As kids it seemed like everyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. After “pretend teaching” my two younger brothers, I was dead set on becoming a teacher (boy was I wrong about that one). But by the time you hit college and have to pick a major, suddenly your career path might not seem as clear or simple anymore as it was when you were younger. Yes, some people do grow up and follow the career path they fantasized about when they were younger, but it doesn’t always work out that way for everyone. This leads me to my topic for the week: public relations.
Because I was completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, I started my freshman year of college as an undecided/exploratory major. I was eventually able to realize that public relations was the major for me after multiple talks with my adviser and a lot of research on my part. Now as a third year PR major, I am more aware of some of the signs that public relations would/wouldn’t be the right major for someone. So if you are thinking about, or are currently a PR major, check out the following list below.
Signs that public relations ISN’T the right major for you:
1. You hate to write
Part of the reason I chose to major in PR is because I love to write. If writing is something you dread doing, and you can’t form a concise sentence without any grammar mistakes, stay away from PR. Plain and simple.
2. You don’t care about current events
Do you enjoy keeping up with current events? PR is all about staying in the know. Someone like my mom who refuses to read the newspaper or watch the news probably wouldn’t make it in PR.
3. Deadlines…what are those?
Meeting deadlines can be crucial in PR. If you’re someone with the mindset that “things will get done when they get done” I wouldn’t recommend this career. I also want to point out that organization and multitasking skills are important. You will need to deal with a number of different tasks on a daily basis.
4. Communicating with people and building relationships isn’t important to you
To be successful in PR, it’s important that you are a people person. Like most jobs, you need to be friendly and sociable, while also being able to tolerate all different types of personalities. PR takes this a step farther. You need to also be able to build and MAINTAIN relationships. Major emphasis on the maintaining part.
5. You don’t respond well to criticism
I understand that this can apply to almost every job, but there is something different about PR that requires a little tougher skin. Nothing is worse than getting dismissed by a reporter or having a client completely shoot down your ideas/pitch. More importantly, you need to be able expect criticism and learn how to adapt. Staying on your toes is crucial. And always have a back up plan!
If you went through this list and think a career in PR is right for you, check out this article that discusses 6 reasons you should major in public relations.
Do you know of other signs that PR wouldn’t be the right choice for someone? Comment below and let me know!