Planning a long and successful career in the travel industry? Best thing to do is never stop learning and growing. Kathy Telford is one Pentravel consultant who can surely share her words of wisdom; she’s been part of the Pentravel family for 25 years! We sat down with Port Elizabeth’s Shop Manager and asked her a few questions…
What has been key to your successful and long-standing career at Pentravel?
It is an interesting job sending people all over the globe, and every client is different. You never stop learning! I’ve developed some really great relationships with clients and suppliers over the years which really helps with being successful. I’ve also always enjoyed meeting and beating my targets as well.
Why are good relationships with your colleagues so important in the workplace?
We spend more time at work than we do awake at home, so to be happy at work you need to respect your fellow colleagues. Take a bit of time and get to know them, learn to listen without giving an opinion, and help one another! Always be humble.
What has been your most challenging moment in your career at Pentravel?
There have been two! Firstly, 9/11 was just horrifying and wreaked havoc on the flight industry. All the taxes that came in after we thought no one was going to buy an air ticket again!
Secondly, when the airlines dropped our commission – we used to earn 7.01% on every ticket and overrides, so no working out service fees.
How have you developed your passion for selling travel?
There are still so many places I want to visit – I live vicariously through my clients, sending them to places I’ve always dreamed of visiting and then getting feedback from them when they get back home. I am genuinely interested in my client’s holidays – I might not have been to their destination, but I take the time to learn about it and give them insights on what there is to do and see. It is so vital to retain this information should you need it in the future.
What are three things you would tell a young newie just starting out?
- You will get the hang of it – it just takes time and a little effort.
- Use your initiative – don’t wait to be told what to read up on and know your maps.
- Ask questions – don’t be afraid that you could be harassing a team member, this is how you will learn.
Know your maps! It will give your clients confidence if you know their destination of choice.
What has been a stand-out highlight in your 12 years as a store manager?
Mine has definitely been our store featuring in the Pentravel Top 5 a few times since I took over as manager – I am SO proud of my teammates.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
China. I would love to see the Great Wall and the Terracotta Soldiers.
Does Kathy’s story inspire you? Apply now and start living your best life in travel with Pentravel!