If you have a knack for planning and organizing, it could be the basis of a career. Many businesses have been built around professional organizing or meeting and event planning. There are a wide variety of specialty businesses in the organizing and planning fields, so you may be able to find a niche that suits you. People with a variety of educational and career backgrounds can find work in these fields.
Meeting and convention planners spend a lot of time in the office or on the phone, but the job also requires lots of on-site work. Planning a convention involves identifying venues big enough to hold everyone, soliciting bids from the different locations and choosing the best bid. The planners then have to coordinate catering and other service, prepare the facility staff, map out the use of the facilities and make sure to meet any special requests, whether for a sophisticated A-V system or for an all-vegan menu.
Holding a big wedding involves finding a location, arranging catering, sound systems and decorations and possibly booking hotels for the wedding party. For many couples, it's simpler to hire a wedding planner -- also known as a bridal consultant -- to handle the logistics. The job requires the ability to plan and organize events, meet deadlines and to deal with people. It's an area where the job opportunities are expected to grow steadily in the next few years.
Planners work on accomplishing specific events or projects. Professional organizers not only carry out specific jobs -- organizing files, a kitchen or helping an elderly couple downsize -- they train their clients in the principles of organizing, so that what the professionals sort out, the amateurs can keep in order afterward. Organizing careers range from training business owners to set goals to helping families use kitchen and garage space better. Many organizing professionals specialize in one particular branch of this sizable field.
Organizing and planning professions aren't licensed and don't have entry requirements. Past professional or personal experience may be an asset: IT experience could help if your new career involves organizing business computer systems, for instance. Personal skills -- the ability to listen to clients, give clear directions and stay calm under pressure -- are extremely important. There are a number of associations in the field that you can join to add to your professional credibility; some of them offer various forms of certification.
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