By Shelley Luedtke
It was career testing day in high school and we were told to take it seriously. I remember going through page after page of questions wondering how some could possibly relate to potential occupations, but answering them nonetheless. Some time later our individual print-outs arrived and we curiously scanned our profiles and shared with each other what careers we were encouraged to look at. Of course the most fun occurred with the ones we perceived as totally off the mark.
A classmate who was a whisper short of six feet tall and boasting a well-developed physique was directed to consider being a jockey. A girl who would go to any length necessary to avoid bugs was advised to look at Entomology. Of course most of us had to look that word up to fully understand the irony.
Later on in my work as a career counsellor I used different types of tests, questionnaires and guides along with information about emerging careers to help direct students into conversations about their future. I remember when the career title Event Planner began to be included amongst the list of growing fields.
Although there were certainly people who had long been specializing in coordinating and planning large events, it often came under the umbrella of some other title or as an extension of another job description. Then it became an area all its own and is expected to see continued and steady growth through 2026 . While much of the field involves planning larger events like conferences, weddings or corporate gatherings, event planners are available to help anyone plan anything. Birthday parties, anniversary surprises, marriage proposals or any other event you want to pull off in grand style can be cause to hire an event planner.
An event is an activity or commemoration taking place at a particular time at a selected venue. It is something we plan for and look to with a sense of anticipation. But it doesn't always need to be something particularly noteworthy to fall into that category. There are people around us who are gifted at making even the seemingly mundane into an event. They can add flair and bring a sense of celebration to something that may otherwise go unnoticed or perhaps unappreciated. Or…there are others who can deflate what could be a special event simply by injecting a discouraging or critical spirit into the mix. Trying to rise above the efforts of those seeking to dampen the enthusiasm may be tough, but necessary, so that others can more fully enjoy and appreciate what could be made into an occasion.
Therein lies the challenge--but also the opportunity. Where one person may want o downplay the marking of a birthday, someone else may choose to do it up in style unique to them. The same could be said of New Year's Eve, an anniversary, a promotion, the beginning of planting season, or even…the rising and setting of the sun. Indeed, shouldn't each new sunrise and glorious sunset be deserving of note?
We should all be looking for the events that cause us to stop, to reflect, to express thankfulness and to celebrate, because what a loss to miss those moments, those milestones and even the minutiae of what we are given each day to observe, experience and contribute to.
Not everyone will feel the need to acknowledge the same events in the same way but that is fine. It just might mean as someone, somewhere turns the day into something special it will ignite the imagination of those around them to see it in a new way, too.
So what constitutes an event? Certainly a celebration uniting two lives in marriage. A retirement party honouring the completion of a career. A baptism. A graduation. But oh…so much more…such as the many things that just might go unnoticed. Like grocery shopping and taking time to recognize the abundance of what is available. Turning on a tap and being greeted by a stream of clean, drinkable water. Opening a door into a home that is safe, warm and filled with the things that are important to you.
There are some events in our lives that a planner can help elevate to a new beautiful level, and others that we can make into events on our own. However, there are a whole range of other moments that we need to open our eyes to and see that it is an event all on its own. That's my outlook.
By Shelley Luedtke