So you’re interested…now what?

I’ve done my fair amount of research on different public relations agencies/firms throughout the area and even worldwide. I visit their site, browse through their client list, familiarize myself with their practices, and lastly, visit the job vacancies, in hopes that there is something available and suitable. More often than not, there isn’t a job opening in your area or for your level of expertise. My question to you all is how do you begin building relationships with firms or agencies that you may not have any association with? More importantly, how do you establish a connection with an international firm? What suggestions do you have as students, practitioners, and professors on building a relationship. I’m confident in that although possible job opportunities may be an ocean away, our dependancy on online networking can solidify any potential relationship. 

Now for part two of this post. How and what can you do to make yourself stand out? Especially in an international setting, what as a foreigner, will make someone an appealing candidate to an international office? 

As well, how do you balance that relationship between taking a risk for your ideal job and taking a job that at the time satisfy your temporary needs. In a society where our economy is at risk and unemployment rates keep increasing, is it better to play it safe and secure a job or should we move to cities, take unpaid internships, and hold out for the ideal job?

When do we draw the line between idealism and realism?

I came across a wonderful post from the Brazen Careerist on Smart decisions to make when graduation college. My favorite recommendation provided by Penelope Trunk is to take pride in making bad career moves. In this post she states, “The truth is that even when we think we have a good understanding of our preferences, we totally overestimate our ability to control our lives in relation to our preferences. The only way to have a perfect, straight and narrow path is to not open yourself up to your own irrational decision-making process. And if you are not making decisions for yourself, then what are you doing in this life?”

As you can see, I’m in a world of questions and am intrigued by curiosity. Let me know your thoughts and share stories of courage, risk, and success.

We all need the inspiration every once in a while.

 

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3 thoughts on “So you’re interested…now what?

  1. As a PR student graduating in the fall without many connections in the industry, I have many of the same questions so I’m interested in what others will have to say here.

    In my opinion, you should go for that ideal job even if you don’t think you’re qualified because you never know. Take the risk, if you don’t jump you’ll never know if you can fly.

    If the ideal job doesn’t work out, maybe it will in the future. Take the back-up job but make sure that you choose a back-up that you can be happy in. I know I can’t deal with a job that I dread going to everyday, even if it may lead to better things down the road. This may not get me ahead in my career but I have to put my happiness first.

  2. The best piece of advice I received at our Regional Activity’s Portland Paddle this year was a suggestion for graduating PRSSA members to join PRSA to get access to the membership database. The PRSA national board member who told me this suggested emailing or cold calling the members who work for companies or industries you’re interested in.

    It can also be quite effective to go to professional networking events, like for PRSA, in the geographic area where you want to work. You can meet people with a lot of connections and you’ll likely be the only student or recent grad there, which will make you stand out in a positive way. If you move somewhere before getting a job, you can get involved on one of the committees of the local PRSA or IABC Chapter.

  3. Very interesting. Having worked in the PR field for more than nine years, I have interviewed, hired and passed on a number of candidates for both entry and junior level positions – and the occasional executive position. The common thread in the candidates I’ve hired, or given the thumbs up to, was not based on pure experience, but that of their personality. Do I see myself, colleagues and clients working with this person on a day-to-day basis and not getting annoyed? While that is a personality based decision, it is an important one that’s needed in order to maintain a certain level of culture within the office. Experience speaks for itself.

    Now the big question, how to get in the door – easy, just call up and ask for an informational interview. PR people love to talk about themselves (well, at least 98 percent of them do), so give them a soapbox. Contacting the HR department is an easy first step. If that doesn’t work, showcase your “research” skill and track down someone working on an account you find interesting and contact them directly. Don’t make it seem like you’re stalking them, but that you’re interested in the work that they’re doing on a particular piece of business. How to do this – simple, reference a recent press release they put out on the client, discuss a related event that you recently heard about, or let them know that you’d like to talk about ways to enhance the visibility of that client to a new or existing target audience. Everyone loves top hear about new ideas. Don’t try and sell yourself in the process, instead, engage in professional dialog – that will leave a lasting impression as no one wants to sit in and listen to a personal sales pitch.

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