Travel Industry Recruiter Tips: Knowing when to change travel jobs  

Knowing how to manage your travel career can be tricky. How long you should stay in a role before moving on is a decision with many variables. And wondering whether you should stay in a single company and progress or move elsewhere is another conundrum. As a travel industry recruiter, part of my role is to help people progress through their travel career. Here at Progressive Travel Recruitment, we’ve helped many people several times during their career. Some even end up as the hiring executive in their company and come back to us looking for fresh travel talent for their own team.

These are my travel industry recruiter tips to help you make travel career decisions:

Follow a clear travel career path

In most divisions in the travel industry there are various ways to progress your career. Some obvious examples include starting off in a travel sales role working for a tailormade tour operator from where you can move into a product or a purchasing role. Or from a sales support, retail or admin role you could move in to field sales or representation. If you start as a call centre travel consultant you could move into operations. All of these show an obvious progression path, with transferrable skills. And within finance, marketing and IT these disciplines are transferable from industry to industry. However, there are less conventional routes – and if you have a hankering to try a different role, it’s worth a discussion with a travel recruitment specialist first.

Think about when it’s time to move on up

It’s not uncommon to become a little institutionalised if you stay in a role or a company for too long. Getting to a point where you feel you’ve achieved your goals, you can become complacent. I know this has happened to me. This is a clear sign to start thinking about your next career move. Staying with a company in the same job for years is fine, and yes it can suit your lifestyle and family demands, but do you have job satisfaction? Think deeply, and if the answer is no, it’s time for change.

It can be good to stay put if company is working for you. It shows that your employer is supporting your career aspirations and goals. And what could be better than knowing everyone in the business, knowing who gets decisions made and gives the answers you need. But, when you start to feel part of the furniture, it’s usually time to move on. There are many other travel businesses that may benefit from your knowledge and skills. They should also offer new challenges and the opportunity to add strings to your bow that you didn’t even know were possible.

Know the right amount of time to stay in a travel role

How long to stay depends on what level you’re at. At a junior level a move every two years or so is acceptable, with each move an opportunity to move up the travel ladder. At a middle management level this increases to every 4-6 years, enough to keep the job interesting but also to show longevity on your CV and that you’re not a serial job hopper.

Think about the benefits of moving on in your travel career

As a travel industry recruiter, I get a good overview of CVs and travel careers. The thing I look for is that every career move should show progression. If it’s a sideways move it needs to be with a company that supports career development or opportunities for you to grow and learn. This reason for moving can be indicated on a CV, showing that you’ve moved to develop your role.

Make a decision about whether to stay or move up a rung

Confidence is key if you are looking for a step up the travel career ladder. Having confidence in yourself that you have the ability to do it is a first step. (However, have another look at our blog on the 4 Rooms of Change to see how this can play out in reality.) In the lead up to making a decision to move, it’s a good idea to ask your line manager for additional responsibility to show willing. Then, during an interview process you can demonstrate that you are keen to excel and take on further responsibility.

Challenge yourself if you’re content in a travel role

Moving jobs has many benefits. Personal career development and reaching goals is morale-boosting. And of course, a new job should go hand in hand with a financial benefit but also increased responsibility. This brings about a growth in confidence, particularly when you use your knowledge and expertise to share with a new team. You never know what’s around the corner, so making change makes you resilient and will always take you on a learning curve that will benefit your career in the long term.

Staying put in a comfortable role is not always a good idea. You may know the business inside out and backwards and your knowledge will be invaluable, but on the flip side you can become set in your ways and possibly reluctant to see the business change. It’s always good to be adaptable to new ideas and ways of working. By moving every 4-6 years in a middle management role, you will adapt to business change, while also bringing your own skills to make a business even better.

Find help from a travel industry recruiter 

If you’re at a crossroads with your career or have hit a glass ceiling then the team at Progressive Travel Recruitment can help you map out your natural career path and also benchmark your salary. We have all worked in the industry and sitting on the periphery of travel means we have a good idea of where your next step may be. We can advise on where your skills could be transferable within the industry, too. And we will help you sort out your thoughts and weigh up what options are out there.

Connect with Lucy, Senior Account Manager at Progressive Travel Recruitment on LinkedIn here, or email lucy@progressivetravelrecruitment.com to start taking the next step up in your travel career.