Carolyn McNally joined the Travel Academy over a year ago so that she could find a better balance between her work and family life. She had always had a passion for travel and the ambition to be her own boss, so when she discovered this unique franchise programme, which allows people from different professions to run their own home-based travel business, she knew it was for her. In 18 months she has built a successful business, enjoys a work / life balance she never thought possible and has now graduated as one of the company’s Travel Counsellors. Carolyn talks about how becoming a Travel Counsellor has been the best career move she ever made…
I worked for 13 years for Merseyside Police, mainly with the Crown Court Department. This involved dealing with victims and witnesses involved in serious crime, and although this was very rewarding it was also very emotionally draining and meant working long and unsociable hours too.
I felt that I needed a complete change and have always loved to travel myself. I often arranged my friends and family’s holidays and really enjoyed doing it. However it wasn’t just about arranging holidays – I love chatting to people and always felt I could provide an excellent service to customers. So with both my love of travel and my background I knew becoming a Travel Counsellor would be perfect for me.
This franchise has not only allowed me to start a new career in an industry I love, it has allowed me the flexibility and convenience of working from home. Being able to manage my own hours has benefited the whole family. As my husband works away it was always a struggle for me to arrange work around school hours, but now I can work around my children and spend that quality time with them that I know I would miss if I had embarked on a career away from home.
The children are so happy having me around more and I feel so much more rewarded in all aspects of my life. When they used to be on school holidays I always felt really guilty about having to arrange child care and only having part of the holidays with them. But now I am able to do my work in the evening once they are in bed and spend so much more time with them, including days out when I can take my mobile with me in case my customers call. I obviously have to spend time in the office as well but I am still available for the children if they need me.
Being my own boss is brilliant. I’m working for myself, so whereas in past jobs I have sometimes felt my efforts weren’t appreciated, I know that everything I do is helping me build my own business. A business I am very proud of.
I really do think the Travel Academy is a fantastic business opportunity, and since signing up for the franchise I have never looked back. I had always heard great things about Travel Counsellors and was confident I was joining the right company for me. Now over a year later I have a thriving business, which is growing by the day.
It has given me the chance to do something I love without having any previous experience in the travel industry. I get such a buzz out of making people happy and can create the perfect holidays for my customers using the company’s fantastic technology.
What makes Travel Counsellors really different is the level and of training and support I receive. There is always someone at the end of the phone if I need them. The support system they have set up is second to none – whether it be via e-mail, telephone, intranet or even web cams, I am guaranteed constant communication with an excellent support team of over 200 staff at the company’s head office if I need it.
There are fantastic training opportunities and business guidance to cater to your needs and strengths. I have my own business development executive to give me advice and support when helping me grow my business. I have marketing support and fantastic promotional materials to enable me to promote my business. Plus head office do all my administration for me so I can concentrate on building my business.
This unique franchise opportunity has been recognised by the British Franchise Association. Travel Counsellors ask Associates to invest a minimum fee of £10,000 to own their own franchise. This covers all training and set-up costs and the right to use the Travel Counsellors trademark and brand.
For further information about thetravelacademy call the Travel Counsellors recruitment team on 0800 195 7024 or visit www.tctravelacademy.co.uk.