As an entry-level PR practitioner often there are many questions you start to ask yourself when first entering the industry. The transition between university and full time work along with the lack of practical experience can be a very daunting process. I have previously been in the same position but one of the key principles I learnt during my journey was the importance of professionalism.
Professionalism is such an important concept and is imperative for progressing further into your career. It is a mixture of behaviours and values that, when executed properly, exhibit a high standard of self- management, self- development and professional reflection.
The following: time- keeping; appropriate use of language; integrity; resilience; being adaptable; respectful to others and self- presentation are all key in professionalism. These attributes along with being able to work in a team are essential for succeeding in the PR industry.
Sometimes there may be difficult scenarios that unexpectedly arise but it is crucial that as a professional you are able to maintain composure despite the challenges. You may question that situation that arose may not be your fault but remember you are not only representing yourself, you are also representing the organisation that you are employed by. So be constantly mindful of the image you portray to the public, especially on social media.
The PR industry is about maintaining relationships and influencing key stakeholders and today social media now plays a prominent role in this field. Bear in mind clients also have access to social platforms so think before posting anything that may jeopardize your career in the future. Of course you’re entitled to enjoy your life during your personal time but some things are better kept private!
In addition, understanding the significance of deadlines is paramount especially at entry- level as it conveys to your managers that you are competent and can work independently under pressure. Even though deadlines are crucial, do not be afraid to communicate with seniors or request for an extension on deadlines. It is always better to communicate the issue instead of leaving it to the last moment to address the problem!
Overall, just continue to self- reflect; assessing both your strengths and weaknesses while leaving room for self- improvement. This is such a great thought process to have as it gives you the opportunity to develop and grow as an individual and in your career. Furthermore but most importantly, just be yourself and enjoy your journey. Everything else will fall into place and head the direction it needs to!