So, this post is definitely a delayed post, but with life adding up to everything it has been, I haven’t had much to focus on this post. When I first became a travel agent back in October, a lot of people asked me why I chose to become a travel agent? I wish that I had some deep, philosophical answer to that question, but rather my answer is more of selfish reasons. I became a travel agent because the pay is good and I get discounted rates.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love to travel and creating new memories. I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot a places ever since I was a little kid, I have been to almost every state in the United States. The majority of these trips were made possible by my auntie and involved my family, my aunt’s family, and my grandmother. Outside of family vacations, my travel experience has been molded through church and school trips. In the long haul, becoming a travel agent was by happenstance and a very unintentional thing.
I was actually sitting in my dorm room one day searching through Indeed for a part-time job, and I came across a posting for a travel agent position. I saw this job posting and I thought to myself, “I’m a broke college student and there’s a lot of money in travel. It’s worth a shot.” So I applied, and in no time was setting up an interview time with my host agency.
How good can this job to make a college student want to take on something that can bear heavy load? Since I am an independent contractor with a host agency, commission works a little bit different as opposed to someone who might own their own travel agency. There’s a little more depth to how my commission works, but at the base level I can make anywhere from 40-70% commission on a single vacation. The downside to this is that I have to wait until my client takes the vacation to paid the commission.
In addition to the payout being such a great amount, as a travel agent I get discounted rates from any of our suppliers. You would think that it couldn’t get any better, but it does. Since I am an independent contractor, I set my own schedule, work from anywhere that I want, and I can’t get fired. So, here I am a 20 year-old college student basically building my first profitable business as a travel agent with up to 70% in commission, discounted travel rates, and I can set my schedule. With all these great benefits, I just knew that this was something that I had to do. Even in the short time that I’ve been doing this I’ve learned a lot.
One of the things that they said when I did my interview was that I had to be okay with delayed-gratification. I have to be honest, I kind of cringed when I heard this. I absolutely hate delayed-gratification. I like to see the rewards of my efforts as soon as possible. Now, this has already unfolded into two big challenges, proving to be one of the great life lessons I will experience. First of all, when you’re starting out in this business you’re not going to have a lot of clients because you really aren’t established yet. Delayed-gratification… challenge one. Challenge two… I was working with two clients to finalize all of their details before we booked their vacations, each of these had a minimum of $250 in commission. One client was supposed to travel in May and the other in June, then COVID-19 hit! Delayed-gratification… challenge two. So, you see how that in just the seven months that I’ve been in this business, it hasn’t been exactly rewarding. And for someone like me who hates delayed-gratification as much as I do, that’s a problem.
So, why would I continue if I hate delayed-gratification so much? Well… it’s a little thing called commitment. I could write a whole other post about me and my commitment issues, but I won’t do that now. I’m just going to say this. Even though I hate delayed-gratification with a passion, I know that once I said “yes’ to this job, I made a commitment and that I couldn’t quit just because I’m not currently reaping any rewards. I just have trust that it will all work out in the end.
In the end, my suggestion is that if you want to get better at accepting delayed-gratification, try starting a business. No matter if you start from scratch with your own idea or if you jump into a business like I have as an independent contractor. You can even be like me and have your own business and be an independent contractor, I started a nonprofit almost 8 years ago now and have yet seen benefits from starting this nonprofit. I don’t know how me learning to accept delayed-gratification is going to help me in life, but there must be some reason why I’m in this position of learning to accept it.