This time last year I was on my first site visit for a large conference I was organising with my colleague and I was finally getting the chance to move on up and get more responsibility.
Before we travelled the news was featuring stories about a new virus spreading across the world but, as many did at the time, we never thought it would make its way to Europe so we continued with our site inspection, but how wrong we were. Not even a week after we got back, we were in lockdown with the outlook being ‘don’t worry we will be back up and running soon’. No one could imagine how the next year planned out.
We worked from home until April when most of the team were put on furlough, and in June I got the news, like so many others did, that I was being made redundant.
“OK, what now?”
The global events industry was in shambles and no one was hiring. It seemed that even with a few years’ experience under my belt that I was back in the same position I was in when fresh out of University. Applying for jobs that were entry level, but this time competing with a huge number of overqualified candidates who had also lost out because of the pandemic.
I pride myself on my generally positive outlook, so I spent my time freshening up my CV, thinking of the possibilities and was lucky enough to get a job back in a pub I used to work at during my student years. As they say, “when one door closes another one opens”, you just have to find the door… I’m not going to lie, there were times when it was overwhelming. I would think about what my friends were doing, what stage in their life they were at and where I currently was, not seeing any opening doors. But I would catch myself, take a breath and say “stop it, you’re young and this isn’t the end of the world despite what the BBC Coronavirus briefing says”. I think this is the first advice I would give to anyone, “don’t compare yourself, your life or your career to anyone else”. Everything is totally relative; no one is in the same position as you, the things you have learnt from situations will be completely different to everyone else. Take a breath and look for that open door! One of my favourite sayings is that “you never know what you know until you meet someone whoknows less”. It took me having new colleagues coming into the office to realise actually yes, I know how to do that, and it really grew my confidence.
Luckily Dynamic Events are incredibly versatile and forward thinking, always acting and never putting us in a position to react. During the months I was on furlough and then redundant, they worked on innovating their business plan, making relationships with technical developers to find virtual conference solutions for our client needs. They also put a heavy emphasis on new business development and gained new clients to make up for any lost business from in-person events.
So not even 3 months after I was made redundant, I was asked to come back in the office to support all of this new business and the virtual events that w coming in. In a lot of ways, it felt like a brand-new job due to all the new tech, clients and procedures. There were times when I had no idea what I was doing. But then I realised, everyone felt like that at some stage in this crazy virtual world, even the people who had been at Dynamic for decades, and we still made a huge success of it because it’s in our nature.
This brings me to advice number 2, “be flexible, proactive and give anything a go”. Got a new software coming in? Learn it, be proactive, become the Master of It. You have one thing that you are the absolute authority on, your colleagues will come to you for advice. Everyone has at least one strength that is needed from their peers, what’s yours? This also shows your willingness to learn and improve your knowledge which will only help in the long run! You never stop learning.
So, there we go, in just 8 months I went from being an event assistant in a world where everyone travelled, then into lockdown, redundancy, rehired and recently promoted to an event co-ordinator!
The promotion was a great achievement. An exciting and nerve-wracking step but one I am thoroughly enjoying. Which leads me onto advice number 3, and is something I need to work on, “don’t be afraid of failure!”. Trust that your experiences can lead you to the right answer, and if it doesn’t work, look on the positives; what did you get out of it, what did you learn and could use in the future. Look for that door!
No one knows what’s going to happen so don’t stress about things that are outside of your control. Trust that you will find a way to that open door because when you work hard enough, the good stuff follows. And if all else fails eat some chocolate, take a breath, put on a feel-good song and dance it out.
Congratulations to Kelsey!