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4 Things You Should Know Before You Start A Career In Travel

4 Things You Should Know Before You Start A Career In Travel

Are you crazy about travel and want to turn your passion into your profession? If you love traveling and consider yourself an organized person who enjoys helping others plan their trips, a career in travel may be right for you.

The fascinating tourism industry offers a broad range of career opportunities, from travel agents[1] to accommodation and hospitality managers. There are options for a huge variety of professional profiles, but whatever area of the travel sector you decide to go into, these are four things you should know before you start your career in travel:

1. You will be facing challenges

The tourism industry is always evolving, and if you want to have a successful career in this field, you will need to be flexible, learn fast, and be able to adapt quickly to the changes.

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The travel and tourism industry has gone through significant changes within the last decade.[2] Both the global economic crisis and the eruption of online bookings have had an enormous effect on this sector. Today’s travelers expect complete transparency and personalization from their travel providers. The new, young travelers have less money and more time than other generations before them. And more importantly, they are more internet savvy.

An excellent example of the transformation of this industry is the rise of the sharing economy, which has left out of the equation many traditional travel companies. The competition is huge in the travel sector and adjusting to the new changes is vital to success.

It is crucial to keep this in mind if you are planning to start your career in travel and hospitality. To keep you ahead of the curve, think about where you want to be in ten years and remember that the travel industry changes very fast.

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2. Specialized services are in demand

According to The World Travel & Tourism Council, in 2014, travel and tourism directly supported over 105 million jobs and it is expected to rise year after year.[3] Such an enormous industry is massively segmented and focusing on a niche market is becoming increasingly necessary to succeed. When you concentrate on a particular group of people, you get to know your potential clients better, making it easier to adapt your products or services to their needs and wants.

According to the book “Design and Launch an Online Travel Business in One Week” by Charlene Davis and Entrepreneur Press, today’s hottest specialty travel opportunities include eight growing travel markets. These are adventure travel and outdoor excursions, luxury travel, for women only, “mancations” or men-only vacations, “honeymooners”, “grandtravel” or trips taken with grandchildren, disabled travelers, and traveling with pets.

When you start your career in travel and you know the exact niche market you want to work with, it is recommended to develop your skills in that particular area to become an expert. But when you are not 100% sure of what your ideal job is – and this happens more often than not – it may be a better idea to acquire wider skills and try a few different jobs until you get a better understanding of the industry and what area you would rather work on.

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3. It is possible to make six figures

According to Kimberly Ramsawak, founder of Tourism Exposed, “Like many industries, entry-level positions in tourism may pay minimum wages.” However, “tourism positions above entry-level often pay well in comparison to other industries.”

And as she demonstrates, “Many factors will determine exactly what you’ll earn, such as job location, cost of living, type of business or organization, specific position type and stage, your skills, and training. Travel agent salaries, for instance, can range from the mid $30,000s to $100,000 a year. Yes, it is possible for a travel agent to make six figures!”

As Kimberly explains on her site, it will all depend on the type of travel agent you are trying to be and the steps you’re willing to take to master the art of success in your niche.

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4. The way you travel will change

If you want to be in the travel business, you probably love to travel. However, something you should remember before you start your career in tourism is that you will never travel like you used to do. Your eyes will be open to detect new ideas for your clients and you will be continuously absorbing information not only for your personal pleasure, but also to apply it in the professional world.

When you work in the travel industry and you are visiting a new place, your perspective will be slightly different from the regular tourist’s point of view. You will pay attention to details you haven’t noticed before and your expectations will be higher. For instance, if you work in hospitality yourself, you will be more aware of a hotel’s arrangements. And if you come across any issues with your accommodation, you will know exactly who you need to talk to and how you should sort it out.

Overall, it is a great time to start a career in the fascinating travel industry. Not only are the number of job opportunities continuing to rise, but the types or roles in the industry are evolving and becoming more attractive. In this sense, young professionals have a chance to acquire the necessary skills and prepare themselves to offer the new and fresh perspective that so many travel companies are demanding at the moment.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

Reference

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Maria Onzain

Content Marketing Freelancer

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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