Travel 2, Travel 4 key account manager Sarah-Jane Barnett tells Travel Weekly how she started out in travel, and what led her to her current position.
What was your first job in travel?My first job in the travel industry was on a youth training scheme for Thomson Holidays in Greater London House as a programme administrator – advising travel agents of changes to customers’ bookings pre-departure.
How did you climb the career ladder?By working hard and having a passion for travel.
What does it take to be good at your job?A sense of humour and a passion for people.
What are the big challenges in your job?Staying one step ahead of all the changes in the industry when it’s moving so quickly.
What’s the best part of your job?Working and building relationships with travel agents and helping them improve their sales.
And the worst ?Being stuck on the M25 in traffic.
What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?Always look where you want to be in five years time and work towards that goal. My first manager at Thomson told me this piece of advice. She went on to become a very successful director within the Travel Industry and I have always kept to the 5 year plan myself.
If you weren’t working in travel what would you be doing?A dancer. My claim to fame is that I was taught to dance by Len Goodman, the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing. I would love to be a dance teacher and, who knows, even become a judge so I could watch Gethin Jones and James Martin dance on Strictly Come Dancing.
CV2007 to present: Key account manager, Travel 2 Travel 4
2001: Sales manager, Sandals and Beaches
1997: Cabin crew, senior cabin crew, Airtours International Airways
1987: Worldwide programme administrator, client welfare officer and overseas teamleader, Thomson
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