Nailing Your First Job in PR

Getting into a PR firm may take a few tries – you may even need to do more than one internship. If this is your first real job after finishing school, don’t be afraid to take time to find the perfect fit. Doing a few internships in different specialty areas of PR allows for the opportunity to define what is the best fit for your future goals and for your personality.

What’s Your Preference?

If you already know you love clothes and fashion, then apply mainly to fashion and luxury PR boutique firms. These may be more difficult to get into initially, but keep trying. If another opportunity comes along in the meantime, consider it carefully. Some fields may closely mirror your fashion interests – travel and hospitality, or restaurants – while the food and beverage sectors could be a good crossover, and many agencies represent a variety of clients in related areas to their specialization. However, if you’ve never once been interested in current affairs, then public affairs and political sector PR firms might not be something you’ll enjoy. If you don’t enjoy any of it, it’s going to be more difficult to excel and move up the ranks. Many people might say to take any job offered, but getting into a job without any personal satisfaction can turn into an overall dissatisfaction with life in general. Nobody wants that.

Strong Work Ethic

No matter which sector you choose in PR, be prepared for long hours. The lower down the totem pole the job, the more time and energy gets spent on things that aren’t always desirable. Do them anyway. Those willing to put in the work and hours ultimately build a level of respect from their peers and from those in charge. However, if those in charge start to use and abuse you without offering any recognition or praise, it may be time to use what you’ve learned so far to find another job with another firm.

Know Your Goals

One last point to remember: Know what the endgame is. If you want to own your own boutique firm specializing in women’s products, then get experience in a few firms and take on additional projects when possible in areas connected to your goal. Get to know the movers and shakers in the industry – within PR as well as in the consumer corporations. Volunteer at charity events like the Susan B Komen walks or women’s shelters to build your skills and network. When you know where you want to be, it makes choices much easier for everything related to those goals, even your personal life decisions.

Don’t be afraid to work hard, walk away from offers that won’t give you the skills or contacts you need, and plan for the future when you can. Then jump in and enjoy the ride, even during long days and endless weeks – remember you are living your dream.

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