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“Some of the franchises I investigated felt more like an MLM than a true travel agency, so I discounted them quickly.” – why Sarah chose us to help her change careers

Did you know that according to our recent survey of 2,000 Brits, 67% plan to switch careers within the next 12 months – with 41% regretting their current choice of career entirely!

Switching careers is exactly what Sarah Mott decided to do. She joined us in January after a career working in the education sector. Although she loved working with children, the lack of flexibility led to her making sacrifices with her own family – and Sarah realised it was time for change.

Sarah Mott

We sat down with Sarah to find out more about her switch from education to running her own travel business – including why Travel Counsellors stood head and shoulders above other franchises she looked at. If you’re unhappy in your current role, Sarah’s story could be just what you need to inspire you to take the plunge and set up your own travel business with us!

Hi Sarah! Could you tell us a little bit about your career in education?

I’d been working as a school secretary for about 18 months, and before that had spent seven years working in Higher Education. I loved the roles that I had taken on. I love dealing with people and working through problems and issues. The roles that I held had me working directly with children, young people, and parents. I really enjoyed this.

What were the best and worst things about working in a school?

Working in a school is very intense. Most days, I’d start work at 8am and leave around 5pm, but I wouldn’t have any kind of break.

I worked with children aged 4 – 11, and their needs while they are with you are paramount. I adored all the children I worked with. I miss them enormously, but I had to prioritise my family and look for something that allowed me to enjoy my work but also be present for them.

What prompted you to leave the education profession and change careers?

In September 2023, I placed a flexible working request to move to a job share within my role. It was accepted, but my job share partner left almost as soon as I started and it became too demanding.

I began looking around for something else to do. I was cautious of not jumping from one super demanding role into another. I decided that I would hand in my notice, take a break, and look for something when I had the time and head space to decide what my future would look like. That’s when the advert for Travel Counsellors came along!

I spent a long time investigating if this was the right move for me. We’ve done a lot of travelling as a family (especially to Disney) and I’ve spent the last 10 years helping people I know put together amazing holidays. When I spoke to friends and family about changing careers, they were all super enthusiastic and have been my biggest supporters.

What skills will you be able to transfer from being a school secretary to running your own business?

The IT skills I had as a school secretary have proved invaluable in my transition to becoming a Travel Counsellor. There’s been a lot to learn, but knowing how to use Excel, how to manage a database, and use social media have given me a great start. My skills in speaking to people and trying to understand an issue or situation are also invaluable. I’ve spent several years dealing with people and problem-solving – that’s a big part of what we do here.

Did you explore any other franchises? What was it that stood out to you about Travel Counsellors?

I did explore other franchises before signing with Travel Counsellors. Some of the franchises I investigated felt more like an MLM than a true travel agency, so I discounted them quickly. I also felt with some other franchises, you would be very much on your own. I know that I need support, especially in these early days - so Travel Counsellors won on that front.

I also met up with some existing Travel Counsellors, who were really helpful. They were very upfront in terms of the time it can take to really get your business going – which assured me this was a genuine franchise looking for me to succeed rather than something promising riches from the outset.

How did you find the recruitment and induction process?

The induction was intense but excellent! The training programmes are designed really well to take you through the process of becoming a confident Travel Counsellor. I have an excellent mentor who has been with me every step of the way through my first bookings - guiding me on how to use Phenix (the internal booking platform) and also giving advice on the best aftercare for clients.

What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?

I’m really excited to put together some thrilling itineraries and to be involved in people’s holidays. I love planning our next family escape, so working as a Travel Counsellor, I do that every day without having to pay for all the trips I now plan!

Why would you recommend becoming a Travel Counsellor to teachers and those working in education?

If travel is your passion, then definitely consider coming to Travel Counsellors. The support and training are excellent. The skills that you’ve gained working in education will be very valuable. Just be ready to learn and learn fast – there is a lot to take in!

Are you ready to go on a brand-new journey with your career? If you’re currently in teaching (or perhaps you’re in another profession but relate to wanting more flexibility and control), we can help you be in charge of your own destiny. As long as you’ve got a love for travel, an entrepreneurial mind, and can commit to running your franchise on a full-time basis, we’re ready to welcome you into our caring and inclusive community. Get in touch for a friendly chat with our New Franchise team.

Ready to join the family?

Talk to our supportive team about becoming a Travel Counsellor.

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