Changing Careers: How to Become an Event Planner at Any Age
Event and wedding planning is a dream career for many people. Something about designing and bringing events to life screams career goals. Once a planner, always a planner – it’s very easy to fall head over heels for this job. Plus, there is so much room for career and personal growth in the industry. Many planners end up running their own businesses, offering event decor or owning their own event venues! It can seriously be so exciting. But, how do you get started?
Changing careers can feel a lot like taking a leap into the dark. Right now, all you may know is that you want to plan events and weddings for a living. We can offer you a little guidance. The experience really doesn’t need to be as scary or stressful as it seems. Whether you are young or already established in your career, there is a way to begin working toward your goal of becoming an event planner.
Continue reading to learn how you can transition towards an event planning career, no matter your age or situation!
A little thinking can go a long way. Sometimes you just need to take some time to reflect and evaluate on where you are now and where you would like to be. A career change isn’t something you want to happen without adequate preparation. This is why it’s so important to evaluate what you need to do in order to be comfortable enough to switch careers. If you’re interested in event planning, you won’t want to jump in without any training. This means that you may have to keep your current job while you’re studying up on event planning. You’ll also want to sort out how long you are willing to wait for your career change. Are you hoping to get started this summer, or is a career change a few years away? Consider the prices of the training you’ll need as well, and don’t forget that progress is always slow at first. Maybe you would like to keep a part-time job or freelance as you transition!
Write down your plan, and don’t be shy with the details. After all, as an event planner you’ll need to get used to being detail-oriented. Don’t forget to allow room for error. It is always better to be over prepared in terms of planning and finances. If you like to crunch numbers, you’re in luck! A dream board is also a great tool. You can write out your current situation, where you would like to be, and all the steps you need to complete in between! Plus, dream boards are a great little dose of inspo to wake up to in the morning!
Your next step
So, you think you have the details sorted out. It’s time to actually take action. Most of you will need training, unless you’ve been working in the event and wedding industry for some time. But even then, freshening up your knowledge is never a bad idea!
Have you started looking into event planning courses? It’s a good idea to do some thorough research. What you look for in a school will depend on your current situation – flexibility with your schedule, different payment plans, work from home, etc.. Once you’ve established this criterion, start looking for courses that match your goals.
You will also want to make sure that you know what you’re looking for in terms of course content. There’s no point in spending your time, energy, or money on anything that won’t prepare you properly . When you finish your training, you should feel ready to take on the industry! Experience is also very important, but by getting certified, you’ll have a better chance of making your first few industry experiences good ones.
Your event or wedding planning school should be reputable, check its reviews! Their courses should teach you how to plan events from start to finish. This includes learning about the industry, how to deal with clients and vendors, making and sticking to a budget, and executing on the day-of!
Dedicate the necessary time and energy to learning all that you can about event planning. If you’re passionate it won’t be hard!
Entering the Industry
Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll be ready to actually become an event planner. Remember that plan we suggested you make? It’s time to pull it out! Depending on your situation, you’ll enter the industry differently.
If you’re young and don’t have too many responsibilities, you may be able to dive right in! But, if you already have a career or other commitments, diving in could be too risky for you. We one hundred percent understand that. If this is the case for you, maybe working part-time as an event planner will be a good option at first. At least until you feel you’re ready to turn your passion into a full time career.
Luckily, we can offer career advice that can benefit aspiring event planners of any age. First and foremost, approach this transition with a positive attitude! Event planning is not a career for introverts; strong communication skills are a must! If you have a positive attitude, this will help you give off better first impressions and help you build important industry connections.
Put yourself out there! A portfolio is a great way to share your skills. Even if you haven’t planned any real events, you should have assignments from your event planning courses that show your skills. Try to include examples of your creativity, ability to budget, follow instruction and accommodate the needs of different clients and events. Your portfolio may not be as full as you would like it to be, but that’s all part of starting out. Be sure to update your portfolio as you plan more and more events.
Another great way to enter the industry is by actually planning an event to show off your skills. This is especially great if you’re looking to start your own event planning business. If you are looking to enter the industry part-time, planning an event is also a great way to build your portfolio to impress employers. Your friends and family are also a great resource. Take every birthday, anniversary and milestone as an opportunity to gain experience!
Lastly, focus on your professionalism. If you are looking to be hired as an event planner, you’ll need some basic business skills. Polish your resume writing, networking, and interview skills, as well as your portfolio. We promise that investing time in your professional skills will pay off!
Do you have experience transitioning careers? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!