The number 1 thing to know about job hunting as an Events Graduate

Photograph by Ian Schneider

The pressure when you graduate is all about landing the first job.

Obviously, it has to be your dream job – the perfect one that you love and all your friends secretly want! It isn’t allowed to be anything other than the BEST job – plus, you have to be quick about it. No waiting around and spending time looking for the first few months.

Right?

NOPE – it’s all a lie.

I’ve friends who got a job right out of uni and are still there, others who’ve started new jobs every year since leaving uni. I’ve friends who found, on paper, the perfect job but left after 6 months. I’ve friends who went travelling for over 12 months and still found great jobs. Some, it took a while to find something and they went back to retail work before they getting a role in events. It took me 6 months and even then it wasn’t an official job but a freelance role. Some just went straight into freelancing and others are still working out what they want to do when they are older!

Thing is, that pressure to be quick on the job hunt it’s coming from you, no-one else!

Sure people like to *really* ask what you’re going to do now that you’ve graduated – but mostly it’s because they’re nosey.

If you’re happy, able to pay your bills, feel comfortable and have a semi-plan in mind – don’t worry.

When I left uni and moved home I set a goal of 6 months. By November 2014 I wanted to be in an events job. I decided to take a break before I went head first into applying for jobs, so I went travelling for a few weeks. I then took on a nannying job to earn some cash, because as my Dad has always said – he is not a cashpoint! And I did some volunteering/freelance event work alongside it all.

The 6-month goal was personal. My graduation was in November and I really didn’t want to be the only one of my friends (and class) not in an events job.

How I first started working at GPJ was not the ‘perfect’ scenario – in fact, it was originally just 3 weeks of admin work to help Sales and Marketing. That was then extended and they offered a freelance administrative position within Strategy and Planning. I freelanced at GPJ for just over a year before I was offered the job as Junior Strategist last January.

There is no perfect way to land an events job. The internet will try to tell you there is. People will try to tell you there is. But it isn’t true.

There is also no right way to go about looking or finding a job.

There is no set time in which you need to land an events job to have a successful career.

So fresh graduate, take a little pressure off yourself. You’ve finished university – that in itself is an impressive feat!


You can read my personal Graduate journey below;

June 2014//August 2014//September 2014//November 2014//March 2015

@BlogByKobrak – @ImDamnStudent  Facebook

How To Build Your Events Career.

Photography by Danielle Macinnes 

A couple of months ago I had the absolute pleasure of co-running Helen Moon‘s EWL Coffee Morning discussion, with two of my co-collaborators and great friends; Elena Clowes and Priya Narain.

As co-founders of Event First Steps the discussion was around how to build your own career within the events industry – a topic which each of us has very different stories and experiences to pull from!

As I said in my last post (which happens to tie in very nicely to this one) I’ve come round to the fantastic conclusion that in the overall grand schemes of things, I’m still only at the very start of my career journey. For any of you who are just graduating, I’m not sure if this is as great a statement or rather counterproductive – but I can promise I mean it to be seen as empowering!

Helen’s formats these events so they incite discussion rather than have people ‘present’. It was very much a chance to have a conversation with other event professionals, and I can honestly say I came away feeling inspired, they each bought a different point of view to the table and challenged points so that we justified much of what we said!

One of the points we championed was being active outside of your job.  Attend events in the evenings, be engaged and interesting with the wider industry. Be curious.

Why?

Personally I do it is because I want to make myself indispensable. I want to give something bigger back, and bring more to the table than just what is expected of me.

With so many people coming into the industry, either from education – like you and me – or from changing career paths, there is even more competition for job roles.

Sure you need to show you are competent at doing the job, but being active and engaged outside of work shows that are striving to bring the best, you want to continue to learn – and with that you’re not just expecting your employers to be the ones to teach you. It shows that you’re looking for opportunity. 

Of course you need to balance where you spread yourself. If you’re in full-time employment then make sure your job has your full attention. However work is only 8 hours of your day, how you spend your lunch break or evenings – that is down to you. 

Some people will be content with finding a good job, giving that their attention and then using their free time as they feel fit – that is fantastic. We all have different priorities. However if you want to make the most of your time in the early stages of career progression – get active. Be curious.


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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Reflection

Photograph by Maxime Le Conte des Floris

Do you know what the start of 2017 brings *other than the beginning of the Trump era*?

The opportunity to reflect on the past year.

December threw me a little of kilter, due to the passing of my fantastic Opa, and it meant that I didn’t really have time to distil what 2016 hurled at us!

I’m not going to even approach the topic of politics – otherwise this would turn into a 12,000 word essay just filled with my anger and frustration. I will spare you reading that.  In fact the highlighting of anything negative just seems to be more work than my brain can handle right now, and I know I need a little reminder about all the great things that happened in-between the onslaught of the negativity!

Instead I’m going to highlight 5 industry accomplishments that have made me exceptionally proud (two words I overuse in the rest of this post). I actually spent a few hours looking through all my tweets from the last 12 months & there were so many moments that I’d forgotten about, or had thought happened even further back!

Seems a lot happens in the space of 12 months! This is a very self-indulgent post, but hey we all need to pat ourselves on the back once in a while!

I would love to hear about your achievements across 2016; always great to hear about the amazing work Event Students and Event Profs are achieving – pushing the events industry that step further!

Without further ado …

Getting to co-create and run the first Events First Steps event with two of the greatest friends Priya & Elena. Truly this has been one of the best parts of 2016.

These girls are exceptionally talented, their determination, focus, high spirits are infectious & I really cannot wait to bring you more of these events in the coming year! More than anything the feedback from everyone who came and event professionals who followed online was the icing on the cake!

Another great experience was the Event 100 Club – not only did I make it on the 30 under 30 list (at number 11), I was also named number 70 of the 100 most influential people in the events industry. I just want to pass my thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for me, it was a high note to end the year on!

Speaking at various events. Being on a panel  discussing blogging at events at International Confex was a great experience – although slightly weird to be described as an ‘expert’ but great points raised (worth checking out the fellow experts; Annie Byrne, Kursha Woodgate, Juraj Holub and Jim Curry).

I also spoke to Event Students at the Leeds/GPJ Future Event Professionals event whilst at Confex. In fact 2016 saw some great opportunities to talk to event students around London about my own experience and the work we do at GPJ; University of Greenwich, University of Westminster and London Met University!

Taking on the role as Education Director at Large & joining the ILEA UK Board. This association has created fantastic friends in the industry and I am exceptionally proud to be able to give back to the industry and work alongside some amazing event profs – 2017 is only going to continue the amazing work!

And finally to sum up the great parts of 2016 – it has to go to GPJ. It has been a year of continued development & I am really appreciative to be a part of the team and work alongside some remarkable colleagues! Plus seeing some of the projects come to life over the last 12 months has been so worthwhile!

So cheers to remembering the good parts of the last year, and to seeing what we can get done in the next 12 months!

Don’t forget to let me know your top achievements peeps 🙂


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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