Working Boy Lessons

Eight months into working in the public relations world, I am learning these great lessons that apply to anyone, but especially those in the PR world.

1.) People Are Watching
— I believe it is especially true in the PR world that people notice how you are doing and your attitude. If you’re working hard and genuinely happy, your coworkers and supervisors will notice. If you want to be lazy and late all the time, everyone will know while at the same time not really knowing who you are and why you’re there.

2.) It Is What You Make of It
— You can come in to work and do the bare minimum, but the bare minimum of people will notice you. You also probably won’t learn much if you’re passive about your position. I told my supervisors when I started, “I am here to learn and grow, I want to be helpful and a real member of your team.” Some days I cannot remember what I really did that day, because I did so much and felt like I was in a whirlwind. The great thing is I work on some really great projects and have some amazing opportunities. It all comes from people knowing you care.

3.) We’re Coworkers at the End of the Day
— PR is friendly and personal, but I learned to remember this is my career and job at the end of the day. I have tasks to get done. It’s great being friends with coworkers, because work doesn’t feel like work and you’re excited to go in. The people I get to work with make me laugh and smile a lot. However, know there is a professional and personal side to things. I love to hear about everyone’s life and say “how was your weekend?”. . .I just also know that some days all we can really afford to say is “How are you?” “Good!”

4.) Prioritize
–Some days your work load really piles up for that day. I found myself yesterday needing to get one thing and another done. As small tasks added up, I jumped to another task while doing the last. I had to stop. Ask myself what needed to get done now and what order. Then I continued from there. We can only do so much at one time. When the world feels like it is falling in at work, stop and ask, “What’s important now and what can wait?”

5.) Take Initiative & Be Efficient
— From watching reality TV shows with people working and my work itself, I think supervisors many times just want people to be proactive and use “common sense”. No one wants to be that person nagging you about a project, so go ahead and update the person who assigned it. Be efficient with your time and have the wherewithal to get something done in an proper amount of time. You never want a supervisor to think their four-year child or younger sibling could come in and do your job in half the time.

6.) You Never Know
–You never know what volunteering to do a small task where will get you. I was delivering something next door at work one day and as I walked away, I was invited to sit in on a prep meeting for a pitch. I got to be a fly on the wall for this truly behind the scenes, creative meeting. Did I understand what was going on part of the time? No! But I learned a few things and I am grateful for the experience!

7.) Keep Perspective
–We all have a unique perspective on things. That’s what makes us valuable. We should always keep that perspective! Our inner voice is what guides us. Our supervisors are professionals who come from one view of things, but we come from a different view that can really make a difference. Don’t fall into agreeing with other’s perspective because it is the easy thing to do. Have an opinion and voice it when necessary.

8.) It’s a Community
–Going into a work setting you become a part of a community. The more I work, the more I know people want you to take part in the activities going on. Halloween and Christmas are major events at work, and the more you take part, the more I think you truly are a part of that community at work. Every workplace has its activities and events, so take part in them!

9.) Roll with the Punches
–This is especially true in an agency setting…You have to be ready to roll with the punches. Any day I come in a project I spent a few days on could be postponed or stopped for something more urgent. I have to shrug it off and keep going. Sometimes you are needed to stay later, and the task could seem unreasonable, but this is a part of teamwork. Just roll with the punches, because tomorrow will be a new do and everything teaches you something.

10.) Specks of Sand Makes the Beach
–Some tasks can seem silly but everyone plays an important part that keeps things moving. Doesn’t mean I am irreplaceable, but the tasks I am asked to complete are helping in one way or another. I am happy to have the simple jobs to break up the larger tasks. Whatever speck or specks of sand we are asked to contribute make up the beach that is the company.

11.) This is Your Life
–We only live once so we should enjoy whatever we do! As a student working I know my supervisors want me to not be overwhelmed and still be a college student. By being a part of the community and doing my job well, work won’t feel so much like work. I have to take full advantage of my position at work, but I also have to experience the rest life has to give.

Kelly Cutrone’s advice for interns: “Shut up. Suit Up. Show Up.”

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I hope you have enjoyed this post! Feel free to comment, follow/tweet me on Twitter @JarrydK, or ask me questions anonymously at http://formspring.com/jarrydboyd.
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