The holidays are upon us, complete with a lot of gift-giving going around.
But what most people don’t realize is that gifts don’t have to be something physical and wrapped up with a bow. They can be even more significant yet have no tangible dimensions.
What I am talking about is giving the best holiday gift ever: Yourself. Specifically, take what you’ve gained from the meeting industry and give back.
Regardless of your tenure or title you’ve already invested a great deal of time and energy into becoming an industry professional—and now is the time to give back.
It’s simple…just turn around and start pulling up the newbies and lesser-experienced industry folks alongside you. Remember how difficult it was when you first got started? Now’s your chance to pay it forward in the spirit of giving.
Here are multiple ways to do so:
- Find a volunteer opportunity and give of your time. Share your expertise as a volunteer and as a way to teach others.
- Mentor someone. There are plenty of people out there that would be incredibly grateful for a more-experienced professional to take the time to advise and support them.
- Introduce the next generation to our industry. Are you going to career nights at your local high school(s) or college? Many students still have no idea that the meeting industry exists! This is your opportunity to have an amazing impact on someone else’s career decisions.
- Offer to host a job shadow. Most schools offer a one-day job shadow opportunity that enables students to go onsite to a local business to gain an understanding of what your work entails, and provides insights into a potential career path.
- Set up an internship. Interestingly, many people automatically assume that internships are for college students. Why not be more open to include non-traditional student learners (adults) who are making a major career pivot? This can help them see what it takes to work in this industry.
- Consider a financial contribution to the MPI Foundation or a local industry charity. Scholarships to industry-focused educational opportunities are a huge benefit to many meeting industry newcomers as they are just finding their way. Formal education and training can prove invaluable in helping shape their career trajectories, plus provide hands-on tools to improve their work and professionalism.
- Start speaking at local and industry conferences. I always tell clients that there are more stories out there on the mean streets than what are in textbooks, so being a speaker who has a story to tell is a fantastic way to share your knowledge and expertise in a way that others can benefit.
How can you help someone else by giving?