Careers are funny things. Careers are what develop when you’re trying to grow as a human being, to learn, be happy and be interested. My career is something I didn’t really give much thought to until I changed jobs recently, but I updated my socials and there it was: a product of my actions until this point and a compass into what could be my future.
I never wanted to get into PR. I was always going to be a psychologist (and before that, an astronaut/firefighter/etc), and studied the field in my BA, supporting myself by working a series of bartending jobs. Holy crap psych is interesting. I mean, how could the study of human behaviour not be interesting, learning what drives people, makes them tick.
I reached my final semester of Social Science (Psychology) before I had the sudden realisation I no longer wanted to be a psychologist. Funny that.
Time to pivot. But not straight away – I was onto a good thing with the bartending. It helped me learn how to chat and shoot the shit. How to manage my time and juggle a few different things: Coordinating five drinks in one order from three people, with 13 ingredients in total, washing glasses while keeping the bar clear, asking Terry what Barry wants before exclaiming to Sharon she’s gonna have to changes rosés again.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was not longer happy in the service industry. I’d learned what I could and it was time to move on. And move away. I wanted to move into a new “career” but I thought I’d better learn a spot more before pulling on my big boy pants. PR stood out. One year later I had my Masters in Comms and a starting position in the industry.
From there it was a matter of learning as much as I could, as quickly as I could. Early on in the piece I found that bartending, strangely, put me in good stead. The chat, the multitasking, the long hours and the quick wit all seemed to help. Not to mention, the knowledge of booze helped with the occasional alcohol client. I liked it. I was busy, I was learning, and I was happy: the three ingredients to a fulfilling life.
I realise now how important those three ingredients are. They’re crucial elements that by-and-large have always been something my employers to date have paid attention to. I’ve been lucky to experience this holy trinity at most workplaces, and I realise how short-lived the ones were that didn’t care to tick those three little boxes.
PR is great because it provides you with as much stimulation as you need. It’s a creative industry, first and foremost, and fosters the weird and wonderful thoughts we create sometimes. It’s also an industry of structure, requiring order and the ability to keep plates spinning. Finally, PR is an industry that requires constant learning: You need to stay abreast of so many facets of human life in order to remain effective.
I’m almost five years in to PR now, and I’ve noticed a bit of a career formed when I wasn’t looking. Praise Jebus it’s one I bloody love.