Is a career in communications really for you?

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In typical ‘me’ fashion, I fell into the world of PR…literally.

There I was, aged 17, buying a jacket for my birthday when the (admitedly cute) shop assistant asked me what I planned to do when I finished school.

I responded with my then standard answer: “I’ve got no bloody idea.”

She then asked me which subjects I liked at school.

My reply: “English, I love to write. Ummm, business management…ummm…legal studies. Politics, that ain’t bad.”

She then asked whether or not I had heard of something called PR.

In typical bloke fashion (even though I had no idea what she meant) I said: “Yeah, PR, yeah, that’s pretty cool.”

Essentially, my male ego took over from that point and I was determined to know everything about it, which then led to studying PR in Melbourne, before embarking on a 10 year career on both sides of the globe.

Fortunately, I lucked out. It suits me, for the most part.

But if you are interested in the communications career path, here a few suggestions to consider…they may make the decision making process a little easier.

Be honest with yourself as to whether you are a ‘media’ junkie or not. You need to be.

Ask yourself whether you are naturally inquisitive. An attribute you need in most professions, but arming yourself with knowledge in this game is vital. In essence you are like an in-house journalist, the more you dig, the better story you can tell.

Can you do the boring stuff? Trust me, the first few years are painful. The only ‘communicating’ you do is with yourself on the commute home when you ask yourself ‘what was I thinking?’ (don’t worry, it passes).But, if you’re not willing to get the basics and foundations right, walk away now, they are vital.

Are you flexible? Most guys want to work in sports marketing. A lot of girls have their hearts set on fashion or beauty PR (oh, don’t generalise too much either, gets you in trouble). But when you start out, you have to be prepared to do whatever is available and make it your own. It does take time, but eventually you will have more choice.

Can you deal with not being right every single time? Like any profession, communications is a science (granted its not rocket science) but your job is to reach your audience in the best possible way. Most times, the best possible way isn’t the ‘fun’ way but it does ‘the business’.

So there you go. A few tips on what to consider before you leap into comms world. Enjoy.

AV

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