Through my thesis, networking events and chatting with friends and coworkers, I’ve had a lot of conversations with PR practitioners that are in their first few years of work experience. Based on these conversations, I’ve gathered some words of wisdom from my peers:
- You know what you know. It is important that you don’t undervalue your experience or your education. Everyone has something to bring to the table, so next time you are at a brainstorming meeting and have an idea, have the confidence to speak up. Something you learned in class or at an internship may give you a unique perspective that is different than those around you. That said…
- You don’t know everything. This piece of advice has two parts to it. First, nobody likes an entry-level practitioner who thinks they know everything. Be humble and realize you have a lot to learn. Second, you can’t grow if you don’t recognize what you know and what you don’t know. If you don’t know something, ask questions!
- Seize the day. It is up to you to get the most out of your work experiences, especially early on in your career. Ask for new experiences, tasks and responsibilities. Most supervisors will appreciate your drive and ambition.
- Network. The importance of networking is something that comes up in almost every conversation about a career in PR. It really is who you know.
- Find a mentor and mentor others. A mentor can have a big impact on a young professional’s career. Seeking
out a senior practitioner for advice and guidance can teach you a lot about the industry and make you feel more confident about your future. Overall, it’s just reassuring to know that someone besides your parents cares about career and is rooting for you. The other half of this is giving back to your profession. Even if you only have a couple years of experience, it is never too early to start mentoring PR students and recent grads. You never know the impact you can make on someone’s career by sharing your knowledge.
Do you have any advice for new PR professionals? Please share in the comments!