By Joel Jamora, Account Executive
Just like on the first day of school, starting a new job can be both exciting and intimidating. While you may have a general idea of what’s ahead, you can never really know if your experience will match your expectations.
As such, starting a new career can be especially scary. Many fields require constant education and self-improvement even after years of experience, but it usually takes time before everything really starts to click.
PR is one of those fields where it’s easy to feel overwhelmed early on. It can sometimes feel like someone set you on fire and just as you’re about to put it out, they come to pour on more gas.
In addition to having great communication skills, it’s crucial for PR professionals to be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment (especially in fast-evolving industries such as tech) and possess strong multi-tasking skills.
If you’re considering pursuing a career in PR or are just starting to get your feet wet, here are some tips that might help you become more comfortable in your role.
Take good notes
Whether you’re sitting in on a briefing, on a conference call with a client or simply receiving directions from your manager, it is important to take clear and reliable notes. With so many moving parts in every account and project, it’s impossible to remember every little detail. The team will often look to you for important information on hand, so take advantage of the skills you practiced in the lecture halls.
Prioritize your to-do list
There will be times where it looks like your to-do list seems to only keep growing, and looking at a long list of projects can be mentally draining. An important skill to learn is assessing your projects and asking yourself the following questions:
- How much time will I need to complete this?
- What is the deadline?
- How much time do I need to allow for review from my manager and/or the client?
Sometimes, taking one small thing off the list quickly can do wonders for your mental state. Don’t forget to let your team know when you complete them as well.
Listen to music
For many people (myself included), music is a good tool to put yourself at ease. Ever since I was in college, spending late nights in the library writing papers, music has always helped me focus and get into my “zone”. It also proves especially useful in drowning out the noise of a fast-paced office. Personally, I find instrumentals or lofi hip hop to be especially calming.
Know when to push back on assignments
It’s always great to see an eagerness to take on projects and help out the team, but it’s also important to be realistic in managing your workload. There comes a point where you have to realize that overextending yourself can actually affect the quality of your work. This is why it’s important to have a dialogue with your managers and let them know if you have too much on your plate. Otherwise, they can only assume that you can perform the task on time and in good quality.
Learn from your colleagues
Early in your career, it’s safe to assume that your colleagues have more experience than you. Consider them as a resource and tap into their expertise so they can help teach you the things they’ve learned along the way. Plus, ideas can be developed from these conversations that you and your colleagues might not come up with individually.
As scary as it is, be sure to allow yourself to enjoy the new learning experience. Soon enough, it’ll be you showing the new kids how to navigate the world of PR.