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Posts Tagged ‘career’

Are you getting by or designing your life ?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Although the terms “job” and “career” seem like synonyms, there is a distinct difference in the expectations and personal rewards they offer. A job is a way to earn money or get by often, with little passion associated; it simply can be a means to survival. Often a job is a minimum-wage situation or pay slightly above that grade. While there are exceptions, like the elderly woman who has been cleaning offices her entire life, and takes enormous pride in the work she does, a career, means more than just a paycheck; it can be the pursuit of a passion driven by a lifelong aspiration.

A job often requires employees to do what is asked of them to sustain a position. Some do this better than others, with a desire to do the best possible work, exceeding expectations, within a designated number of hours or days. Then they are free to concentrate on other aspects of their life without monitoring emails, taking work home with them, etc.

A career requires ambition and willingness to go above and beyond the standard job description in order to succeed and advance. Especially in today’s highly connected world, a job in the context of a career is part of who you are.. Unlike a job, an employee doesn’t leave the office and disconnect from a career because there is a personal investment and enthusiasm for the work. It’s more than punching a clock in exchange for money; it’s doing what you love and to continue to challenge yourself. The rewards of a career are highly focused on personal achievement, fulfillment and growth, and in many cases, financial success.

Treating a career as a job by providing minimal effort or passion can be detrimental. “Punching a time clock” for a paycheck won’t cut it. Perhaps those who are maintaining a job mentality within a career are still searching for a personal passion – or maybe they’re just lazy. Either way, the opportunity to realize lifelong goals through a career is a gift that should be valued. Those who are fortunate enough to have found their gift should cultivate and preserve it through consistent hard work and perseverance.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The propose of life is to give it away.” – William Shakespeare

Adding Politics to Public Relations

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Jay Carney, Former Press Secretary for President Obama, was hired by Amazon to become Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs, as reported in The New York Times. His role will oversee both public relations and public policy. Carney follows a slew of political elites who are bringing their political knowledge and communication expertise to retailers, technology companies and start-ups.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 6.13.40 PM

via The New York Times

A combined effort from tech companies trying to wield influence amongst the political elite, and politicians expressing privacy concerns, companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have been no strangers to Washington D.C. But, with the ever-growing role both technology and government play in our day-to-day life; tech powerhouses aren’t the only ones who will be seeking the likes of Jay Carney and other political and communication specialists to act as “mega public relations gurus.”

For years the world has watched public relations evolve as one of the most crucial and most valued departments in a corporation. The future of public relations is healthy and promising, but with that comes rigorous demands for even more expertise. Industry professions are expected to master skills including, but not limited to: marketing, social media, writing, media relations, thought leadership, event management, design, communication strategy, business development, and lobbying is just the latest addition.

Ann Keeling says:

There’s definitely a role-reversal trend happening – it used to be you grew up in the agency or corporate world and graduated to government roles. Now companies need the strategic & analytical thinking that’s typically associated with public roles to help them navigate the complexities of the public and private sectors.

PR 101 – The Unconventional Way

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The New York Times recently published an article written by John D. Wagner, the manager of a communications consulting firm in Vermont. Wagner explains his unexpected and abrupt entrance into the public relations industry. While his first professional PR gig wasn’t particularly successful, the tools he learned helped him continue a career focusing on business communications.

Wagner, an English major in college who spent most of his early professional life scrambling for freelance opportunities, was offered a ghost writing job leading him to a role managing the external communications for a start-up. Without any background on public relations, he relied on examples of news releases, business jargon from friends & family, and a great deal of confidence. The one PR tip he received: “You want to weave the story of current developments into the fabric of the company.” And with that, he began his PR career. 

Wagner didn’t have any idea what the hell was going on; but in hindsight, was impressed at all that he really did know – and learn. “I realized I’d had some talent all along – and the lessons I’d learned where not the minor ones of acronyms and business clichés. I’d learn the ability to craft meaningful, motivating stories – even about this grand failure.”

Learning something new, and being expected to produce results is a risk not many are willing to take. Even if it doesn’t work out – success can be measured in many ways. The stakes are high, but the reward is priceless.

Ann Keeling says:

I admire Wagner’s gumption and going out on a limb to do something completely new. This is not something many people have the guts to do. I’m not sure how much I would advocate doing something like this on behalf of a paying client though. The downsides far outweigh the upsides in terms of possible reputation and/or brand damage.

It takes two to tango.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Less than 10 years ago, Molly Borchers, Senior Communications Strategist for (W)right On Communications, ditched her journalism career to join one of the fastest growing industries, public relations. But, she finds herself still doing some of the same work she was before.

I just finished writing an entire article for a journalist because he was too busy to write it himself. Let’s just be honest here:  A regular part of my job as a PR professional is to write articles that get published verbatim in magazines, newspapers and blogs. The journalists I work with depend on those articles because they often don’t have enough manpower to produce all the content in-house anymore.”

Borchers isn’t experiencing a workload that different from the average PR professional. More students and journalists are pursuing a career in public relations. With an ever-growing public relations field and a diminishing journalism network, how is this going to change news?

Public relations professionals understand that an unbiased and third-party media source is necessary to achieve the most robust results for clients. While adapting to the role of ‘journalist,’ is becoming more common, it’s not a remedy.

Ann Keeling says:

Third party credibility is where it’s at.  Writing white papers that you self-publish are nice and all, and you think so, but who else thinks so?  This is where media outlets come in.  If your content and ideas are really good, and you know what you are doing (or better yet, have PR pros that do), outlets will publish your content.  Then suddenly clients and prospects may have a very different opinion of your expertise

Writer’s Block

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Content creation is one of the most important jobs in our brave new world of online publishing and social platforms. Even though print media might be on the decline, writers are in high demand and are expected to churn out work for blogs, articles, and 140 character tweets.’They are the distributors of world news, creators of conversations, developers of brand identities, and even the voice of our personal validations and emotions.

While we may admire and even envy the ability of writers ‘ be they novelists, journalists, or the listicle machines ‘ writers are not known for their work ethic. It is widely accepted in the content industry that the writers who succeed are those who have the discipline to develop a strong, consistent daily routine. It is as equally accepted that those writers are rare.

Many might assume these men and women were some of the most productive people on earth, producing a mountain of content. How do they do it? Quite chaotically, in many cases.

Megan McArdle in The Atlantic explores how, from a young age, most writers were easily able to slide by English class without any trouble. They were guaranteed an ‘A’ whether they worked feverishly on their paper for two weeks or two hours. The latter was obviously more appealing for those with natural writing gifts.

But when these writers enter the work force and are expected to write something that matters ‘ they freeze. Procrastination sets-in. That easy ‘A’ is no longer guaranteed, and now there’s money on the line. They also find themselves, perhaps for the first time in their lives, competing against legions of colleagues who were probably the good writers in their classes, too.

The deadlines, the cups of coffee, the crumbled papers, the fingerprints on the delete button ‘ these are staples of the writer’s life. While some are incapable of placing perfection aside, fearing turning in something terrible – the rest rely on the art of procrastination. The LA Times defends procrastination as an effective and necessary creative tool, a way for writers to let off steam in the sea of high expectations and desires. At its core, writing is a creative process that means letting go of control ‘ and procrastination is the ability to let the writer’s mind wander away from fear and anxiety into a moment of peace with their craft.

So maybe writers block should not be looked at as a burden, but rather a part of the process. Take the sage words of Spartacus author Howard Fast, who pointed out that completing one page every day would yield a book per year (actually, more than one book by today’s length standards). Fast’s other maxim is worth remembering, too: ‘Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block.’ In other words, writers block, schmiters block. Get to work, scribes.