Compulsory national service for travel agents
“Want to separate yourself out from the crowd? Give something of yourself to the places that give so much to you.”
My first glimpse of national service came in 2002 at the Solar eclipse festival, 1200 km away in Lyndhurst, South Australia. Amongst a plethora of global travellers in the world’s biggest air-conditioned tent was a young Israeli who explained that upon coming-of-age, everyone was expected to give a year of their life to the country.
The noble cause
Whether or not you believe in service, wars and armies, there is a nobility to giving part of one’s life to one’s country. In its purest sense, it’s giving something back to that which gave something to you; a life, an opportunity, the ability to live or make a living.
Like the world does for travel agents.
Deriving your income
It might be Flight Centre, Helloworld, Travelmanagers, MTA or Travel Counsellors who pay your wage, but they are not your work place. Our workplace is the world; our ability to know of it, to work with it and at times, exploit it, is where we make a living.
Take away the world and its diversity and the never-ending parade of famil’s, promotions and kickbacks become pointless . After all, where would we send people without the diversity?
They’d just stay at home and play on their phones.
Giving something back
I propose that every year, travel agents should do the equivalent of national service.
If a location helps us to make a living, we should help the living in that location. If we want to have what can be an amazing lifestyle in travel, we should give something back to those that help us feed our own.
It could be as poor as just a donation of cash or so much more and be a donation of time and a little bit of you. In doing so, we might just learn more about the places that we send our customers to. Help build a school, deliver some medicines, sweep a street, impart some knowledge to improve the life of someone else.
The machines can’t do that
We talk about machines, but what we are really talking about is an insane concentration of wealth, the very thing that so many customers of the online websites pretend that they are fighting against. Want to separate yourself out from the crowd?
Give something of yourself to the places that give so much to you.
Take that story and tell it to your customers. The telling of the story will separate you from the machines.
Go old school, the narrative
Elders once sat around fires and told stories. In my nearly 2 decades of working with technology, the most successful projects are those that come with narrative.
The authentic story is one you live yourself. Machines can’t give. People do. Give and earn your story.
Want to see yourself apart in your travel career ? Give something back and in turn, you will get a whole lot more to give.