Congrats, you’ve made it! Even though you are ready to enter the real world, you might be feeling like a small fish in a big pond. Entering the real world can be daunting, however, it is extremely rewarding, and you will learn tenfold what you did in your multiple years of university study. All you have to do is ask yourself, how will I enter the real world as a daring, passionate and enthusiastic graduate, excited to establish myself as a PR professional? Here’s how.
Learn to love learning
You’d think that after four years of studying, you would have learnt everything you can about PR and communications right? What university doesn’t tell you, is that you learn the most when you start your first job. Never underestimate the importance of continuous professional development and growth. You have to constantly keep up with trends and continually hone skills to adapt to a changing media landscape. Make an effort to ask as many questions as you can, there’s a lot you can learn from the people around you. If you really want to stand out, sign up to workshops, forums, conferences, industry events, short courses or even webinars that will open your eyes to all of the innovative ways to excel in this sector.
How’s your juggling skills?
When you work in a fast-paced, results-driven agency, it can be stressful at times. However, you learn to juggle deadlines and client commitments. Once you find your feet, learning to cope with these aspects of real-world working experiences, it becomes a lot easier, and fulfilling. Not only do you learn more about yourself, but also you start to uncover what your interests are, potentially even your niche in the industry. You learn to prioritise your workload and effectively manage your time. If you catch yourself drowning, make lists, use highlighters, scribble on anything you can find - you’ll find what’s best for you.
It’s never too late to complete an internship. This is probably one of the most important things you can do as a graduate to prepare yourself for the real world. Not only do you have the opportunity to experience the industry in full-swing, but you put into practice those many years of hard-earned study. This is your chance to prove yourself. Show your desire to learn, your willingness to help and your budding PR skills. Remember, the expert in anything, was once a beginner.
Know your strengths and your weaknesses
It’s important to note that you’re surrounded by people who have been working in the industry for many years, who’ve had the ability to refine their skills (which they are continually doing). It’s okay to feel out of depth when you start your new job in PR. Stay calm, ask questions and know what you don’t know in order to learn more.
So, if you’ve cried many tears, pulled multiple ‘all-nighters’ and sat through countless exams and come out the other side with a job in PR, make sure you take the time to reflect on these key points in order to make your first year in the PR industry memorable.