Izzie at graduation

Life after university: a day in the life of a new #eventprof

The most recent addition to our team is Izzie Lachecki. She joined us as Marketing & Events Coordinator just 8 weeks ago and has already become an integral part of our dream team. For our latest blog, we asked her to share her journey to choosing events as a career.

When people ask what you want to be when you grow up, most of us say ‘astronaut’ or ‘ballerina’. Personally, I wanted to be a princess! Even though it’s just a bit of fun to dream about the future, it’s easy to lose sight of our dreams and end up settling for something we don’t love, just because we feel pressure to do something with our lives.

When I was at school, and then studying Psychology at university (Uni of Leeds – woo hoo!), I worried quite a lot about where my life was going and started trying to panic-buy a career path. In fact, I used to feel so envious of my friends studying medicine or law because they had a guaranteed career choice. There is so much pressure to decide exactly what you want to do and make it happen as soon as you have finished university – but more often than not it doesn’t work out this way. It’s okay to not know what you want to do!

Izzie on her travels in Western Australia

Izzie on her travels in Western Australia

The day after I graduated from university, I flew to Fiji and began a year of travelling the world. It was incredible. However, when I returned home, pretty penniless and feeling a bit down, I decided I needed to do something to begin a career journey that I actually liked. I had an interest in marketing, so reached out to a couple of companies to chat with their marketing teams to see if they had any advice. They told me to sign up to a recruitment agency, which is free, which really helped me improve my CV and express my personality. I found myself googling and applying for every internship in London (even though I lived three hours away). Soon enough, I was invited to interviews.

After a couple of rejections, I came for an interview here at Sleek Events. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew this was a place I wanted to work. The vibe of the company and its values really appealed to me, plus everyone was so friendly. I came away desperately hoping I would get the job – and two (very long) days later – I did!

Once I started, it was a bit of a shock to the system – I was used to running around barefoot in Australia, not working from 9-5.30 every day! But once I adjusted to living in London and settled in to the company a bit, I started to really enjoy the routine. It’s been two months and I’m still here – so I must be doing something right! The events industry is such a brilliant industry to get into – I love how I’m doing something different every day and get to travel to amazing places.

Izzie with the rest of the team

Izzie is now part of our team at Sleek Events

Although I love how my life has turned out so far, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have some disappointment along the way! My top three tips for people coming out of uni who are worrying about what the world of work holds for them are:

  1.   Just breathe. Sit down with a cuppa and try to note down your interests, areas you think you might like to work in, what experience you might need, and how you might go about getting into the industry. Google is your best friend!
  2. Follow any companies you might like to work at on social media – this will give you a taste of the company and also the industry. I stalked Sleek Events on Instagram for weeks! And don’t forget, if you have things on your social media that you’d be embarrassed for a potential employer to see, make your personal social media accounts private – being aware of what you post is really important.
  3.   Have a really strong CV and interview technique. Recruitment agencies will help with this. Research CV templates or interview techniques both generally and specific to a career sector, to make your application stand out. This will help you be better prepared for any tricky questions in interviews.

Above all, it’s so important to be yourself and follow your heart. If you end up in a job you hate, you don’t have to stay for the rest of your life – so don’t panic! To quote one of my favourite movies: “Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

departures board

The roaming life of #eventprofs

This month, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, shares her experience of how to cope with the travelling life of the #eventprof. Not only cope, but actually enjoy it!

When I tell people I’m an events planner, most of the times I get the so-called WOW effect, “OMG, you lead such a glamourous life!”

Honestly, I can’t deny that sometimes I replay some of the stories in my head and I can even be ‘jealous’ of the awesome experiences I’ve lived. I’m so grateful for all the places I’ve visited, the amazing people I’ve met and the crazy stories I’m now able to tell.

One big truth, however, is that we lead a pretty unstable, stressful and unbalanced lifestyle. We work outrageous hours and are often away from home for long periods of time… any idea on how to cope with that??

