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Career Advice

Considering a Career in Event Management?

The Good News, The Bad News, & How to Make It Happen

When people hear event planner, they tend to dream up an image of glamour and glitz, fabulous outfits and parties, getting paid to schmooze with VIPs, and drinking lots of wine.


Or they think of The Wedding Planner - falling in love with your clients and running around with a clipboard...while drinking lots of wine.

If you're considering event management careers, I have good and bad news for you. An event management career is hard work. It's research, budgeting, long hours, tight deadlines, dealing with frustrating clients, following up, then following up some more, and then realizing you need to follow up again.

An event management career is very early mornings and late, late nights. It's being over-caffeinated on event day and dying to go to bed by 10pm, but having to stay up to complete a post-event report.

The good news is, it's also like The Wedding Planner – minus falling in love (unless you're one of the lucky ones). You'll have your moment to dress up and let your bun down. You'll work with companies and individuals that you can name drop during your Tinder date. You'll receive free products and a mountain of samples to try.

You'll sit down after your event has ended, take a deep breath, and feel a gigantic sense of accomplishment because after months of creating the world's biggest bags under your eyes – you did it. You organized a successful event. Then the praise and compliments will flood your inbox from attendees and suppliers and suddenly, you forget the nights spent stress eating brownies and you're itching to get started on your next event.

Oh, and you'll definitely drink lots of wine.

But before we get there, let's take a step back.

What exactly is event management?

While other jobs don't have clear definitions, this one definitely does and according to Cambridge Dictionary, event management is "the job of planning and managing large events".

There's a saying that event managers are jacks of all trades but masters of none. That's because we're great at looking at the big picture and grand ideas. We know enough about AV to know that we want the experts to install our rigging and lighting. We plan and we manage events, but we're also planning and managing people for our events.

So, how do you know if a career in event management is for you?

1. You're a people person

If you love meeting new people, then you will thrive in this career. Event management is all about people and you will constantly be working with others from your event team, to vendors and attendees.

If you don't love people, you can always grow your skillset. Start by grabbing a copy of timeless classic and best-seller, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

2. You're very organized

There are countless details involved with every level of event management, so organization is a key skill to have. With strict deadlines and so many little details, it takes extreme organization to bring together a successful event. If you keep a meticulous diary (I'm looking at the Virgos) and can keep to a timeline, then you're on your way.

3. …but you're also flexible

You can plan to your heart's content, but something will always go wrong. You need to be quick on your feet and resourceful to solve the problem. You should be able to work under pressure and get the job done – there's always time to cry about it after.

4. You're a creative human being

Whether you work as a freelancer or with a corporation, creative ideas are golden. In this industry you need to focus on experiences that will wow your audience. All you need to do is pair your creative ideas with the logistical capability to execute them, and you've got an award-winning event.

5. You're full of passion and energy

As previously mentioned, a career in event management is hard work. You need to be passionate about your event and your job to get through all of the rough patches you'll experience.

And how do you even begin to get into the event management world?

The easiest way is to volunteer. There is a whole world of companies and events that will happily take you on as a volunteer. You can volunteer for one-off events doing simple jobs such as customer service, or take on bigger roles where you volunteer for a not-for-profit.

I volunteered for an event where I ended up meeting Rachel Zoe. On another occasion, I volunteered for a charity event hosted by a well-known and respected organization, and afterwards I was offered an internship.n. I raised my hand to volunteer as an event coordinator with a non-profit, ran a small but mighty fundraiser, and as a result, I've developed relationships with big household name brands. Volunteering works.

Alternatively, if you love structured learning and coursework makes you feel more comfortable, you can complete a course in event management. I decided to study an event management course halfway through my degree and I absolutely loved it. It was a hell of a year to get through, but at the end of it, I had a technical skill set to back up my experience. Plus, I made some great friends along the way.

The important takeaway is that you don't need the qualification to become an event manager, but you do need the experience. If you type "event volunteer" into Google, there will be pages and pages of opportunities, so grab one. Say yes to as many as you can, work hard while you're there and soon you'll have your own event network to rely on.

Then before you know it, your first event will be over, your event management career will be on the rise...and you'll find yourself drinking lots of wine.

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The Best High-Paying Remote Jobs

5 full-time work-from-home roles that pay seriously well

We—we being the internet in general, as well as PowerToFly specifically—often talk about remote work as this glorious thing: you can find professional fulfillment, friendly co-workers, and career growth potential from the comfort of your own home. All while collecting a check!

But where should you look if you want that check to be as big as possible?

Start with this guide to the best high-paying remote jobs. These career choices (and the example companies hiring for them) don't skimp out on paying remote workers well, and you'll still get all the work-from-home flexibility you're looking for. I've linked to specific job posts for each category below, but also look through the 300+ remote jobs on PowerToFly's always-updated remote job board for more.

