Pssst. Wanna know the BEST KEPT SECRET in our industry as it relates to careers?
OK, here it is: The meeting industry is one of the most metric-driven sectors ever.
This has amazing applications for your career.
The “how” part is actually pretty cool: By keeping track of your meeting/sales/marketing/etc. objectives, you provide a demonstrable track record of your performance to goal. And that is exactly what employers love to hear about.
But the problem is that planners have a huge career challenge because they don’t apply those statistics to their own résumés, and therefore don’t know their own value.
Think of it this way: Any time you can capture strategic meetings management (SMM) data to gauge the performance of the meeting/event/exhibition you just completed, this is automatically a clear and measurable track record of your performance.
You can overcome career challenges of feeling like you aren’t worth anything by owning the results.
The more you understand the value of what you bring to an organization, from a business case perspective, the more control you have over your career.
But what if you are already doing this and are starting to feel stalled out in terms of the next possible and logical career step upwards?
Some planners move into leadership roles at larger companies as a vice president of meetings or the like.
If those positions aren’t available, let’s rethink what it is that a meeting/event/exhibition planner really does:
You are an operations leader. And operations leaders manage people (check), resources (check), revenue/expense (check) and timelines (check).
So if you have truly maxed out and are feeling a career challenge in simply trying to figure out what is next, consider operations.
There are a lot of applications for operations management in virtually every industry.
So if you are ready to grow and want to spread your wings beyond your current employer, industry or even role, operations could be another avenue for your career.
Another career challenge for planners includes getting more pay for the work you do.
Ever notice how the bottom line and budgets keep growing for the successful events you produce? Yet, your salary stays at the same miserable level?
It’s time to buck up and start showing how you are a PROFIT center in order to justify a raise.
Create your own P&L (profit and loss) statement for the work you do—employers speak money. So the more you can demonstrate how you are bringing in loads more money than expenses, you’ll have their attention.
Make a strong business case to justify why your raise would be easy to do. That can solve the career challenge of not getting paid what you are worth.
Finally, the last big career challenge that planners have to deal with is not having enough time to keep up on continuing education requirements.
Sure, you have a zillion events coming up and each demands your time, but ultimately, the only one controlling your career destiny is YOU. You have to make time to invest in yourself, and not let another year fly by without making an effort to keep your job skills up to date.
If the employer won’t pay for it, it’s time you step up and ensure that you pay for it yourself. You stand to reap the rewards, so why wouldn’t you invest in that?
Being proactive in addressing these challenges will help planners stay on top of the careers and get what they want.