Working from home may sound appealing to some people but actually doing it may appear quite daunting, especially if your business is based around working from home.
However it is a concept that is growing in popularity in the UK, especially as new technology is developed to help keep people better connected. It is undoubtedly a great option for many working mums as it can allow the flexibility many crave.
Travel Counsellors all work from home, running their own franchise as part of a global independent travel company. As each Travel Counsellor manages their own business they have the freedom to work the hours that suit them. Although many Travel Counsellors are experienced travel professionals there is an opportunity to enrol on the Travel Counsellors Academy programme which is open to anyone with an interest in travel but with no actual industry experience. A comprehensive training programme is given along with full support in return for a franchise fee.
Travel Counsellors understands that working from home isn’t for everyone but there are clear advantages, especially for working mums who are trying to juggle a work life balance. The travel company has worked hard to provide the support and technology to overcome any barriers which may hold people back in fulfilling their potential as a Travel Counsellor.
Carolyn Mcnally is a Travel Counsellor Academy graduate and here she shares her experience of her transition from a working mum to business owner.
Before she became a Travel Counsellor Carolyn worked for Merseyside Police and also in the NHS. She had two young children and her time with them was limited due to the nature of her job –she had to work the hours assigned to her. She realised that she was missing valuable time with her children but couldn’t afford to give up work entirely so decided she needed to find a job that could fit around her children, rather than the other way round.
“I had some worries about the concept of homeworking. You see so many companies advertised which end up being not what they seem and require an awful lot of work just to make a little money. Travel Counsellors simply isn’t like that.
I enrolled on the Travel Counsellors Academy programme when my children were 8 and 10 – 6 years ago. It has completely changed my life, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it earlier.
Initially it was the freedom that what so exhilarating. Suddenly I could take the children to school and pick them up. Attending school plays or events was also not a problem. I could take time off if one of the children were poorly. It was strange getting my head round the fact that I was my own boss.
Establishing a routine wasn’t easy at first. I did get distracted with family and friends calling me for a chat when I was trying to work, but I quickly got organised and came up with a plan which has made me stay on track. In fact head office helped me to decide what I wanted to achieve and then gave me some ideas about how to organise my time.
Although it is my business, the way Travel Counsellors works allows me to feel like I’m part of a big community. There are lots of tools to help me stay connected. For example there’s TCTV which is a webcast that’s broadcast direct from head office several time a week. There are also things like message boards and Lync which allows me to chat to anyone in the company via video or message. I can therefore chat to another TC on the other side of the world that may be able to help with a specific customer query. Equally I can chat to someone at head office about promoting my business or anything else that may arise on a daily basis.
Due to the flexibility of the Travel Counsellors business model I can make it work for me. If something comes up, I simply shift my day around to ensure I get my work done and attend to the children.
It’s the support at Travel Counsellors that has allowed me to do this. I know it sounds like a cliché but they genuinely do care. There are no impossible sales targets to meet; instead they just help you to achieve whatever level you’ve set yourself. My business development manager gives me ideas and a boost when I need it. I think I’d feel very differently about my job if I didn’t have the support from head office. Knowing that if an emergency should happen, someone is there at the end of phone gives me great peace of mind.”
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