16 years I have worked in the Travel Industry facing all sorts of challenges, airline and operator collapses, ash cloud but never ever did I ever think something bigger could affect my job and industry that I love and then one day, Covid 19 changed the world. As a branch manager I was under pressure to help customers to get home from holidays, rebooks, admin, accounts and also motivate a team and assure them that we would get through this. One day back in June I was told the dreaded news that I was made redundant, the independent company I worked for could not survive and sadly went into liquidation.
My initial reaction was full of panic, ‘What will I do?’ ‘There is no way I’m going to get a job in these times in the only industry I have worked in my whole career journey’ Yes I had transferable skills but my love and passion for the travel industry is not transferrable.
First thing I had to do was Curriculum Vitae and create it so it stands out, Also I ensured that everyone I spoke to knew I had been made redundant, I actively told them and my LinkedIn profile was changed. I managed to get a few interviews, something I had never done before was being Interviewed via zoom it was so strange and made me feel so nervous, but this is the times we are in and I had to stay focus and driven. The interviews went ok but for me it just was not the WOW job!
One evening while England was playing in the Euros, I sat there questioning everything, feeling very down in the dumps, I suddenly received a bleep from a text message and there was a turning point, the message read to send my CV to Jenna McCullagh, The Holiday Franchise Company are hiring a Business Development Executive, so immediately I sent this to Jenna and applied for the job. The next day I had a video meeting with Jo and Jenna, I was so nervous but they made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I was then invited to an interview which was being conducted via zoom. I was so nervous and stressed, before going on the interview. how should I angel the laptop, was my makeup and hair ok, was the top I was wearing look crease free most importantly how did the back ground look was it clear. The interview went really well, Jo called me to invite me to a second interview, this time it was in person in the office. It was a really hot day, I was so nervous but I was also so excited to actually go and be interviewed in person, I was given a project for the interview so I prepare a presentation and I presented to Jo and Jenna.
From that day, I couldn’t wait to hear from Jo or Jenna I had really good vibes, I could just tell The Holiday Franchise Company would be a fantastic company to work for and the job role was such an exciting opportunity I knew I would be great at, transferring my existing skills and knowledge to a team that was starting their own journey as travel agents. I patiently waited for a phone call to tell me yes or no if I had got the position. A couple of days later, while watching Peppa Pig with my son, my phone rang it was Jo, and there it was the words I had waited and longed for ‘we would like to offer you the job’ I was absolutely over the moon. I got the job, a job in the industry I love and know, a job I knew I could do well and succeed in, I was so excited to get started.
24th August 2021, my first day I went into the office and spent the day with Jenna. I met lots of colleagues via zoom meetings, it was so strange meeting that way but everyone made me feel so welcome. I also met some of our lovely franchises too. The Holiday Franchise company have made me feel so welcome from my first day. I am now on week 10 and I still feel the same. I have really got stuck into the job role. I wanted to meet the franchisees straight away so I arranged 121’s with them as my top priority from the start, to ensure I was to build a relationship with them, to introduce myself and be able to focus on their needs. The feedback was great everyone spoke highly of the Holiday Franchise head office Team and I knew it was definitely the right role I could fit into. I have now completed all my training and I am ready for the next step, which is to bring my 16 years of Travel experience to the franchisees, to help and motivate them to build their travel business and maximise their sales.
The Holiday Franchise Company is great place to work, it is growing by the day and I really understand why the team I work with are the most passionate people I have worked with they work very hard to ensure every franchisee is a priority and support them, Thank you to the whole team for making me feel welcome, better things certainly do come to people who wait and I am a true believer that things happen for a reason, things can fall apart but much better can come along!