From tailored suits to tailormade holidays, Sejal is a prime example of how you can cut it as a travel agent and design the lifestyle of your dreams.
Having worked for a global luxury fashion brand for several years, Sejal began to tire of the stressful corporate world.
As a fashion buyer, she managed teams in London and Geneva, frequently flitting between London, Milan, Paris and New York. It all sounds very glamorous, but for Sejal, the never-ending demands were becoming too much.
“I loved what I did but my life was just spent working and traveling for business. Over Covid it got worse. We had to let go of a lot of people and it was all work and no play. I thought: ‘Hold on, surely this is not the meaning of life?’”
Sejal began to get the Monday morning blues.
“I began to get the Sunday Scaries, and was waking up every day feeling anxious and spent the whole week looking forward to finishing on a Friday. I still loved the brand, I just wasn’t enjoying corporate life anymore.”
She knew something had to change.
“I needed a job that was fulfilling – that was more than just about the money, the job title and company name. I wanted to feel free. So I thought, right, what am I passionate about? Travel.”
Sejal started Googling jobs in travel but then something stopped her.
“I almost applied to be a travel agent for a well-known luxury travel operator, but then I realised that the aim for me was to set up my own business.”
Suddenly The Travel Franchise popped up.
“I thought franchise… what does that mean? Okay, it means ownership of your own business, but with the support of a brand name behind you. This sounded more like what I really wanted to do.”
Wasting no time, Sejal completed our five-day virtual training course in October, an intensive course specifically tailored to people new to travel and run by our expert Business Development Managers (BDMs) who have worked in travel their entire lives.
“It was great. Considering a lot of us come from outside of the travel industry, we’re practically learning a whole new industry in a week. It’s amazing how much they cover – and at the right pace so that we get it. It was really interactive and the BDMs are really caring people.”
Sejal completed her training and, as a fully-fledged Not Just Travel travel consultant, she hopped on board a free Virgin Voyage cruise the very next day. And it was while at sea that she took her first booking!
Thanks to the power of social media, the enquiries have been steadily coming in ever since. “I just put it out there on social media: ‘Guys, this is what I’m doing. I’ve switched careers’. It’s been incredible to see people reach out.”
In fact, Sejal hasn’t stopped researching and planning people’s dream holidays, booking all sorts of places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and an £18k Bahamas hotel stay.
Her favourite booking has been a multi-centre trip for her friend as she relocates to Australia, calling at Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
“I love researching and trying to get everyone the best quotes and while I can spend hours on the phone to suppliers I can also take time out for the gym and have a tennis lesson.”
In fact, Sejal works primarily from the gym.
“Most of the time I work from David Lloyd. I go there at 9.30am maybe until 6pm when I might meet a friend and go to the spa. In between working I’ll do a gym session or I’ll play a bit of tennis – I could never do any of this before.”
Sejal is aiming to achieve a six-figure salary, and she’s flying through our career ladder – a structured path whereby consultants are recognised for the amount of commission they earn.
“I was on a really good salary before and therefore have a standard of living that I want to maintain, including going on lots of holidays”.
So, on a Sunday night and on a Monday morning, how does she feel now?
“I don’t know what day of the week it is anymore because I feel the same every morning. I literally jump out of bed because I’m excited about work.”