26 Apr Advice for Emerging PR Professionals
Starting a new career can be daunting. There’s so much to navigate and so many decisions to make early in your career. So, how can you make sure you are making the most of these early opportunities and setting yourself on a path for success? Account Coordinator Natalie Banaszak shares the top five tips and tricks she’s learned in the past year at PRAXIS, her first year in PR.
1. Keep an open mind
There comes a time in your career where you can specialize, but your early career is a great time to learn and get a diverse experience for your portfolio. Don’t put yourself in a box too soon! Working at a PR agency wasn’t even near my radar when I started studying at Sheridan for PR & Corporate Communications. Throughout my program, though, I was increasingly intrigued by the varied learning that agency life can offer. I decided my internship would be the perfect time to try it out (at PRAXIS); and sure enough, it turns out I love agency! If I hadn’t kept an open mind to new opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
2. Always put your hand up
If someone asks for support on a task, offer your help! You’ll get to learn a variety of skills and build relationships with your team members that way. As you go into your internships or first roles, make sure you know where your strengths are. Offer to support your team, especially when tasks come up that intersect with what you do best. Is there something you’d like to work on, or something you’re hoping to gain more experience in? Chime in and let your manager know!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
It’s understandable that as a junior staff member, you’re going to occasionally need a bit of clarification on some of your assigned tasks. Never be afraid to ask questions before starting a new project or task. It’s so much better for both you and your team than making assumptions that could cost valuable time.
4. Talk to people
In my first few weeks at PRAXIS, I met up with everyone individually for a quick coffee chat. It helped me to learn about my new team members and about PRAXIS as an agency. These chats are especially important if you work remotely, without a frequent opportunity to meet each other in person organically.
5. Don’t settle
Culture is important and the right fit works both ways! Ask meaningful questions during your interviews to make sure each opportunity you take aligns with your career goals. Find a place that is going to challenge you and allow you to grow both professionally and personally in a healthy and sustainable way.