In the few weeks since the Event Coordinators’ Network’s workshop, I have spoken to several colleagues who are interested in finding more event opportunities across campus. They are passionate about event planning but might not have many opportunities to dedicate time and energy toward the task in their current positions and wonder how they might fit more into their daily lives.
I know where they are coming from – I’ve been there! I’ve been in career positions or situations where I was somewhat content but knew I wanted something more fulfilling or challenging to better complete my experience. Thankfully, I’ve been afforded some opportunities both here at Georgia Tech and in my personal life to try new things and step outside my comfort zone, creating better balance between my avocations and my vocation. I offer a few ideas to you below in hopes that you, too, might be able to find your passion in all you do:
Knowing my litany of disparate interests, a friend of mine sent me a great article last year focused on job crafting. The concept of job crafting entails utilizing your strengths to create opportunities in your current job where you can shine and be more productive. Perhaps your department throws retirement events for departing colleagues, but you’ve never been involved in the planning. By job crafting, you could volunteer to take the lead on planning all the events (while still maintaining your current responsibilities) to ease the burden on others and promote a consistent message through your department.
To read more about job crafting and complete a complementary exercise, click here.
I had the opportunity to participate in two different job rotations during my first two summers here at Georgia Tech. I have a passion for leadership and people development, so I was able to work with my boss and leaders in two separate units across campus to develop work experiences that would benefit both departments and contribute to my growth and development. To participate, employees must meet certain qualifications, gain approval from both their primary and job rotation supervisors, and be able to effectively complete the responsibilities for which they were originally hired. If approved, a job rotation can be an extremely rewarding experience for all parties and provide numerous opportunities for networking and growth.
Volunteering for Nonprofit Organizations
Before coming to Georgia Tech, I worked in student affairs in Macon, but I knew I wanted to be back in Atlanta working in special events. I met with the PR director at the Atlanta Humane Society to see if she had any projects I could assist with. Initially, I helped her with her media lists and writing press releases, but soon I was responsible for the public relations efforts of their large fall event, which I could coordinate from 1.5 hours away. If you are willing to assist another entity pro bono, whether it’s event planning for a nonprofit organization, your child’s school, or even your sister’s wedding, many times the receiving party will not only accept but be overwhelmingly thankful for your help. As for you, you’ll reap the benefit of pursuing your passion for event planning and might do such a good job that the host will want to hire you again – maybe not for free next time!
Where have you found opportunities to unleash your event planning passion?