After years in meeting planning, planners can come face-to-face questions that scare them. “Why exactly am I doing this?” or “What is my purpose?”. Although it is hard to admit, continuously servicing business partners, clients, maintaining relationships with vendors, and suppliers, and staying on top of the latest trends can be cumbersome. This industry can be pretty quick to burn you out. So how do you see though the burn to realize the true purpose of your planning? Here are a few steps that help me take a deep breath and continue in the industry that you love.
Reflect on the original reason in which brought you to this job?
Some people “fall into” meeting planning, and increasingly many others have gone to school to make meeting planning their final destination. Regardless of where you fall, you need to evaluate the reason that you wanted your current job. Is it that you wanted to plan meetings? Be a manager? Or maybe work on a specific type of meeting? Identify this reason, and write it down.
Determine if the original reason has been accomplished.
When you rediscover the reason that brought you to this job, determine if your reason was accomplished or fulfilled. Many times you can find yourself on a different playing field for which you originally signed up for. This may or may not be your situation, but regardless, determine if this is still your path. If you find that it is, then develop a reasonable purpose that you are in your role and write it down. When you reflect and find that your original desire for the role is no longer there, or that you have fulfilled what you would like to have completed in that role, then move on to the next step. If your original reason hasn’t been accomplished look below at how to get “unstuck”.
If the original reason has been accomplished, search for your new reason on wanting to stay at the job?
So you have accomplished your goal on this job? Do you still have the same passion for what you are doing? Some people realize that they are now in the position were they want to grow, or try something new. Many others still enjoy what they are doing, and choose to do it differently, in a way that helps them feel greater, and be greater in their work – which provides them with purpose. Determine which one is you, and write down the direction in which you want to venture.
With the new focus in mind, you can set a course for accomplishing that objective.
When you recognize that your goal has been accomplished, set a new course for a new goal. This can occur in your current role, or a new one. Just write down 3-5 goals that you want to accomplish in this new mindset. This will help you alter your course and find more purpose in the work that you currently do. If your goal was to find a new position or work in a new organization, then write 3-5 immediate goal that you need to do in order to move toward what you are setting out to do.
Are you stuck? What if the original reason hasn’t been accomplished?
Many people reflect only to find that they never accomplished what they set out to do in their role. They are on a continuous hamster wheel that will never stop. Is this you? If so, move on to getting unstuck.
First thing, is determine if you even want to accomplish what you want, in this role. Further prodding may uncover that what you want to do isn’t even possible due to how an organization operates or is structured. If you still want to move forward in this role, you need to re-focus, and re-analyze your situation and develop new goals to accomplish your purpose. Need some ideas? Go back to the first step and re-start there.
Be greater in what you do, and push forward.
Yes, sometimes we reach the point of burnout, and that burnout blurs our purpose. The best advise that I can give to get past this, is to try to be greater at what you do. What does this mean? Sometimes our moral level goes so low that we find ourselves complaining, bickering, making mistakes, and getting frustrated all because the job is simply getting on our nerves. When this happens, its time to take a couple of days off, re-focus, and come back to work looking to do things differently, in ways that supports our overall purpose.
What happens when all else fails?
When all else fails? Move on. Look for a different opportunity, a new path, a new adventure. Jobs don’t last forever, and your employer doesn’t have to be the one to make the first step on getting you out the door – you can do that yourself. Everyone deserves to be happy and to serve in this world in an organization that helps them feel purposeful. Write down the first 3-5 steps to get you to your new opportunity.
Are you burnt out? Cool yourself off.
Keep an eye out on how you feel and if you are on the cusp of burnout. If so, you may need to take a break before your job breaks you. Take a vacation, or a few days off just to do nothing. Go through the steps above, to determine what your new approach will be as you ease yourself back into work. When you get back to work, take it easy if you can, and don’t sign up for projects that will stress you out (that is if you have a choice).
Hopefully this post provided you with some ways to re-tool yourself in the event of burnout, or if you simply have lost your purpose. It would be great to hear your thoughts to this post, and any other ideas that you have found that help you find your purpose in your planning.
Photocredit: Working at Home by Godserv via Flickr