With health and mental health issues at an all-time high in the UK, more people are seeking that elusive work-life balance – the ability to hold down a fulfilling job while also having the opportunities to enjoy time with friends and do the things that give greatest pleasure and matter most.
For Jacki Cooper, becoming a Not Just Travel consultant was the move that did just that, allowing her to walk away from her highly pressurising corporate job and change her life for the better.
With her health deteriorating, it was becoming increasingly difficult to hold down her position as an operations director, in charge of a multi-million pound budget. ““I have a health condition that impacts on my mobility and my ability to work eight to 10 hours straight,” says Jacki.
It was clear that she had to put her health first. She needed flexibility and to be her own boss, so she could dictate her own schedule according to how well she was feeling. But what could she do?
Having always been an avid traveller, Jackie was used to spending more than £20k on her own luxury holidays abroad each year. So carving a new career that combined her passion for travel while allowing her to be her own boss was the ideal scenario.
In February 2022 she took the plunge and joined The Travel Franchise. Within the first 12 months she’d sold around £250k-worth of holidays and in 2023 she’s on track to hit £400k. But what’s just as important is that she has achieved these impressive figures all in her own time. “If I'm having a bad day and am too tired or weary, I can take a rest when I need to,” explains Jackie. “It’s a flexible job that fits in with a semi-retired life.”
And what’s more, Jacki continues to fuel her passion for travel. As part of The Travel Franchise’s on-going training programme, their Not Just Travel consultants can tap into numerous opportunities to travel overseas for conferences and on trips organised by suppliers to familiarise and educate agents on a variety of destinations, hotels and experiences.
She’s already booked to join the company on a mentorship retreat in Cyprus and is currently training to become one of the company’s Cruise Masters. Via a programme of webinars, seminars and ship visits, Jackie will learn all there is to know about the specialist cruise market.
Later this year she’s off down the Nile on a cruise, but that’s after she’s already sold about nine cruises – one worth over £11k.
“I’m really pleased with the way business is going,” says Jacki. “Local business is picking up nicely, although you have to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you do your job well, it will grow and you'll start to get repeat business.”
Jacki has found customers through Facebook, her local hair salon and old work acquaintances. She’s also working closely with one local company organising its incentive travel and employees’ reward scheme.
“The reward scheme consists of 40 UK breaks a year and four two-week holidays abroad. It’s a great opportunity to grow my business and find new customers,” she says.
As is evident from her sales, business is booming – but it’s on her own terms.
“I’m so much happier,” says Jackie. “I love what I do and there’s no stress which is important for my health.”