By Emily O'Reilly, Client Services Manager (Cover photo: Emily's home office in Hoboken, NJ)
Being a 25-year-old in an industry that is changing so rapidly can be a little unsettling, especially when all three years of my work experience revolves around events. Everyday I’m hearing of more events being cancelled and headlines claiming that the way we gather will never be the same. This is an uncomfortable time for anyone in this industry and sometimes reality can be hard to process.
Regardless of the event industry's current uncertainty, during this ‘downtime’ I can focus on growing and sharpening the diverse skill set that working in events has given me. Below are four ways I’m sharpening my skills during quarantine to ensure that I’m ready to get back in action when the world begins to reopen again, whatever that world may look like:
1. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers a free month trial to any of their 15,000+ online courses, including MS Excel, QuickBooks, Adobe and many other subjects. With this tool I’ve been able to take daily lessons on Excel. Being a Public Relations major, Excel was never something we focused on, so it wasn’t until starting my job in events that I realized how crucial of a skill it is to know. I would consider myself pretty decent at Excel, but this course has shown me efficient ways of organizing and pulling data that will cut down on time and effort when making reports and creating analyses. Mastering Excel is a skill that will be useful in any career field and is something I’ve always wanted to master.
2. Passion Projects
If you’ve ever wanted to take up photography, learn calligraphy or start a blog; now is the time to do it! Learning calligraphy, or honing in on your photography skills may end up being a great side hustle while you have the time. If you love music, start a blog about your favorite new releases or artists. This will show that you are aware of what's going on in the industry and will allow your passion for music to be a tangible item you can show others or a future employer.
3. Updating my Resume and Cover Letter
If you’ve ever applied for a job before you know how antagonizing writing a cover letter can be. Now is a great time to reflect on your experience and skills and learn how to market yourself through writing. In the events industry, people typically wear multiple hats which can make your resume and cover letter get pretty lengthy. Writing about how your specific experience and your skills help you stand out from others is a great place to start. In this field, roles and responsibilities are always changing so it's a great time to edit and refresh your resume to make it relevant with what you are currently doing.
4. Helping Non-Profits
Non-profit organizations are taking a huge hit during this pandemic. In college I was extremely involved with an organization that is currently struggling through these times. An easy way to help (especially if money is tight), is to offer your skills or talents virtually. Currently I am creating fresh, new marketing graphics for their social media and helping them plan their 2021 fundraiser. This is an easy way for me to continue to use my event planning skills and it’s a great excuse to play around in Adobe illustrator all day.
Natively from the Philadelphia area, Emily O'Reilly found herself at Concierge.com after graduating college in 2017. Since joining the team as a freelancer for the iHeartRadio Music Festival, she quickly transitioned into a Client Services role and currently manages a variety of projects and clients. While events are her passion, you can usually find her talking about her new favorite restaurants and breweries, her latest online shopping finds, or planning her next vacation.