In a time of uncertainty, how do you make sure you’re taking care of yourself? From work to family to yourself, despite being stuck at home, you may still be pulled in a million directions. Now is the time to think about yourself and check-in. What can you do to feel happy and healthy? The How Great Events Happen podcast has some great content to help you achieve more during this time, and we've gathered some great tips on how to take of yourself both professionally and personally in this blog.
Take Charge of Your Professional Life
The meetings and events industry has been impacted first-hand by the coronavirus. Many planners are scrambling to push events out to the future or to look for new ways to help their organization, as their current job is on pause. Here are a few tips to stay ahead of the game and take your career into your own hands.
Know Where Your Events Stand
Events are being postponed, moved to virtual, and even cancelled. Review your contracts and do your best to protect yourself against future losses. Try to add clauses to hotel contracts that protect you against events outside of your control. Hotels are struggling, too, and looking to stack the deck for the fall as the event industry starts to recover. Do your best to work with hotels. If you have to postpone your event, try to work out a plan to host the event at the same hotel so that you can guarantee them future revenue rather than paying penalties. It’s your job to protect your company and keep stakeholders informed. Keep up-to-date on the situation so that you can make clear, smart decisions.
Stay in Touch with Your Attendees
When it comes to your attendees, connect on a human level. Think about the long-term rather than the right now. While you could run email marketing campaigns and try to engage them, only partake in activities that add value. To make deeper connections, ask them how they’re doing. Send out short polls to assess their mindset and how they’re feeling. By showing that you care and not pushing them to buy, you’ll begin to deepen the relationship. Polling attendees also allows you to understand their fears and hops as the current state evolves. Armed with data, you’ll know what kind of events you should think about planning as the new normal begins.
Learn About Virtual Events
While face-to-face interactions are limited, use this time to learn how to plan a virtual event. Virtual events allow you to do many of the same things you can do at an in-person event. If events are a massive part of your organization’s strategy, instead of cancelling, think about going virtual instead. The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Events can help you get started.
List the Skills You Bring to the Table
While your title might be event planner, you bring a variety of skills to the table. Maybe you’re great at looking through and analyzing data, or you’re a whiz with budgets. This is a great time to catalog your skills, then offer them up to different departments or groups on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to make your value known to your organization. Rather than positioning yourself as a meetings and events planner, advocate for yourself as a high-level problem solver that can run an effective digital marketing campaign, or whatever else you might bring to the table.
Learn Something New
It never hurts to learn a new skill. The more you know, the more value you bring. Many companies are giving discounted training and certifications right now. Take advantage of them! Deepen your knowledge and add to your skillset – all while tracking your new certifications on LinkedIn.
Get Personal: Take Time for Yourself
Being stuck with yourself and your family 24/7 can wear on you. Focus on your mental, physical, and emotional health.
Focus on Gratitude
Rather than getting pulled into the negative, start each day with gratitude. Take a few minutes and write down 3-5 different things you’re grateful for. They can be as small as being thankful for a tasty cup of tea or as big as being grateful for your spouse. For added visibility, write your list on your mirror or a surface you see throughout the day.
Curate and Limit Exposure to the News and Media
Instead of consuming everything on the internet at all times, limit yourself. Choose a quality news organization that you respect and don’t leave you feeling down. Once you have a list of a few sites you like, decide how much time you’ll spend on the news a day and when you’ll do it. Maybe you want to look at the news first thing in the morning to start your day, or perhaps you prefer to look at the end of the workday so that you can stay focused on the tasks at hand. Either way, a routine will help keep you sane.
