The Road Behind And Ahead

The Road Behind And Ahead

By: Trevor Howes
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Years ago, I was sitting in a lecture for my Communication 200 class listening to two powerhouse women talk (in great partnership and camaraderie) to our class about the benefits of co-operative education.There was something about them. They had the “It Factor” and I knew I needed to follow their advice. Their message was simple . . . “Join Co-op!” I’m forever thankful I did.

During my co-operative education journey, I learned many valuable lessons that proved helpful in my career over the past ten years. Most importantly, follow your passion, listen to your gut, build your own cheerleading squad and always keep an open mind.

After living and breathing three very different Communication Co-op jobs, and upon graduation, I was armed and ready to tackle Vancouver’s job market. My resume was (no kidding) bright orange and it stood out not only for its design, but the work experience it described, thanks to co-op. I felt ready, I felt prepared and I knew exactly where I wanted to end up – I thought so anyway.

For over four years, I worked at one of Canada’s largest public relations firms doing a lot of media relations, communications and marketing and some event planning. I worked on countless client files (some I liked, others not so much) and developed a solid and strong business acumen thanks to my colleagues and work experience. At that time, anything seemed possible! Eventually, however, some career uncertainty entered my gut and a cloud of change hovered above my head. Was this job my real career passion?

I shared this question with my boss and, in turn, received incredible advice. She said, “Trevor, if you’re thinking of leaving to pursue your passion, you have to jump!” I held onto those words and knew event planning was what I loved most about my job – it was my career passion. Her words were not only great advice, they were my wake-up call.

Never looking back, I planned a solid exit strategy from the firm and although it was sad to leave my friends, I knew it was the right decision. I had their full support and they became my biggest supporters throughout my important transition. To this day, I turn to them for occasional business advice and I’ve learned that the team you surround yourself with plays one of the biggest roles in business success. They are your cheerleaders and support network when things get rocky and your biggest fans when things go right.

Today, I run and own an event planning business in Vancouver. I’ve been doing so for over five years and work with some incredible clients on many enriching, rewarding and fun projects. I learn something new every day not only about event planning, but also about myself. For me, this is what it’s all about.

I encourage you all to follow your career passion. It may change over the years and that’s OK. Just remember to follow your gut, build your own cheerleading team, listen to good advice and keep both eyes open. Most of us will be working for many years to come and, trust me, the road ahead is full of twists and turns and ups and downs. Following your career passion and putting in the time and effort your career deserves will make your road as enriched as possible.

Posted on September 01, 2010