We’ve all experienced it at one point or another. A job that we used to love feels more like a chore every day. That makes us irritable, and cross with everyone around us. And that, in turn, sends us into a vicious cycle – a hate-spiral that inevitably leads to burnout.
I see this far more often than I’d like – especially in a high-octane career like event management. People get overwhelmed by the pressures of their job, and they’ve no idea how to deal with it. So instead, they shut down.
They grow increasingly stressed. They start to hate their job. Eventually, they either pull themselves out of their funk or seek a different career.
Yet at the same time, there are outliers – a camp of individuals who, though they might encounter the occasional discouragement and have the odd bad day, never seem to let it get to them. How do they do it, exactly? How do they keep running events day-in and day-out without breaking apart into a nervous wreck?
More importantly, how can you be more like them?
1. Motivate Yourself
The best event planners – and honestly, the best professionals in general – got where they are for a ton of different reasons. Skill, talent, knowledge, people skills, connections…here’s the thing, though. All those together can only take you so far.
No, these people didn’t get where they are solely on their merits. They did it because they know how to keep using those merits effectively, no matter the situation. They know how to keep themselves active, motivated, and forward-thinking.
They accomplish this in a few ways:
- They never lose sight of what they love about their job. They know what got them into the event industry, and they remind themselves of that every day.
- They find ways to kill boredom. Great event planners don’t get lost in the drudgery of daily to-dos. They’re constantly looking for ways to optimize themselves and be more efficient.
- They only care about their own performance. How often have you found yourself looking at a colleague or competitor and wondering why you can’t be as good as they are? Fun fact – they’re probably doing exactly the same thing, either with you or someone else. This is a toxic mindset. You should never compete with anyone other than yourself – always strive to be better than you were yesterday, and don’t concern yourself with what everyone else is doing.
2. Find An Outlet For Your Stress
You are not a computer. You are not a ceaseless, emotionless machine, capable of working tirelessly for long hours with no rest. You’re a human being – which means you experience stress. And without an outlet for this stress, it’ll eventually build up and destroy you.
You’ve probably read tons of manifestos claiming they’ve uncovered the one and only true way to completely eliminate stress. Those people are snake oil salesmen. Stress can never be eliminated from your life altogether – nor should you seek to be rid of it.
In small doses, stress is a good thing. It’s how we push ourselves to be better. It’s how we strive for greater heights.
It’s only when we let that stress get out of control – when we let it overwhelm our minds – that it can destroy us. As an event management professional, effective stress management is critical. Think long and hard on what relaxes you.
Everyone’s stress management process is a little different. For some, it’s meditation. Others enjoy spending time with family and friends, or exercising. The important thing is finding one that works for you, and sticking with it.
3. Take Care Of Yourself
In many ways, your body is like a machine – if you don’t care for it, it can’t effectively do its job. I learned that one the hard way. Back when I first started my career, I frequently sacrificed everything for work – sleep, food, leisure time…it all vanished into a black void of deadlines.
It wasn’t until I nearly had a nervous breakdown that I realized something had to change – that I needed to start caring about my body if I really cared about my business.
I started sleeping eight hours a night, eating for nutrition’s sake rather than to simply fill my stomach, and exercising regularly. The difference it made was phenomenal. I had more energy than I’d ever thought possible. I was happier, more efficient, and overall better at my job.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out
Everyone needs support now and then. And you have friends, family, and colleagues who are willing to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask them if you feel things getting a little overwhelming. And don’t be afraid to reach out to other people in the event industry if you need help running an event.
There’s no shame in asking for help – especially if the alternative is failure.
5. Accept That Some People (And Things) Just Suck
There’s an old saying I always like looking back on – miserable people thrive on making everyone around them just as miserable as they are. If you stop and think for a moment, I guarantee you’ll be able to call to mind at least a few people who fit that description. They may not even realize they’re doing it – they’re just negative to everyone around them.
Impossible-to-please attendees. Difficult clients. Angry colleagues. Prima donna speakers. The list goes on and on. And if you let them bring you down to their level – if you let them stress you out and tick you off – you’re letting them win.
It’s not easy, but you need to learn to accept that some things are just unpleasant. Let that negativity flow over you, and focus on the stuff you enjoy. Look at the glass as half-full.
Get Your Life Back On Track
Event management can be a difficult, demanding field- but then, you knew that when you chose it. Remember the reasons you did, and learn to manage your stress. Once you do, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.
And once you’re there, you can finally get your career back on the rails, and avoid burnout.