Find and Do What Makes You Happy
Completing activities can give you a sense of accomplishment. Not only that, but they’re also fun! Find new hobbies or dive into some of your favorites. Here is a list of some ideas if you need help getting started:
- Crochet or knit
- Get into puzzling
- Play board games
- Read all those books you’ve put off because you were busy
- Dance it out
- Self-care – baths, face masks, nails
- Cook or bake something new
- Watch TV
- Home improvement projects
Dress for Your Mood
Pajamas may be comfortable, but they don’t always lead to productivity. What do you hope to accomplish today? If you need to be extra efficient, it may be time to take off the sweatpants and put on real pants. What you wear can have a significant impact on your mood. If you’re in a rut, shake it up. Throw on a dress or a cute top. If you want to exercise at some point in the day, put on workout clothes. Dress for what you hope to accomplish.
Create Separate Spaces
You know how they say never to work in your bed because it may lead to decreased efficiency or to an inability to fall asleep at night? Whether you are self-isolating in a tiny apartment or a big house, do your best to create clear divisions of space. This will allow you to focus and keep work and play separate. Work at your desk, and when the day is done, move to your relaxing space.
Put Some Good Out In the World
What can you do to make someone else’s day? Write letters to friends and family, set up weekly game nights via Zoom, drop off a batch of cookies, or do other small acts of kindness. Humans thrive on community. It keeps us going. Engage with your community at a distance. For those you know who have been furloughed or struggling, consider offering to review their resumes or help them prep for job interviews.
Focus on YOU
You don’t need to be productive but scan yourself and understand what you need to feel happy and healthy. Make sure that you keep yourself sane at home. Make sure you know how much value you bring – whatever happens in the industry. Know that we’re going to come out on the other side of this. Don’t spend too much time in the moment feeling upset. We’re all evolving, and we’ll come out of this better
Brenda Ainsburg’s Go-To Resources
- Side Hustle School Podcast and Book by Chris Guillebeau
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin Podcast
- Andrew Johnson, a mediation expert from the UK, is releasing meditations for kids and adults.
- Listen to free books on Audible
- Free certifications and virtual study groups with Cvent
Taking Charge of Your Career
Looking for a new opportunity can be challenging. We've pulled together a few ways to take charge of your destiny and advance your meeting and event planning career.
How to Stand Out as a Candidate
Listing your accomplishments or talking about yourself can feel awkward. But when you want to stand out as a candidate, you need to be comfortable talking yourself up. Often, planners feel successful at the end of the event, but don’t always feel like they have the data to support event success. The first step to standing out is to dig into the data. When you can attribute numbers to your achievements, your accomplishments can stand alone. At its core, a job search is about marketing yourself to a potential employer. Consider learning about persuasive writing and marketing.
Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search
LinkedIn profile is a great tool – it’s a way to use your network and other individuals for your benefit. After all, you never know who will be able to help you. Enhance the details you have on your LinkedIn page. Think of it as your homepage, or the one place where you showcase who you are professionally. Every individual has their own brand, so make your LinkedIn page sound like you. Don’t be vague. Enhance details for each role you’ve had using bullets to show what you’ve accomplished. You can even add external links and URLs to showcase projects you’ve worked on at other jobs. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to use numbers - data can tell a valuable story.
Use the Power of Human Connection
Your network is powerful. When looking for a new job, don’t get nervous about reaching out to others to ask for help. You can do it digitally or call people you know. The worst they can say is no, and most times, people love to offer a hand. In companies of any size, referrals are one of the best tools to find great candidates. If you’re interested in a certain company where you have a connection, reach out and see if they’d be willing to help you. Finally, don’t forget about LinkedIn. Use your page to reach out to your network for recommendations.
Pick Up New Skills and Certifications
During this time of uncertainty, take the time to learn a few new skills. There are lots of companies offering free training and certifications. The more skills you have, the more valuable you’ll be to a future employer. It’s always great to learn how to use project management and communication tools. This is a great time to learn how to use different technology. For instance, you can become Cvent Certified for free! Adding certifications and skills to your resume will give you a leg up on the job search.
Embrace Imperfection and Adapt
Of all the skills you could learn, adaptability is the most important. If you can problem-solve, adjust, and adapt to whatever life throws at you, you’ll be successful. Work on your adaptability, look to learn a new skillset, and embrace change.