5 Ways to Shine as an Entry-Level Planner

It can be difficult to stand out at a company that has multiple departments and hundreds of employees, but it isn’t impossible. If you work at a large event agency and follow these 5 simple tips, you will ensure you will shine!

EMB_image_5 ways to shine as an entry-level planner

1. Take Stock Of The Situation

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think you can make a positive impact until you know for sure what it is that you are impacting. The best way to shine at a large agency is to shed some light on what already goes on there. Take a little time and do an unofficial audit of your company.

Pay attention to hierarchies, and determine the people in each department that are problem solvers (noticing problem starters is a good idea too). Make sure you’ve got a good grasp on the internal processes at your company. Who files what, where, and for how long? What is the company’s mission statement (and do you seem to still be on target)? What kinds of events does your company plan? Who is their audience? How many vendor relationships do you have? Are they strong? What kinds of tech do you utilize and for what? What about marketing? Taking a good look at the way your company gets things done is a great way to begin shining. The better you know what’s going on, the better you’ll be at doing it (and who knows, maybe you’ll find a few holes you can fill with your dazzling wit and productivity)!

2. Be Specific

Now that you’ve done an audit, you can get even more shiny at work by ironing out EXACTLY what your own, personal definition of workplace success looks like. Saying that you want to “do well at work” is vague, and completely unhelpful at making you stand out. What is it you want to do well? What do you want to be known for?

All roads lead inward, and introspection is an important element of being awesome in the workplace. Instead of wanting to “succeed at work this year”, how about deciding that you want to cultivate 5 new, meaningful vendor relationships for your company? Set some goals, crunch some numbers, and get specific! The more exact your goals can be, the more likely you are to achieve them, and do you know what high achievers do? They stand out at work.

3. Manage Up

This is a term that sounds scary to a lot of people, but managing up is NOT about telling your boss what to do, or implementing your ideas all willy nilly. Managing up just describes the process of keeping communication lines open between you and your superiors so that no one’s ideas or work styles get lost in the shuffle. The truth is, the relationship that exists between you and your seniors is actually mutually dependent. Your boss depends on you just as much as you depend on them. Therefore, it is beneficial to you, your supervisor, and your entire company, that the relationships between supervisors and subordinates are built on trust, honesty and dependability.

So how do you “manage up”? You make sure that you know yourself, and have a firm understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and your particular learning style. You should also have a decent understanding of your boss. How do they like to manage? How can you work with that? It’s also important to keep the flow of information wide open.

4. Go Above And Beyond

Think about the clients that stand out to you. Aren’t they the ones who went above and beyond to help you understand what they needed from you, and helped you get it? Aren’t they the one’s whose energy you just couldn’t get enough of? Aren’t your favorite clients the ones that take every conversation, and every idea to the next level without dumping unnecessary work into your lap? That is what you’ve got to do also.

If you want to shine in your workplace, you’ve got to be the person at work who goes above and beyond. I don’t just mean with your workload either. Yes, whenever possible you should be proactive in searching out what other work you can do, but you should go above and beyond with your demeanor, your ability to listen, and your willingness to take critique. Be careful not to take on more work than you can handle, but be striving to do as much as you can.

5. Don An Attitude of Service

I’m an AmeriCorps Alumni, and I admit that I can take the concept of service further than most people, but being helpful in the workplace is a sure fire way to stand out from the crowds. If you are known as the person who gets everything on your own plate done, and simultaneously offers to assist other people take work off of theirs, you are sure to shine.

Don’t be afraid to offer yourself to those in need. Similar to managing up, being helpful to people on your own level, and even above and below you, will make your huge agency feel like a family. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got came from networking powerhouse Judy Robinett, who challenged me to say “happy to help!” at least once a day.

One caveat: having an attitude of service is not the same as becoming the office servant. Your work always trumps taking on extra, and doing two people’s jobs for one person’s paycheck is sure to make you resentful and less productive.

In Conclusion

Wanting to stand out at work is completely normal, especially if you’re employed at a large agency where it can sometimes be easy to feel overlooked and unheard. The best way to shine in the workplace is to become a positive source of energy and innovation.

Start by making sure you have a good grasp of what’s going on at your company and how exactly you can help. Be sure to have a specific goal of how you can be successful at your job, and be open, honest, and diligent about getting there. And remember; go the extra mile with your positivity and willingness to help. Following these simple steps is a sure way to shine at even the largest event planning agency.

About The Author
Bethany Smith
Bethany Smith specializes in using storytelling to create unique event experiences for her clients. In addition, she runs a blog called The Planner’s Process which aims to help aspiring #eventprofs amass the tools they need.
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