Showing posts with label professional development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label professional development. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Volunteering Is An Career Saver In Tough Times

Volunteering is a valuable survival tactic for PRs

 The outlook seems grim for  Canberra communicators faced with the MOG - the Machinery of Government.  Those are  the changes that kick in when governments in Australia change.

The incoming Abbott government has tighter than tight media arrangements. New ministers are reluctant to promote policies and the national security mantra is closing down discussion on key issues.  

If there is space or appetite for proactive communications in the Commonwealth, it's hard to spot looking in from the outside. 

And with big decisions on hold, communicators nervously wait to see if their jobs will be chopped.  

It is not a good time to be a PR professional in government right now.  Particularly if you are someone open to learning new skills, expanding your horizons and advancing your career.

One way to retain your edge amidst all this uncertainty is to get back in the game and offer your PR skills to one of Canberra's many not for profits. Local charities and community groups are always hungry for PR support and highly appreciative when someone steps forward to offer their services.

If the Commission of Audit targets your job and you are find yourself unemployed in the next few months you can confront fairly distressing circumstances. I know.  I have been out of work four times spanning a 22-year PR career, starting with when the Howard Government came to power in 1996.  I have seen the jobless movie too many times and it's not fun to sit through.

I also know that volunteering your skills to the community sector is a lifeline strategy that can keep you professionally engaged.  Volunteering your talents to people who normally could not afford them can be a strategy to keeping you in meaningful - if unpaid - work, continuing your craft and feeling valued. 

Perhaps you have a job but are on a career path that seemingly leads nowhere.  Your agency may pay you but that does not appreciate you.  Even though you are keen to try new things, you never get the chance.  Out of work or out-of-rewarding work situations can be stressful for communicators of any grade because as a group we are upbeat, positive people hell bent on achieving results.  

Not for profit volunteering can be one way to change the chemistry in your situation or expand your skills set.  Not for profits always have the welcome mat out for communicators and are willing laboratories to practice and improve your skills.  Any PR effort will always be  a big plus for them.  

Contact Volunteering ACT for ideas on how to begin your personal PR change through volunteering. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

4Cs To Boost Your PR Career

 It is university graduation time in Australia and a hundreds of PR students across the country are leaving college and looking for their first real job.  It is time for them to set aside the books and begin their professional life in earnest.

Let me share some tips from leading US PR professional Cheryl Proctor Rogers who recently outlined the 4Cs to boost your PR career.  Cheryl was speaking at the Public Relations Society of America Conference in Florida in October. 

#1  Capabilities: You need to set out on a path of continuous self improvement to expand your PR knowledge and skills. You never stop learning in the communications industry.

#2  Careers:  Join networks and professional associations and take advantage of their training programs and opportunities to meet other professionals.  Network, network, network when you first start out and make it a hallmark of your career.

#3   Cabinet:  Presidents and prime ministers have cabinets of trusted advisers so why can't you? Seek out and learn from mentors, advisers, supporters, peers and friends. Draw on their experience to increase your own.

#4   Community:  Volunteer to help out with PR for a not for profit. Your first job may not give you the range of professional opportunities you would like.  Helping a charity is good for the soul and importantly can lead you down different communications avenues.

Good luck if you are just starting your career.  Remember the success of your career will be proportional to your effort, enthusiasm and the generosity of your spirit. Enjoy the journey.