I’ve been thinking about what propels some people directly into exciting careers, and why others may take longer to find their place. Of course, there are many factors beyond our control, yet, there are elements we can master to help light the way. I’d like to share a few ideas with you.
First, let me to introduce myself. I am an Assistant Professor in Advertising/Public Relations major, teaching college level courses for over 15 years. My professional career spans 20+ years in advertising/public relations.
I am the faculty advisor to the GVSU Advertising Club and the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team. I also serve on the board of the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan, (Ad Fed) as Director of Student Initiatives.
So what is it about people who fast track their careers? I have an educated guess based on my observations, experience and research. I’ll share some thoughts with you:
- Motivation and Enthusiasm are Key. A fire in the belly, willingness to take a risk and tenacity are integral to success. I know. It’s hard. No one likes to fail or be judged. But if you try, fail, and pick yourself back up again, you will learn valuable lessons. Don’t give up. You are creative. Stop holding yourself back. You will find creative initiative is not only exhilarating, but attractive to others. They will notice your bold enthusiasm and want you on their team.
- Embrace the Unknown and Dive In. Humans don’t like uncertainty. We want to know we have the right answer. But in this field, there is no one right answer. It’s about creative problem solving. Be bold. Dare to be different. Set yourself apart. People want to see something they’ve never seen before.
- Make Connections and Get Inspired. Find people who inspire you. Get out there and look them in the eye. Strike up a conversation. Ask questions and listen well. Peers, professors, and professionals – everyone has something valuable to share. Join clubs, volunteer, find cool internships, attend speaking engagements, read about what and who inspires you, write about what you learn and discuss your findings with others. Feed your soul. Spark a fire.
- Find Your Niche and Trust Your Gut. Take time to reflect. Absorb what you are learning and think about how you can apply it. There are many aspects to the APR field. Find what excites you and focus on developing a special skill set. It’s good to be well rounded, but even better to have something extra to offer. Also, realize that no one has all the answers and no one is always right. It is up to you to discern what is best for you. It’s your life. Learn to trust your intuition through deep introspection.
- Be Grateful. Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone better, and many that are worse, at whatever niche you choose. Accept that. Then focus on your best self. Don’t panic. Get perspective. Look around you and count your blessings. Be thankful for all that you are and who you are becoming. Take a deep breath, channel good energy and move forward with confidence.
- Be Kind. Play well with others. Foster a warm and safe space for others to interact with you. Be approachable. We are in a creative field. Creative people need to feel safe to share ideas. Sharing ideas with others leads to exhilarating possibilities. This is where the magic happens. Work is no longer work; it becomes a passion. The fire burns, motivation soars, enthusiasm takes flight. The next thing you know, you are unstoppable. People take notice. And you have just positioned yourself for a very exciting future in your chosen field. Why? Read tip #1. You’ve got this.
Post by: Robin Spring M.A., Assistant Professor