjamas, there’s no one stopping you!
What advice would you give to young people who are thinking about a career in travel?
It will require a lot of effort to begin with, to get your business up and running and to get clients through the door. However, if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, it’s a wonderful industry to be in.
Make friends with your clients and learn their likes, wants and needs. Being one step ahead allows you to present ideas and options for things they didn’t even know they could do. Be proactive and make their lives easier, because that’s how you’ll grow your business quickly and efficiently.
Why would you recommend Travel Counsellors as a career path for young people?
Travel Counsellors has a wonderful community of people who are willing to help you and teach you. You can have as much or as little guidance as you require. It’s a great place to build your business from the ground up, and the infrastructure and systems are great.
It’s like when you learn to ride a bike. Initially, when you first start, you need someone to hold on to constantly. Then, when you get a bit more stable but want someone there as a bit of support, they are there. Finally, when you’re confident enough to do it all by yourself, they cheer you on and watch you succeed (but are also there if you fall off and need a plaster!).
What makes the travel industry such an exciting industry to work in?
With this job, you speak to different people every day, you’re constantly learning new things and it’s an ever-changing industry. I’m eight years in and I’ve not been bored yet. It feels new and exciting all the time. You build a client base of people you genuinely enjoy chatting to and have a laugh with.
What personal qualities do you think someone needs to be a successful Travel Counsellor?
I think you need to be fun, friendly, focussed, driven, tenacious, good at communicating, organised and a go-getter.
What’s it like being part of the Travel Counsellors community?
It’s a wonderful community of people who genuinely care. I still have MDs calling me for a catch up and to see how I’m doing – which is just unlike any other company I’ve worked with. They get to know you individually, so you feel included and special. It should be impossible for such a large company to create that feeling, but they have and it makes a huge difference.
Finally, what’s the head office support like?
It’s wonderful! Every single department works hard to make sure you’re supported from every angle. I’ve never felt frustrated or ignored. It’s also amazing how many lines of communication there are, considering that we work from home.
Has Rachel inspired you to kickstart your career in travel? Get in touch with our New Franchise team to discuss getting your travel business up and running.