Spring into action

1. Improve your earnings

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, sticking to what you know and selling the product you feel you can look the most knowledgable about. But there are hundreds of products and services out there, and most of them have got commission attached just waiting to be earned.

So next time someone comes in and books that fortnight in the sun or a week on the slopes, think hard about the extras they might want. What about car hire. Are they celebrating something on the trip? Think upgrades, champagne on arrival and private transfers. Is their flight in the early hours? They might need pre-flight hotels. It all adds up to a healthier bottom line for you.

2. De-clutter

Spring clean your work environment. De-litter your desk by being ruthless about what you will and won’t need again. Get rid of useless items that have accumulated in the drawer and tidy up all those old files on your computer’s desktop. As well as making your worklife a lot more orderly, believe it or not, it will help you psychologically.

Carol Nemeroff, an associate professor of psy chology at Arizona State University has studied the effects of spring cleaning and says: “Spring makes us feel like everything in the outside world is renewed. It makes us think of new beginnings. Many people have some level of need to be in control and one way we satisfy that need is by controlling our immediate surroundings.

“Spring cleaning is just one way to do that. It also provides instant gratification because we can see the results of our efforts.”

3. Be part of the team

There are office politics in every workplace but it needn’t necessarily be a negative thing. We don’t get on with everyone we work with, but a little give and take can make the office environment a much more happy place to be.

People who are difficult to work with could just be frustrated about how decisions are made or are insecure about their own abilities. Take time out to rethink your opinion of them and try to find ways of working together.

4. Get that promotion

There are dozens of ways in which you can improve your chances of promotion and although they may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how few people do them.

For instance, keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s business, puts it in a good light, is creative and innovative, and shows your loyalty to the organisation so when you ask for that promotion, you have proof you deserve it.

If you have done something praiseworthy, make sure people know about it – including the boss. And remember to sell yourself and let people know you are keen to move on.

5. Review your work diet

What you eat and drink in the office really can make all the difference to how you perform.

We all know that coffee acts as a stimulant if you’re tired and need to be alert but the chemical that supresses the body’s natural need to slow down following lack of sleep will only work for so long before serious irritability, depression and lack of concentration kick in.

And all that toast at breakfast, panini at lunch and crisps in the afternoon means a carb overload that will wear you out by 4pm.

6. Spring clean your work wardrobe

This applies even if you wear a uniform because, as we all know from our school days, there is an awful lot of ways to customise a specified outfit.

Wear jewellery? There’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t make the wrong statement.

Too many bracelets clanking and earrings big enough to snag in a printer are not the right look if you want to be taken seriously.

If you don’t have to wear a uniform, think simple and professional – make a style statement about yourself without going overboard.

7. Refresh your attitude

What you say and do as soon as you come through the door at work each morning alters perceptions of you constantly. You might have a reputation for being grumpy and uncommunicative before your first cuppa at 10am but just a week of appearing bright and alert and full of ideas the minute the work day starts will eliminate that image very quickly.

And altering your attitude can also affect change from within as attitude makes a huge difference to human effective ness on all levels. Your attitude vastly affects your bio-chemistry which in turn can make or break your relationships with customers, suppliers, co-workers, bosses and computers.

Thinking positively at the start of every day really will change the way others see you and the way you behave.

8. Up your customer service levels

Not only will this translate to better sales, but it will also get noticed very quickly by your boss – and you never know what opportunities he or she knows about that you don’t.

A quick read of our Mystery Shopper pages each week will show you that even the simplest customer service levels are often not reached by counter staff. So when a client asks about the weather in a destination, if you don’t know, find out. How long does it take to Google that information after all? The Internet means that no piece of information is beyond your grasp – use it and add value to every transaction.

9. Review who you are mixing with after hours

Okay, no-one likes going off to work dos every night, but it will do you no harm whatsoever to take up that offer from the boss to attend a function every so often.

Aside from learning new information that will help you at work, these functions always improve your network of associates – and you never know when one of them will pass on something useful like a new job opening, a promotion possibility or the chance to work in a location you’ve always fancied.

10. Reorder your work/life balance

It’s no secret that staff in the travel industry are very often overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated.

The industry union TSSA helpdesk gets calls each week from workers who know they are overdoing it but can’t see how to work their contractual hours only without upsetting the boss.

The answer is to let your boss know you won’t work as well if you are tired and run down. Take up a class, a hobby or a sport that demands you leave at certain times at the end of the day so you can’t put off leaving on time.

All selling and no fun makes you an under-achieving travel agent.

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