Meeting planning: Best business job of 2012

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You knew your job was the 6th most stressful, but did you also know it's US News and World Report's pick for the best business job of the year?

And here's why meeting, convention, and event planning tops the list, beating out sales reps, accountants, and receptionists for the sweet spot on the career ladder. Growth in the field, along with job satisfaction scores, had a lot to do with it: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meeting and event management is going to grow almost 44 percent between 2010 and 2020. OK, I'll buy that. But, while the pay according to BLS is not too shabby, with a median salary in 2010 of $45,260, it's not likely to have planners being the customer of choice at the Beemer dealer, either. And then it just gets weird, listing Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Lowell, Mass., and Kingston, N.Y., as where the top meetings earners live. I can't speak for Poughkeepsie or Kingston, but I'm pretty sure Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous never taped an episode in Lowell. But whatever, let's roll with it. Because you know that your job really is the best.

Here's really why it's the best, especially for those with the right character and personality to do the job. The article asks Mike Shea, executive director of South by Southwest, to explain what it's really like to be a meetings professional:

"For 51 weeks, [event planning is] like building a bungee-jump tower out of toothpicks. Tedious and demanding," says Shea. "On week 52, you climb to the top and tie the bungee to your ankle and hope everything holds. Then you dust yourself off and start all over again."

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