"From wedding coordinator to travel business owner — and how I did it"
Sinéad Lonergan left her job as a wedding coordinator to pursue her dream of working in travel. She joined our Travel Academy programme and started her own business as a Travel Counsellor. She explains how being a Travel Counsellor has changed her life...
Finding out she was about to become a mother for the first time was Sinéad Lonergan’s epiphany moment. “Having a child was something I always longed for,” she says, “and as it happened for us later than we had hoped, I knew my work priorities had to change.”
Having travelled the world as a guest services manager for a global cruise company, before working as a wedding and events manager for one of the busiest wedding venues in Meath, Sinéad made the decision to shift direction in her career and set up her own travel business. With the encouragement of her husband Noel, Sinéad joined our Academy Training Programme in 2015, for those who have not worked in outbound travel before.
Sinéad praises the support she received, and still receives, from our Head Office in Ireland and global Head Office in Manchester, UK. “For somebody like me, with a strong passion for travel but no direct experience in a travel agency, the Academy Training Programme is a fantastic opportunity. It was a great stepping stone to launch my own business under the Travel Counsellors umbrella."
“I certainly wouldn’t have been as successful as quickly without it,” says Sinéad, adding that all Travel Counsellors receive ongoing professional support, along with advice and training from a personal business development team.
It’s now the flexibility to achieve the right work-life balance that has made the biggest difference to Sinéad. “I actually work more hours in the week since I have become self-employed — but I have greater flexibility regarding when I do them,” she says.