As you apply and interview, keep these work-from-home interview questions in mind. If you find yourself with a salary offer that's good, but not quite as good as it could be, reference these salary negotiation tips for remote workers to advocate for what you deserve. And when you get the job with a great salary, make sure your home office is set up for success. And then send me a note to tell me how you're doing!

1. Senior Software Engineer

Business woman using laptop

Who It's Good For: Anyone who's a pro in programming languages (Java, Javascript, C++, Python, and SQL, to start, among others) and knows how to drive the development of products. If you like complex engineering challenges, have experience working with different systems and products, and have the discipline to program without a PM physically hovering over you (Slack hovering's allowed, though), this is for you.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Sr. Principal Software Engineer at Dell, Senior Front End Software Engineer at Plectica, Senior Software Engineer at CloudBees

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Like most heads-down-and-create work, developing software and programming are best done with minimal distractions. You'll collaborate with your team for check-ins and bug fixes, but you'll be able to focus on your project work from a home office.

Average Annual Salary: $131,875

2. User Experience Researcher Manager

Young adult woman working with laptop at mobile app

Who It's Good For: Proven researchers who know how to understand the behaviors and motivations of customers through feedback and observation, who have experience synthesizing insights into a brand story, and who have managed teams.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Senior Research Operations Program Manager at Zapier.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: As UX researcher Lindsey Redinger explains in her helpful Medium post, remote research allows companies to reach users all over the world, not just within driving distance to their headquarters, and can be cheaper for companies and easier for participants.

Average Annual Salary: $105,810

3. Senior Product Designer

Female graphic designer smiling at desk in office

Who It's Good For: Creatives with technical chops who like the challenges of evolving and improving the production of current products, leading designers, and collaborating with other parts of the business.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Senior Product Designer at SeatGeek.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: While design teams definitely need to share lots of feedback, there's technology out there to make that easy. The Help Scout design team has shared their favorite tools and tricks to collaborate remotely, which includes recording daily videos of new designs to explain features and ideas in a way a photo file just can't express. (They're also hiring! Check out open Help Scout jobs here).

Average Annual Salary: $107,555

4. Senior Security Analyst

Developing Concentrated programmer reading computer codes Development Website design and coding technologies.

Who It's Good For: Thoughtful, vigilant thinkers who enjoy identifying and fixing gaps in a company's security posture, including through ethnical hacking (hacking a company's system before outsiders can, and addressing the weak points found) and incident response (containing the negative effects of a system breach or attack).

Sound Like You? Check Out: Data Protection Security Analyst at Deloitte.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Not all security analyst positions are remote-friendly; sometimes they require working with very sensitive data that can be compromised if taken off-site or accessed from a VPN. But with the right data processing policies—like using a privacy filter over your laptop, only using secured wifi, and encrypting your data, all suggested by WebARX security's all-remote team—remote work as a security analyst is definitely possible.

Average Annual Salary: $108,463

5. Technical Project Manager

A strong wifi connection makes for a strong relationship

Who It's Good For: Tech-friendly jack-of-all-trades with a sweet spot for spreadsheets and other organization tools.

Sound Like You? Check Out: Technical Project Manager at Avaaz.

Why You Can Do It Remotely: Project management can sometimes be like herding cats, but you don't need to be in the same room as your feline team members in order to direct them around. With collaborative software (and a highly organized home office, like PM pro Patrice Embry recommends), you can PM the most complicated of projects from wherever you're located.

Average Annual Salary: $95,129

Other Industries

Other high-paying remote-friendly jobs include certain roles in healthcare (like nurse practitioners and psychologists, who can check in with patients via video conferencing and phone calls), app developers for both iOS and Android products, actuaries and tax accountants, and data scientists.

And remember that even jobs that don't seem remote-friendly at first, could possibly be done from home or on the road. If you find a well-paying, exciting job that doesn't offer remote work immediately, it might be worth negotiating a more flexible schedule with a 1-2 day work-from-home option. Both you and the company can see what remote work actually looks like in action, and if it goes well, you can make a pitch to transition to remote work full time.

Other resources you may want to check out in your quest for meaningful, well-paid remote work:

6 Programs You Should Download Right Now if You Work Remotely

Productivity Tips for Remote Workers

Home Office Design Tips for Remote Workers

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Build Your Network at the Next PowerToFly Event

Today we celebrate our partnership with Braintree! Check out this video to see highlights from our recent networking event.

If you missed the event, fear not! Stay connected by following Braintree on PowerToFly and email us at Hi@PowerToFly.com for future events near you.

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