'New Year, New Me'? Why becoming a Travel Counsellor is so much more than just another job

‘New Year, New Me’ has to be one of the most over-used phrases, but when it comes to job hunting, the saying goes. According to global jobs website, Indeed, January continues to be the highest month of the year for both job postings and job searches.

When it comes to a fresh start, becoming a Travel Counsellor is the ultimate ‘New Me’; instead of exchanging one demanding boss or draining commute for another, our Travel Counsellors tell us that moving to us to brings a complete lifestyle overhaul.

That's because we set our new starters on the path to a whole new career, rather than ‘just’ a new job.

When people join us to become self-employed, home-based travel professionals, they talk about greater autonomy, the change in mindset from ‘employee’ to ‘business owner’ and of course embarking on a new venture in an industry they love.

Our intensive Travel Academy training programme is designed for people with no prior travel experience, but who combine a genuine passion for travel with a can-do, entrepreneurial outlook.

It takes up to two years to complete, although your business can start trading after just two weeks. It’s a huge step to take, so what should you be considering before reinventing your career?

Is self-employment for you? – You need to be a self-starter and willing to give it your all. It’s not easy to launch a business in a completely new industry, but by embracing all the tools and support we offer, Travel Academy graduates can build very lucrative businesses

Understand the numbers - Work out how long it might take you to break even, how long you can give yourself to start turning a profit and where your financial ‘cushion’ is coming from as you build your business up

Do your homework - Research multiple franchise options to discover which company you ‘click’ with. Look behind headline-grabbing figures, and delve into the detail of what’s actually provided to find out which model offers the right level of support for you

Gain support - Ensure your family and friends are on board with your decision and understand what your new business is all about; they are going to be your biggest champions after all!

Get your CV into shape – Vital for any career move, ensure your CV is up-to-date, accurate, concise and of course spell-checked… it may be the last time you use it! Don’t forget to take a look at your LinkedIn profile too.

We spoke to a couple of our Academy January-starters from previous years, to find out how it was for them:

"I started training at the end of January and launched my business in early February", says Travel Counsellor, Catherine Mackey.

"I’d chosen to be off work for the previous six months and was getting a bit restless, so I was really keen to get started in January. It definitely had an exciting ‘new career, new beginning’ feeling for me! But at the time, I actually thought it was bad timing - I was worried that I’d missed the ‘January rush’"

"With hindsight, as a new Academy Travel Counsellor, I simply wasn’t ready for a lot of bookings straight away. So, it turned out to be a perfect time to start - I had a year to get ready for the following year’s busy January, with a full 12 months of experience under my belt."

Kent-based Travel Counsellor, Sam Friday, says, "I joined in January 2016, but I actually started my research almost a full year before that. I was selling engineering products and feeling disillusioned with it, and I’d always been interested in travel."

"I spent a lot of time planning, working out the financial side of things, how we’d support the family while I retrained - I did loads of prep in advance." says Sam.

Our Travel Academy courses run throughout the year, and some people, like Sam, take months to get things in order whilst others embrace the 'New Year, New Me' mindset and make the decision to join in a few weeks!

One thing’s for sure and that’s there will be no pressure from us. We’d love to chat to you and understand if Travel Counsellors is the right career move for you, whether that's now or in the future.

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