  1. Plan your balance

This may sound weird, I know. At work, we plan and plan and plan for everything to go perfectly smoothly – we have to do lists, run-throughs, roadmaps, memos, lists and more lists of who does what, when and where. When it comes to planning our own time, however, we immediately become reticent and start feeling guilty of taking the time for us rather than be fully immersed in the job.

Remember, there is a time for everything and YOU are the sacred space for all the awesome planning and amazing organising. If you don’t take care of that sacred space (your body, mind, soul and spirit) the castle you are building will have foundations made of thin air and it may collapse at any moment.

Whether you are home or away, plan some time for you. You can pick amongst some of your favourite activities:

  • morning stretching, a phone call to your BFF/partner/son/daughter/ parent
  • a short meditation
  • a breathing exercise
  • reading two pages of your latest book
  • 10 minutes in the sauna.

OK, I get it, this won’t be possible ALL the time but… THIS IS YOUR TIME… Ideally try to have some YOU time at least twice a day!

  1. Plan your food

Travelling can be quite hard on the diet! Hotel breakfasts, restaurants, pastries, sodas, coffees, etc. I totally get that (a) when we are tired we just want comfort food, (b) that sometimes we just do not have the choice and (c) that sometimes a green smoothie just doesn’t do it!

healthy lunch box

Prepare yourself a healthy lunchbox to keep your energy up

Planning your food intake does not need to become an extra stress added to your day. It needs to be fun, joyful and put a smile on your face. If you manage to be reasonable 75% of the time, you are on the right track and surely you know some tricks to keep you going. Try carrying a banana with you, drinking lots of water and herbal teas, possibly trying not to eat too late for dinner, have healthy snacks hidden in your bag and, the most important sustenance of all, laugh at least twice a day!

  1. Pack smart

Packing has become one of my favourite activities! I love to challenge myself to play Tetris, packing as much into my suitcase as humanly possible. Learning how to combine outfits with minimum mixing and maximum matching whilst still looking professional and feeling comfortable is a talent I’ve learned over the years.

Please know that I used to be the worst packer ever! Every trip was an overweight charge, a crazy amount of clothes and yet I felt like I had nothing to wear! The trick is to have in your wardrobe things that you love wearing and mixing basics like jeans with elegant, understated chic items. Don’t worry f you don’t change your shoes every day… no one will notice!

Conscious packing will help you save time, it will make you feel comfortable with what you are wearing every day and it will make you enjoy traveling light!

  1. Making memories

Memories to be grateful for are food for the soul and yet sometimes we forget about making them. We’re so busy and often surrounded by stress, we forget we’re also here to make memories. Who said work had to be tough and unpleasant? Work is such a huge part of our lives, we’d be left with very little time to enjoy if we didn’t have fun at work. Each event, each person you work with or meet, each special dish you savour, each crazy thing you need to do to save the event, can magically become a memory to be grateful for.

Making memories: some of the Sleek Events team taking a boat trip in Stockholm after an event

That is, of course, if you allow gratitude to come in and let go of whatever is not needed.

  1. Sharing

A very usual comment I get in the event business is a frustration of thinking that nobody understands the pressure we are under and that nobody appreciates how much we actually work. Honestly, even if that was true, what’s the benefit of thinking that way?

Are you looking for validation? Is showing off the amount of work we have an excuse to say that we don’t have time for anything else?

What if we could drop that thought and explore different possibilities? What if we started talking to our partner/kids/friends and explain how our days go? When we’re away from home, wouldn’t you love to have someone supporting you? To have someone that not only understands what you do, but actually becomes your partner in crime, knows that you are OK and that you love sharing your life? Wouldn’t you be happy to know your loved ones are happy for you?

Bottom line is… the more you align to your values, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the little things. Fill your life with people who can back you up, with no judgment, just listening and knowing we’re here for one another.

With love and light,

Francesca xo