Dublin-based Roger Barrett, who joined Travel Counsellors in 2013, was recently interviewed to find out about life as a Travel Counsellor and what it means to him.
Why did you decide to join Travel Counsellors?
“The buzzword ‘work/life balance’ had never entered my mind until having my young son and suddenly neither my wife nor I could manage getting him to school then both arrive to work on time. A job with flexibility just appeared as a possibility, then after meeting Cathy Burke it became a certainty.”
How has being a Travel Counsellor changed your life?
“Flexible living mostly. Being able to work last year from New Zealand and South Africa while visiting family was a revelation. Being your own boss means, if you have the discipline to get the job done, there is no need to clock in or out. I find myself happily working odd hours to get work done – it is worth it though as I might have taken the afternoon off to pursue other interests!”
How do you find the support in Travel Counsellors?
“Nearly three years later, I am still staggered by the constant support and encouragement offered up, mostly by our head office in Cork, but also by colleagues; everyone is friends with everyone. There is as much training on tap as you might want or need. Everyone from IT/Helpdesk/Hotels/Accounts are also at the end of a phone line or instant message link.
“Around the time I started at Travel Counsellors, I was involved in an accident, which set me back temporarily. The incredible rallying around by the Cork head office team and my new colleagues during that time still means so much to me.”
What do you love most about being a Travel Counsellor?
“Honestly, getting my life back. There is an old adage: ‘If you enjoy your job, you will never work a day in your life’. Close on three years after handing in my notice to my old employer, I can honestly say I have never had a single moment where I have thought ‘What have I done?’.”
What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a Travel Counsellor?
“If you are content doing what you are doing, fair enough. If, however, you know you are doing well but get little or no recognition or reward (says the man just back from Hong Kong on a work-provided trip) I know a place where Mojo is restored: it’s at Travel Counsellors Ireland!”