Reader Justin asked,
Hi Gary – Do you have any recommendations for points or miles careers working out of Boston? Maybe working in the loyalty space or for a blog? I have a financial services consulting background and recently left my firm. I am an avid traveler and would love a career where I could pursue my passion. I have been reading your blog for over 6 years now and would love any advice you have to offer. Thank you so much!
Justin, the best advice I can offer is run. Run away. As far and as fast as you can.
The travel industry generally is a really tough place to make money. And while there are certainly large and enduring contracts — such as providing new CRM systems to loyalty programs, and even managing those programs for instance the Lacek Group has been providing services to Starwood for as long as I can remember — it’s hard to imagine too many places where consulting will make you less money overall.
Most travel in travel consulting is utterly pedantic, you fly to – say – Chicago or Houston or Atlanta or Dallas. For sure there are international conferences and potentially international clients. You may not indulge your love of travel by working for clients in travel.
I’d think though the first question I’d ask is, what is the unique skill or service I have to offer? If it’s financial-related, these aren’t usually the best clients, and it’s often big firms that provide those types of services for them anyway. Of course airlines buy financial services, and database services, and all manner of technology. There are loyalty consulting practices.
I imagine the worst thing you could do is to work for a blog, but perhaps I’m the wrong person to tell you that since I don’t have any employees and I don’t hire anyone to write posts. I’ve had some very modest tech consulting.
If it’s your passion by all means start your own blog, but don’t expect it to make money or make money quickly (I wrote for more than 2 years before there was even an ad on the site, and for over 6 years before the site generated $250 a month, although others of course have been more successful more quickly).
For sure, love what you do, and if you have unique skills to offer you can offer them in the loyalty space. I’ll just suggest that there are often more lucrative places to ply one’s trade.