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RELESE courses: wider activity possibilities – a guarantee for today and future

    • i grainiene ekskursija nidoje tomo mano namelis
    • i grainiene ekskursija vilniaus katedra
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Ilona Grainienė, an independent travel manager-guide and RELESE course participant from Kaunas, Lithuania.

The position of a travel manager or guide in the travel agency was just a seasonal work, thus she had constantly go and register to Labour Exchange. This dependence was troublesome and frightened. Finally, the woman heard about RELESE courses, which encouraged her to register her own activity. Today, Ilona is happy – these courses have been the necessary push from outside ensuring her independence and secure her pension in a long-term perspective.
"I have long worked as a seasonal travel manager or guide in a huge travel agency. I used to work during tourist season and in October I had to go to Labour Exchange and register. A bit later the travel agency asked me to acquire business certificate. However, at the end of the season I used to terminate independent activity and register in Labour Exchange. I was afraid that I would not have enough money to live till the beginning of the next season. Thus paying taxes without receiving any income from the activity frightened me...", - Ilona starts her story. 
According to her, autumn-winter-early spring was the long period of inactivity, money earned during the season used to melt very quickly. Thus, soon this resulted in blaming myself for such idleness, desperate searches for some kind of job and dignity-degrading registration in Labour Exchange. Not to mention the after-seasonal depression and other resulting consequences... "I knew I had the potential to work well but I lacked some kind of push from outside, incentive", - states the woman.
RELESE lectures - a gulp of fresh air
However, Ilona did not sit with her hands folded. Browsing the Internet, she used to register here and there, tried to go to refresher courses, expand her activity in other spheres requiring higher qualification. She was quite surprised when in her email she found RELESE course offer. "I still do not know how I was selected. I think I might have registered in the web page of Labour Exchange or it simply offered me", - says the curious woman, who has accepted the offer with a great joy. The circumstances were very favourable - after the tourist season Ilona had plenty of free time and thus did not feel well without realizing herself as a specialist.
"I went to one the first lectures in Vilnius Business College on the wings of wind. It was amazing - the lecture of a psychologist! During it all participants tried to discuss with the lecturer all pros and cons before starting one's business. I felt as if I had taken a gulp of fresh air. I had already then decided to change something in my work activity", - tells the course participant. 
Other lectures usually took place in Utena. For a few times Ilona went by her own car but soon realised that she could not afford the distance between Kaunas and Utena. However, she thoroughly studied the material of lectures uploaded to the course webpage, watched video records of lectures. Moreover, the lectures were willing to answer the queries of the active participant. 

Matters not only today, but tomorrow as well
The decisive step was encouraged by the lecture about various types of individual activities and companies, their advantages and differences. "After coming home I evaluated my situation, started taking further interest, reading information pages of State Tax Inspectorate, searching for responses on the Internet. Then I decided to start individual activity under certificate. I understood that taxes applied to such activity are higher than those of business certificate. However, compulsory pension insurance taxes may guarantee higher retirement benefit. You do not think about that while you are young. However, in the course of years we are more and more anxious about our old-age. After all, being registered in Labour Exchange for more than half a year does not ensure any contributions of pension insurance. And who will take care of my old age? Certainly, only me. I understood this very clearly while thoroughly studying the material of courses uploaded on the Internet by RELESE", - tells Ilona.
RELESE courses lasted nearly one year, started in autumn and ended in the beginning of summer. This was exactly the rush-time of jobs for Ilona - Lithuania was flood with tourists.
Expanded activity - new possibilities to earn
Today, evaluating the courses, the woman states that they have been a step towards self-confidence encouraging to expand her activity. "Until now I had only one employer and was dependant on their will. Now I have started working with few agencies and I can choose myself whom and when to work with. Moreover, I can organize trips and hire people with business certificates. Earlier, the flow of foreigners visiting Baltic States decreased in autumn and forced me to end all my jobs. Only now I shall pursue my activities all year round. In October, I shall devote all my efforts for the "conquest" of local market. After all, people always want short trips in their own land. And according to statistics, steady growth of tourism is felt in Lithuania. I will be able to order buses, coordinate routes and offer my services. I shall start from the circle of people that I know, small groups. Afterwards, I plan to start working directly to foreign agencies and offer them my services without Lithuanian agents", - optimistically tells Ilona. 
She is not afraid of responsibility since the woman perfectly knows her work and is not a beginner in sphere of tourism. Not to mention all the contacts saved during so many years. Her professionalism is perfectly proved by huge number of orders during the season of tourists. According to the course participant, she even lacked time to all those orders. This situation gave her one more idea for rational solution. Ilona "discloses her cards": "I plan to sell received orders to other colleagues who work with business certificates and also earn money from this agency". 
RELESE courses - for those who want changes and knowledge
So RELESE courses have become the decisive push to newly evaluate one's possibilities and take brave decisions. However, according to Ilona, to use successfully the information received during these courses, you have to wish for these changes and knowledge. “In this new age of informatics, knowledge and experience, mobility and receptivity are the necessary qualities for every educated person. Even if I did not resolve to start my individual activity after the RELESE course, the received and read information would help me to orient better under the conditions of market economy and rapid changes. Thus, I would recommend these courses to all active and curious people who have not still found themselves in the working sphere”, - says the active travel manager-guide.