This is a true story as told to DiversityJobs, where you can find career interviews for the job you've been looking at and available positions in your desired field. I have worked as an Event Planner for a major university for over a decade. I plan university events, including alumni get-togethers at sporting events, annual employee celebrations, donor fund-raising events, student-parent visitation events, and student orientation events. Planning an event usually involves a number of steps, from the initial concept to meeting with major event participants and leaders to coordinating with catering staff and logistics coordinators. As a university event planner, I oversee the entire project from start to finish. When a department decides they want an event, they submit a requisition to me and I schedule a meeting with their event leaders to develop an event concept plan. I work with them on the event theme, the highlights of the event, menu planning, event site, and identifying the participants. Throughout the entire process, I meet with the departmental liaison on a regular basis to make sure we are meeting scheduled milestones leading up to the event date. Probably the biggest misconception about event planning is that it is all about parties. In reality, I plan many events that have nothing to do with parties at all. Frequently, I plan what would be the equivalent of corporate meetings. Event planning involves a great deal of attention to detail and a great deal of hard work. It is common for me to work long hours in the days leading up to a major event, coordinating with caterers, facilities equipment managers and decorators. For smaller meetings and events, I meet with caterers and department leaders several times to make sure all of the details have been covered and addressed. I find working as an event planner very satisfying. In the past, I worked at administrative office jobs, but was bored sitting around doing the same thing all the time. As an event planner, I get to do different things all the time. Although I spend time in my office doing paperwork and writing out specific plans for each event and documenting the process, I also get to spend lots of time meeting with people, going to different event sites and being very physically active. If there were one thing I could change about my job it would be the amount of paperwork I have to attend to daily. Since I work for a university, there are specific protocols I have to follow to make sure everything I do is documented. For example, when I have a meeting, I have to take minutes and then follow-up every conversation with an email to all of the meeting participants. I also have to document how much time I spend on every single activity I engage in so that the so department of the project I am working on gets charged accordingly. This can be very tedious at times. I actually got started as an event planner completely by accident. I was working in Human Resources and they needed someone to help with the annual employee holiday party and I stepped up to help. I found that I really enjoyed working on the event and did as much as I could to participate in the process. When the position opened up for the event planner, it happened to come through our department first, so I went ahead and applied and was delighted the supervisor remembered me participating in the employee holiday party planning. He was so impressed with my enthusiasm and I had helped friends and family plan large events in the past (weddings, family reunions, etc.) he took a chance and hired me. It also helped I am an avid cook and enjoy entertaining a great deal. One of the things I have really learned is necessary for this job is excellent communication skills. I have to be able to help department managers make major decisions about what kind of event they want and nail down all the details so I can deliver the exact event experience they desire. Often, this means that I have to be able to tactfully guide them in their decision-making process and make sure that their choices meet with university guidelines about acceptable activities; for example, our university does not allow dancing or alcoholic beverages at university-sponsored events, which can occasionally be an issue for student or alumni events. Probably the most stressful part of my job is dealing with department managers who want an event but who keep changing their plans. They do not understand the amount of coordination that is required to plan a large event. For example, they may keep changing what they want on printed materials, such as invitations or program hand-outs, or they may repeatedly change their minds about what menu items they want for the event. With each change, additional time is needed to meet with the other departments or vendors that provide services. Additionally, it costs extra money to make changes and can have a huge impact on the event budget. In many cases, I am held responsible for managing the event budget, so it can be difficult to tell a manager that they cannot make wanted changes simply because their budget will not allow it. Although I got into event planning by accident, I have taken many business and hospitality college courses along the way to improve my skills. For anyone wanting to become an event planner, I suggest at least an Associate degree in some aspect of the hospitality industry. Additionally, I think basic accounting is helpful, because you will be required to work with budgets and should have a good understanding of fiscal management. Other skills that are mandatory for success as an event planner include excellent communication skills, time management skills and project planning abilities. I love what I do for a living. I make over $70,000 a year and have four weeks of vacation every year. One of those weeks is during the winter break, when the university shuts down. While that may seem like a huge salary in most of the United States, where I live it is not actually super-high. I would love to make more money, but it is enough for my needs at this time in my life. If I could see into the future and write my own ticket, I would branch out and have my own event planning service. I would love to work with large companies planning corporate events and also offer services for weddings, family reunions and other events. I would also love to have a full-service event planning business that includes catering, party equipment rentals, photography, and music. JustJobs.com is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it. Event planning business image from Shutterstock
Whether you're a college student trying to figure out where your true calling lies, an experienced professional getting back to work, or someone just looking for a career in another field, you need to make your choice carefully. With women making considerable strides in fields that were previously male-dominated, the lines of career limitations have blurred.
