It’s not surprising the pandemic experience has caused people to reassess their work values and employment situations, as well as the way that they do their jobs. Now, it seems that many career professionals are looking to switch gears entirely and apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired to something new.
For example, award-winning host travel agency Oasis Travel Network reports witnessing a notable increase in the number of professionals joining its ‘New2Travel’ boot camp, despite the profound slump that the travel industry has endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Veterans of various other professions are choosing this moment, as travel starts to come back in a big way, to shift careers into the travel industry. Oasis says they’ve cited some common factors—a personal love of travel, appreciation of different cultures, desire to try new things and to help others do the same—as catalysts for their decisions to change careers.
These industry newcomers are bringing their skills and expertise from a wide array of other industries, some being ancillary to tourism and hospitality, and others from unrelated sectors. In all cases, their higher education, training, years of experience and specialized skills are helping them to offer elevated levels of client service in their new role as a travel advisor.
“I’ve been a hotel manager for about 20 years, raised a family and fulfilled my ‘career goals’ in the corporate structure—in essence, I’ve been working my whole life to make someone else rich and successful,” said Carol Domme of Avid Wanderer. “Now that I’m getting close to retirement, I feel it’s the ideal time for me to be rich and successful. I was bitten by the travel bug long ago and I love to see happy satisfied customers. Travel planning is something I already know, so I felt it would be a great time to put my energy and passion into something to help myself, and to cultivate my own satisfied customers.”
“I have been in Healthcare Finance and IT Project Management for over 20 years, so planning and organizing how to get things done for others for a particular amount of money within a certain timeframe is what I’ve been doing for so long I can’t help myself anymore,” said Rachel Bonham of These Bags Travel. “Everything looks like a project, even my own vacation!”
Often, this new talent is attracted to the industry because of the level of flexibility and autonomy that it provides. With much of today’s workforce having transitioned to a work-from-home or remote work model amid COVID-19, it’s no surprise that many professionals have started to consider spreading their wings.
“Before New2Travel, I was (and still am) a stay-at-home mom, since my daughter was about six months old,” said Kelly Combs of V1 Travel Designs, who previously spent a decade working in sales, including medical sales. “My husband works long and unpredictable hours. Therefore, I need a career in which I control the parameters in which I work and can still take my kids to all their activities. Having an office at home and being able to take work on the go is a perfect combination.”
For more information, visit oasistravelnetwork.com.