There always comes a season when an event planner needs a little refresh in their career. Year over year of doing the same job could result in a lack of growth and opportunity. This can lead to thoughts of “jumping ship”. Although switching to a new job isn’t always the answer, there are always many things to consider when wanting to make the change. Jobs within the meeting and events industry could be plentiful one year, and scarce the next, with the economy being a major factor. In addition to this, accepting a new position can be risky. There is padded comfort in the stability of a tenured position. Yet, there are potential detours that you can take to grant you some time while waiting for your next opportunity.
Set a new goal
Use the time that you are waiting to step into your next to set a new goal for yourself and your events. Create a fresh new process, or idea to spice things up. Even better, teach a method that you use to others in your organization to demonstrate your leadership and team spirit. Maybe you want to implement some “green” ideas into your meetings. Maybe you want to lay out a better strategy for your planning process. Whatever your goal may be, having a new goal or new project can stir up some passion to get you through the storm. Or even better, it may lead you directly to the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
Switching it up
Sometimes a new goal just isn’t going to cut it. For those working for corporations, third parties, association management firms, or hotels, maybe there is an option to switch areas of work. Meaning if there is a particular department you work with, request to explore a different one, for a new challenge. Another example is working with a different “type” of event. Perhaps you’d rather work weddings instead of sales programs. Speak to someone about your decision, you never know what opportunities it can open up for you. In many organizations, you may be working with a particular client, perhaps it is just time for a change. Do what you need to switch things up and try something new.
Research, Research, Research
There are several sites out there that can help you with your search for meeting planner jobs, hotelier jobs, meeting support or supplier jobs. Meetingjobs.com (a Cadre company) is a great site to add to the repertoire of any job search. Also visit an industry organization’s website like MPI or PCMA, and venture into their career area to view available opportunities. However, most positions still come from sites like Monster.com, Indeed, or local career sites in your area, so keep checking them out. Subscribing to notifications of new jobs that meet certain search criteria might also benefit your search.
Join an industry organization
If you aren’t involved in an industry organization, join one – if you can. There can be a lot of value in relationships and connections that are made by being an active member. If you are a student too even better as many of these industry organizations have student rates to make it easier for you to join. Active sites like Meeting Professionals International, Professional Convention Management Association, and International Special Events Society, are a good start and can provide a wealth of knowledge for meeting & event planners and suppliers. Check out these and other organizations and if you have the means to – join one of them and reap the benefits.
Many times if you are in a rut, it may mean that you need a bit of a break. Let’s face it the event industry can be hard (yet rewarding) work, and it can be easy to be drained or have feelings of disengagement. When this happens, you might be signaling that some self-care is needed. Consider taking some time in order to refresh your mind and gain better perspective on where you want to be in your career. This may be a nice weekend away, or it may mean a bit longer. Its important that if you continue in your work that you are in a growth mindset and ready to jump right in when you get back to work.
While you wait – educate. Yourself that is. Education can take you places, and while you are sitting and waiting for a better opportunity it can only help but to beef up your resume. Take a strategic management course, or learn more about ROI and the return of investment in meetings. There are also opportunities to get your certification in meeting planning or a meeting management certification. Education in the field of meetings continues to expand and encompass certain areas of meeting planning, management, and design – so it can only be beneficial to know a little bit more.
Having a good chat with an industry colleague over a glass of wine, a meal, a bottle of beer, or a cup of jo can go a long way. Network with your co-workers, or even go to an industry organization’s event, both are great methods for connecting. For those more techy networkers, social networking sites can also help you – try LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to sharpen your networking skills. You can even join our own Planners On Purpose Facebook Community for support. Networking is an old-school way to make connections and possibly get that position you always dreamed of.
If all else fails, remember that the reality is – you have a job. And if you need help getting out of the rut and into a better path for your career, I’m happy to help you in coaching – go ahead and let’s connect to see if coaching will be a good fit for your situation. I see opportunity around the corner for you my friend – stay strong!