How to land a sweet job in travel

I love travel.

I love the thrill of putting together the perfect trip. I love learning about new places, whether through swoon-worthy Instagram feeds or blog posts that blueprint fabulous itineraries. I love the travel itself most of all, whether that’s weaving through night market noodle stands or finding a deserted beach.

So it only seemed natural that, when it came time to get a job, I should do something in travel.

After working for two (really cool) travel brands, I’ve finally found my soulmate career: Being the Head of Travel Innovation at UNiDAYS.

How did I get here? I followed a few pieces of advice that, actually, could come in handy no matter where you want to work.

Do your homework.

Bragging about your vacations to Istanbul and Bali is not going to get you hired. You need to understand how hospitality works. Get on LinkedIn and connect with people in the industry. Subscribe to industry newsletters. If you’re into hotels, learn what REVPAR and ADR mean. If airlines are your thing, know the difference between a direct flight and a nonstop.

Then do more homework.

Research your target companies inside and out. If a company juggles multiple brands, know all of them and understand their differences. One of the travel companies I worked for had eight brands under management. When I asked an interviewee once which one was his favorite, he named a competitor. The conversation ended pretty quickly after that.

Wear your passion.

Most people who work in travel love to talk shop. Bursting with enthusiasm about your upcoming vacation to Barcelona? Have advice about which seat on JetBlue’s A321 is the best? Share it! Work that passion into your conversation so people can feel your sincerity. They’ll appreciate it and it will help form more meaningful connections.

Be flexible.

When I graduated, I only wanted to work at a certain hotel company. And while I daydreamed about shaping its next marketing campaign, I knew that I needed to be open to other roles if I really wanted in. In the end, I landed a job on the pricing team, which turned out to be a fantastic experience and an excellent foot in the door.

Make friends.

I dove into my pricing job but my daydream was still there, tickling my brain and reminding me that what I really wanted was a coveted spot on a brand team. So, I connected with the people on those teams and made sure to nurture those relationships. A few years later, when a role opened up, the hiring manager thought of me and put my resume at the top of the pile.

The moral of the story: Your dream job in travel is possible! (And the industry perks are awesome!)

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