There are more career choices available to women now than ever before. A woman plays many roles—sister, daughter, friend, wife, mother, confidante, breadwinner, and so on. You, being a multitasking woman, need to find a career that not only pays you well, but allows you to be a career woman without having to compromise on any of these roles.
If you think this is impossible, think again!
Lots of women have found careers that balance beautifully with their family life. So, now that you know it isn't unthinkable to achieve work-life balance, how about making it happen for yourself?
With a plethora of options, you may have a tough time deciding which career would be most suitable for you. Of course, no two women are the same and neither are their choices. But some careers provide women with the best opportunity to achieve both career success and work-life balance.
Here are the top eight career choices for women:
For women who want a chance to do what they really love doing, who have always dreamed of starting their own business, entrepreneurship could be the perfect career.
Wouldn't it be great to work from a place of your choice and at your own time? This would give you the flexibility to allocate time to your business and family as needed.
This is also one of the biggest challenges you will ever take up in your life as every decision will rest on your shoulders. Your employees would depend on you for their livelihood. Hence, this is also a great way to contribute to society.
Being an entrepreneur lets you be in charge because it is you who runs the show. Instead of putting in efforts to generate profits for other companies, why not channel those efforts towards creating greater profits for yourself?
With IT companies starting up and mushrooming rapidly, it's little wonder that this field has become so popular among women.
Young women can take up a career in the IT sector after earning a certificate or bachelor's degree in an applicable field, like computer science, informational technology, and cyber security. There are also many programs available to women of all ages who want to learn how to code—one of the most useful and in-demand skills in today's job market.
The ease and excitement of working on the internet, designing software and apps, implementing IT solutions for businesses, security, gaming, smartphones, etc. could be a huge draw. This is another field where you can make a difference as well as earn good money.
Whether you choose to be a pharmacist, a surgeon, or a nurse, a career in the medical field provides women with the ability to achieve career success and wealth. Plus, there's good job security.
As a qualified professional, you will always be in high demand, and once you've gained significant work experience, there's going to be no looking back.
Teaching has always been considered one of the most women-friendly careers as it allows women to spend sufficient time with their families, de-stress, go on vacations, and balance home and work. It's also one of the most rewarding and important careers anyone can choose to pursue.
The best part of being in the teaching field is that recession or no recession, your skills will always be sought after.
5. Human Resources
This field is perfect for women who have a penchant for working in the corporate world and interacting with people to solve organizational issues.
The job involves shortlisting and interviewing candidates, hiring and training them, setting their pay, benefits, and perks, designing appraisal systems, formulating policies and leave structures, looking after employee welfare, and settling disputes.
Every large organization needs qualified and experienced HR personnel and they are paid quite well, too.
No one solves problems like a woman does.
Given the fact that most women are good observers, empathetic listeners, and great communicators (all soft skills employers want in employees), they're sure to excel as psychologists or therapists.
A career in this field allows you to help those struggling to overcome many different personal and family problems. With substantial work experience, you can stand to make a lot of money and even charge on an hourly basis.
7. Interior Design
You've probably put in a lot of thought and effort into designing your home and making it look stunning. From selecting the perfect hangers for the closet to picking out the most exquisite lampshade, you know what it takes to make a home beautiful.
Now, how about extending this talent a little further and helping others make their home look gorgeous, too? A career in interior design is a great option for women who are creative, organized, and detail-oriented—who don't want a boring office job.
As you develop your career as an interior designer, you also gain the flexibility to pick your clients and appointments and get paid immensely well.
For women who are creative, good at communication, and love research, media is the place to be.
All companies nowadays have (or should have) social media accounts that need managing, in addition to their primary marketing and PR departments, so this field is only growing.
Writing, advertising, public relations, journalism, photography—there are many choices available for women who want to pursue a career in media.
Women today can achieve it all, from financial independence to a family, and from a progressive career to a great personal and social life. And, why not? Your decisions have the potential to give you all that you desire.
So, make sure you decide well!
If you're a woman struggling to find the right career for you, we can help.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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