A Guest Post By Corina Manea, Chief Community Officer for Spin Sucks, & Founder of NutsPR
Here we are, the second month of the year is almost gone.
That begs the question how are you doing against your PR professional development goals you set (I hope) in January?
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day busyness. It’s so easy to put aside your learning goals because you are too busy or too tired to even think about it. Plus you have no time, zero.
What if I told you, you won’t have a job in five years if you don’t focus and invest in your professional development?
I bet you’d find the time now.
Don’t believe me?
Look around, really look around you: Artificial Intelligence is gaining ground. Chat bots replace many parts of customer service. Your executives want to see your work brings business results, not AVEs or impressions.
Should I continue?
Continuous learning is a must for any PR professional, no matter how much experience you have.
I know what you are going to say: The PR industry is moving slowly. After all, it has been doing that for the last 50 years.
And I would have agreed with you, 10 years ago. But today, things are moving faster and faster. It’s hard to keep up with technology, not to mention being ahead of trends.
Which brings me back to investing in your professional development as a PR pro.
Where to Start
You decided to take your career into your own hands and invest in your professional development.
You even added the task into your daily calendar, but you don’t know where to start.
As much as you’d like to skip the preparation phase, you shouldn’t.
Make a plan that includes:
- How much time per day you’ll spend learning,
- Top five publications, blogs, online magazines you want to read every day,
- Top three courses you want to take in the next three month,
- Top three conferences you want to attend this year.
Don’t forget to include digital networking as well.
Once you have the plan in place, which by the way it shouldn’t take more than two hours, you need to split each goal into monthly and weekly tasks.
The next step should be scheduling a meeting with yourself at the end of each week to review your progress, see what worked and what didn’t, and adjust things for the following week.
Apply the same strategy at the end of each month and trimester.
Don’t forget to write down your weekly and monthly results and progress.
There is no bigger motivator than getting results from your efforts. So don’t treat it lightly, write it down, all of it.
It’s hard to get out of our comfort zone. But remember you didn’t get where you are today because you stayed where it was warm and comfy.
Make a habit of challenging yourself…often.
Build relationships with colleagues from other departments, especially from marketing, customer service, sales, and finance.
Meet with them regularly, invite them to coffee or lunch, exchange ideas, and above all listen.
It will give you a different perspective on your company, you will learn how they think and why you will understand the missing pieces and how you can help improve the bottom line.
And if you feel bold, take it to another level: Connect with peers from different industries than yours. Meet with them and share ideas. You will 10x your learning.
Whether you work for yourself or for somebody else you need to treat your professional development as if it were a client.
Give it the same attention, dedication, and passion you have for your clients.
In time and with hard work (there is no way around that), it will pay off.