4 Tips for new grads in their first PR job
Whew! You’ve finally walked across the stage, secured your diploma and landed your very first job in PR. Now it’s time to live happily ever after… right?
Admittedly, that was my mindset as a new graduate.
Don’t get me wrong, landing a position in my field of study has been a wonderful kickstart to my career. However, what professors and parents rarely tell you is what to do once you actually get your dream job. Breaking into the professional world can feel daunting, and as you begin adjusting to new surroundings and expectations, you may find yourself wondering how to navigate it all.
Here are four tips that can help you put it all into perspective and make the most out of this exciting new journey.
First and foremost, you won’t be able to adjust to your new environment if you don’t get involved early and often. This may seem like simple advice but for many, diving right in can be challenging. To do this, it’s important to make yourself available. Be open and willing to take on all kinds of tasks, projects and experiences in your new position, even the ones that may feel out of your comfort zone. You’ll find that getting involved can lead to discovering new strengths and identifying areas of improvement.
Getting involved also affords you some much needed face-to-face time with your new coworkers who will prove to be valuable guides, resources and friends as you continue to grow in your role.
Another easy but often overlooked practice—and possibly, the most crucial to your success—is asking questions. Questions are the clearest and most direct way to gain the understanding necessary to perform your responsibilities. For many, asking questions can be cumbersome, and too many at once may feel like a burden to the person you direct them. It’s important to realize that this is by no means the case. In many instances, you’ll find the person you’re peppering with questions not only is happy to answer you, but also even happier that you had any at all.
Your questions show a willingness to engage in and understand the assignment or material you’ve been presented with and only can serve to improve your quality of work.
Express your ideas
Yes, even in this new, unfamiliar position it’s important to start sharing your unique perspective and offering your fresh lens to the conversation. This piece of advice may feel like the trickiest to navigate, especially while trying to focus on learning as much as you can. But trust me, you’ll be better off for it. Your background and way of approach are your biggest allies in the professional world and may even be the reason you were hired in the first place. Don’t take for granted what you bring to the table even if you don’t have quite as much experience as those around you.
Allowing a space for your ideas, thoughts and voice to be heard will help you grow in your role and help the team succeed in the long term.
Be ready to make mistakes
Probably one of the most uncomfortable parts of life is the feeling of failure, and ironically, it is also one of the most important. As a new professional, you’ll find that you may not always be able to manage every deadline, submit every assignment correctly or even understand everything being asked of you. And that’s OK. Even the most seasoned veteran will tell you the countless errors, hiccups and mistakes they’ve made in the past.
The important lesson here is to always be willing to learn. You should look at mistakes as opportunities for continued growth and not as the world-shattering events that you might tell yourself they are.
The sooner you become willing to mess up, the sooner you’ll see yourself improve. And if you find that you’re often scared to slip up just remember… they’ll go easy on the new guy or gal.
I have been fortunate and thankful to work in an environment that affords me the insight, the knowledge and most importantly the grace to navigate my now not-so-new surroundings. As I continue to walk my path as a PR professional I can say with confidence, I’ll be back here for a refresher.
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