I want to take this time to go back to something I said in my first blog. My first blog talked about choosing a career, but what I did not know at the time was that often in PR you have to choose a career that is specialized and specific. This brings me to the moment on my first day of class in my PR program. Our teacher had us introduce ourselves, our background and what area of PR we wanted to go into. I had to pause on the third part. What did he mean by area of PR that I wanted to go into?
Obviously before choosing my career I did some research and I was well aware that there were different areas such as government relations, investor relations, internal relations, and every other kind of communication you can think of and that doesn’t include technology, events, social media. It really seems never ending. But this is a good thing; it is essentially why I want to work in PR. I want to try all these things; I want to dabble in a bit of everything, use different skills and face different challenges every day. That was why when we were asked to choose a path from among these I was confused and maybe even disappointed, it was like rolling a horrible hand and having to take 3 steps back in a crazy career board game that you just can't win.
It is like being on Let’s Make a Deal and being told that you have to choose from 3 doors with different prizes behind each, some are nice, but one is the best. Choose a door, any door. But how do I know which one I will like, what if I don’t choose the best one? This was the fear that I had when I learned I had to choose a career yet again.
After speaking with people who work in PR, learning from my program, talking to my classmates and visiting some agencies, I have discovered that maybe it was OK for me to be confused, but not disappointed. Here is my reasoning. First, it would be virtually impossible for someone to be good at all the things that PR professionals can do. Rarely do they hire someone to do everything, unless they have limited resources like some not-for-profits, in which case you may be a jack of all trades. But in PR agencies, where I hope to someday work, each individual usually has a niche or a specialty. This specialty is essential because it makes you an expert, employable, needed. You will become the go-to consultant for that area.
This discovery really opened my eyes, and has me thinking about what it is that I can excel at. But I am still on the fence about it. Is it still not possible for me to dabble in a bit of everything? I think the answer is yes. A lot of the times, there is room for growth and a lot of horizontal movement in agencies. That is you may move from one service to another, so that maybe after a year of working in government relations there is a need for someone in corporation communications and you decide to give it a try. Also, again as I have said so many times PR is dynamic. This means that even if you work within your speciality you will be able to draw on the different tools of PR.
The reason why I put this as a step in my career process is because realizing all the opportunities and potential things that can confuse you or amaze you in your career is something that helps you progress along your journey. If I hadn’t been asked that question on the first day of class in my PR program, someone else would have eventually asked the same question. At least now I am aware and I can start figuring which direction I want to go in and I can approach that question head-on. So please bear with me as I continue as an inexperienced student in trying to work my compass and find my direction in PR.
P.S.Even though I am a little confused I still love PR.