You’ve made it through your degree, you’ve completed your internship and you’ve finally landed a great graduate job. But before you set off on your exciting new career path, there are a few important points to know to prevent you from burning out and regretting every event related choice you’ve ever made.
1. No one expects you to know everything
You have a degree and some good experience but that doesn’t mean that you’re expected to know how to run the entire company. It’s okay not to know everything right away. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for the task to be explained further. Ask for feedback so you can improve your work. Even if you do have experience in a role, it’s always good to check instead of making a mistake that could have easily been avoided. You may think you know how to write a sponsorship proposal, but your boss might want you to write in a completely different way. Every new job is a learning curve and no one will be angry if you ask questions but your boss might be angry if you mess up a task because you never asked for help.
You said in your interview that you know how to produce event plans, but now you suddenly have no idea how to structure it? That’s okay, just ask. You might think that asking for help shows that you don’t know what you’re doing, but actually it shows that you are diligent and proactive. Your boss is expecting you to ask questions and if you don’t, they might think that you aren’t really interested in the job or that you aren’t motivated to improve your work. If there is an area that you are struggling with, do some extra work in your own time. Read up on any gaps in your knowledge and brush up on any skills that are a bit rusty, this will show your boss that you’re committed to the role and eager to develop yourself as a professional Events Manager.
2. Creating the perfect work life balance is really hard
We all know the classic triangle diagram, balancing your university degree, sleep and social life and you can only pick two at a time. We’ve all seen the extended version which lists everything from health, food, fitness, friends to part-time jobs, hobbies and nights outs. As an event student you already know that Event Managers never stop working and that events management is regularly voted as one of the top most stressful jobs (along with Enlisted Military Personnel and Firefighters!) Although you expect to be working late into the night to finish event proposals or working all weekend on live events, the reality of trying to balance your first full time events job with every other aspect of your life can be overwhelming.
You need to go food shopping but you have a late client meeting? Pot Noodle again. You really need to get some sleep but you haven’t had time for your favorite hobby in weeks? Become ill and miss all your social events. Be prepared to make sacrifices and to suffer the consequences when you try to do it all. It can be disheartening when all your friends are out partying and you’re stuck in the office, but remember why you are doing it, because you want to work in events, and whether you are completely in-love with your job or if you see it as a stepping stone to something else, it’s all a necessary part of your events journey and it will pay off in the future.
3. It’s okay to leave a job that isn’t right for you
You get a job offer and immediately jump at the opportunity but after a little while you realise that you made a mistake and the job isn’t for you. Maybe the role isn’t what you thought it would be, the company ethos and working environment isn’t right for you, you’re not being challenged anymore or you’ve decided you want a complete career change. Whatever the reason, it’s okay to leave. If you decide to leave a job you are not a ‘quitter’ you have not ‘failed’ you have simply made the best decision for you.
Handing in your notice is never a nice experience but you shouldn’t stay in a job that you see no future in or that makes you unhappy. Working in a job for a long period of time shows commitment and loyalty but if you only stay in a job a few months, a few weeks or even a few days, it’s okay! The events industry is fast moving and Event Managers in our generation will have multiple jobs in our careers. Don’t punish yourself, it’s all part of your career path and having the guts to leave will make you a stronger Events Manager and lead to new and exciting opportunities.
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Starting your first job as an events graduate can be super stressful and completely overwhelming, keeping these three points in mind will help you stay calm in challenging situations and motivate you to continue working in events management.