Saturday, July 3, 2010
Your Career and You..."Patience and Perseverance"
I saw a status update on Facebook last night from my friend Bobby that reminded me once again of the value of positive thinking.
Bobby's one of my Curry College superstar grads who, like a lot of us, took a couple of tries to find his passion as an up-and-coming public relations professional. He did all the right things...two valuable internships, active involvement in the Curry College Public Relations Student Association (he actually was the driving force and founder of CCPRSA), soaking up anything and everything he could about public relations.
His first permanent job after graduation was a great learning experience. Not only did he zero in on what he liked about public relations; he also got a strong sense of what, for him, wasn't the perfect environment to be in. Nothing wrong with it; it just wasn't him. We've all been there. I know I have!
Bobby then took a risk with a start-up company immediately after this and, to his and my surprise and delight, he found his passion. He was able to wrap his arms around the company's vision, and he was allowed to stretch himself to what he thought were his limits only to find that, lo and behold, he was capable of even more!
Unfortunately, when the vagaries of the economy took a toll on the company and it was forced to close its doors (temporarily, we all hope), Bobby found himself a victim of the aftermath.
And here's where the word "perseverance" comes into play. Bobby never missed a beat in his own professional growth. He looked at this turn of events as (a) something he had absolutely no part in causing...a good thing to learn as some of us know all too well!...and (b) a chance to stretch himself again and explore other industries where he might have similar opportunities to build on his ever-increasing kitbag of skills and abilities as a public relations professional.
It took a few months, but it appears that he has succeeded. Not only does his new job afford him the opportunity to use his rapidly-developing public relations and promotional skills, but it also gives him a chance to fine-tune his sales ability...a valuable and often-overlooked differentiator in our profession. Like it or not, and there are some who don't, public relations is about selling.
Bobby's adventure is a great lesson for us all, whether we be newly-minted entry-level public relations practitioners or seasoned-and-scarred veterans of the profession.
You can't allow yourself to settle into a funk muttering incoherently about the "unfairness of the 'system.'" You have to keep at it, exploring every nook and cranny of the market in which you want to work, and being willing to stretch yourself beyond what you think are your limits as a professional.
Not only do you become much more knowledgeable about that market; you grow exponentially as a professional capable of taking on ever-increasing challenges.
Bobby has reinforced my confidence in the next generation of public relations professionals. They are totally capable of rising to and mastering the challenges that "tomorrow" will bring. They will make themselves...and those of us who have had the honor of playing a small part in their professional evolution...proud.
I am proud...of Bobby...and of all the young men and women who I have gotten to know in my years both at Curry College where I oversee continuing development of and teach many of the undergraduate public relations concentration courses and at Regis College where I teach graduate communications courses.
"The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance." - Samuel Adams, Speech (1771)