A millennial's guide to surviving the event world
Published: 20 Aug 2015 By Nyasha Hernandez
Jessica Hargreaves, joint managing director at Pretty Green, wrote an interesting thought piece on her experiences with millennials in the event workplace. From this we came up with few ways you can overcome the challenges you face as a millennial to help you find opportunities to maximise your career potential as you start out in the event industry.
Challenge: Being heard in a busy industry
Whether you’re starting out in an entry level role or are cemented in a junior role, it can sometimes be hard to have your input heard when you’re battling against the opinions of more senior members.
Solution: Have confidence in your ideas. The more you contribute your ideas the more your ideas will start being noticed. And if you’re working in an environment that seems to neglect your ideas - try to combine your ideas with a colleague's and present them together, demonstrating your team working and collaborative skills. Working with a colleague to present your ideas will also help to develop the quality of your ideas and you’ll find a way to aptly develop your understanding of the events industry.
Challenge: Knowing when to stick with a job
Most jobs aren’t exciting 100% of the time. Things can take a while to improve in a job you may be finding dull. If you can’t attack less interesting tasks with the same effort as you would exciting tasks then it’s not a matter of whether the job is not right for you, it’s a matter of whether your attitude towards the job is right. But if a job brings you no enjoyment, is unchallenging and you find the work environment unsupportive - then it may be time for you to move on.
Solution: Remember, perspective is key, though you may be finding it unchallenging now, it can change with time. Ask for support from your co workers, supervisors, managers - someone you can confide in and get helpful advice from. Ask for bigger challenges and more responsibilities if you feel like work has slowed to a meandering crawl.
Challenge: Getting promoted
Promotions don’t come by the duration of the time you’ve spent in a position, but by how much improvement you've made, dedication to the job you've shown and willingness to expand your horizons. To get to those more senior roles you need to gain experience. Not just experience in the sense of getting the job done, but experience in the sense of knowing how to handle the busy and hectic nature of the event industry. With every further career step you’ll find yourself taking on more responsibility and greater challenges.
Solution: When you’re taking on more responsibility, find yourself craving harder challenges and projects to work on and you’re able to handle whatever is thrown at you - then you’re ready to ask for that promotion.
Challenge: Being seen as a job hopper
If you’ve got a CV filled with constant change and new job levels, it can concern some employers. You can be written off as a job hopper if you’ve obtained a lot of titles in a relatively short amount of time.
It can feel as though your achievements aren’t being appreciated and that the work you’ve done isn’t being noticed. However, you need to remember that some people view experience as time spent in a role i.e. the longer you’ve spent in a role the more experience you’ve gained from it, even if you’ve got the experience under your belt and are just a whizz kid in the events world. It’s not a reflection that you aren’t fit to undertake these roles - you wouldn’t have gotten these titles if you weren’t qualified, it just looks like you aren’t loyal to a company or an organisation. It shows to some that you won’t stick around for long if a seemingly better opportunity came along.
Solution: Give your potential employer a reason to understand why you’ve advanced so quickly and show them your personality. Write a personable cover letter or personal statement detailing why you’ve achieved so much in so little time and arm yourself with references backing up your accomplishments. Personality is key in the event world, so a confident, bubbly and organised person has some key ingredients for success.
Challenge: Being viewed as overly ambitious
Your ambition can be mistaken as hurried career climbing. You may be expecting bigger things from your career too quickly. Your enthusiasm for the job and eagerness to achieve more could be misconstrued as you almost being ambitious before your time. Instead of focusing on improving your skills and gaining experience from the job at hand, you’re focusing too much on the bigger picture of your career as a whole - where you want to be, how you’re going to get there and when you’re going to get there. Some employers may mistake such ambitious millennials as people who are more likely to job hop if they don’t get where they want to be in the timeframe they expect.
Solution: Don't forget that you’re starting out in a relatively low position - one where you’re expected to develop before you can begin climbing the ranks. Slow down, take a look at what you’ve achieved in your job so far and assess if the targets you’re aiming for are a little too high. Take the opportunity to ask your employers about any learning and development courses you can take to help you reach your targets. Ask your manager to help you come up with achievable goals and steps to help you set a career progression route.
As a millennial you may have heard a mixed bag of reactions to your presence in the workplace. The fallacy of the ‘lazy, entitled and impatient millennial’ has fallen short of what employers are actually seeing performance wise from their young employees. Being Generation Y, you bring a fresh perspective to a lively events industry which in turn offers many career pathways for you to choose from.