Former fashion buyer proves you can redesign your life and become a travel agent
Before joining The Travel Franchise, Sejal Devlia was a fashion buyer for a well-known global designer brand. Her days were spent flitting between the fashion capitals of London, Milan, Paris and New York.
While this might sound uber glamorous, after years of corporate stress and relentless, tiring schedules, Sejal was exhausted.
“I loved what I did but my life was just spent working and travelling for business. 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 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. I wanted to feel free. So I thought, right, what am I passionate about? Travel.”
Sejal started Googling jobs in travel but she knew that ultimately she wanted to be in charge. She wanted to have her 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.”
By joining The Travel Franchise she would be able to operate under the Not Just Travel brand, having access to 450 suppliers and being able to offer her clients thousands of holiday options – many of which are not available to the public.
Wasting no time, Sejal signed up and completed The Travel Franchise’s five-day virtual training course in October 2023, an intensive course specifically tailored to people new to travel and run by 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 – her dates just happened to co-incide with one of The Travel Franchise’s many overseas training events that it offers all its consultants [some of which are included in the franchise fee at zero additional expense!]. 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. 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 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 gym. 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 The Travel Franchise’s 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”.
And now? Gone are the Sunday night scaries and Monday morning blues. “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.”