Category Archives: Inner Dialogue

America’s Most Stressful Jobs 2011 (via CNBC)

I’ve been a little quiet lately. It’s been for a lot of good reasons; a lot to do with the link I’m about to share with you. But first the update. About two months ago I left Turner PR prematurely to pursue and opportunity with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Denver. For those who’ve had a slight taste or a full immersion in this level of agency life, knows the level of productivity required. The amount of work, the pace required for turnaround, and the navigation savvy-ness required to maneuver through a dispersed team and client roster is a lot to take in. This is not to say that I’ve had a miserable experience thus far, merely to say that I’m loving the roller coaster ride.

Denver’s office in particular focuses heavily on technology clients. Some in the niche, deep tech field and others more on the consumer tech side. It’s been fun to dabble in both. I’ve also been integrated in Ogilvy’s masterful 360 DI (digital influence) practice. Overall, it’s been a great and well-rounded experience, and I hope to continue on here for many years to come.

Now to the article in which the title of this post comes from.

CNBC released the 2011 America’s Most Stressful Jobs report. Want to take a guess at which profession made it’s way on to the list? Not only did PR find it’s way on the list, but it also ranked high, as in #2. It’s definitely a sink or swim, eat or be eaten type of industry. I mean that not to say that it’s ruthless, but more to say that it takes perseverance. And for those PR job-seekers out there, sorry to say, that finding the job is hard, but don’t expect much sigh-time once you’ve settled into your cubicle.

Promise to be in touch more!


When is too much?

A little known fact about me: I like to do it all. Have every experience, relish every opportunity, squeeze every ounce of possibility out of life. In some ways it’s a great way to live life- Carpe Diem! However, in my past it’s been a downfall.

In high school I was the kid who was in band, choir, mock trial, editor and chief of the newspaper, competed in tennis and swimming, and had AP classes. I was a great student, a good athlete, and was mildly successful at the rest of it, but never exceptional. It was mid-way through my senior year when my AP history teacher pulled me aside, noticing how frantic I always seemed, and asked me a question that would stick with me to this day, “do you want to be good at a bunch of things, or exceptional at a couple?”

I’m sure at the time, I got all defensive and assured him I would be fine with my current way of living, but as I reflected, I saw the wisdom behind his words. I tried to adapt and learn to say no when I got to college, but it too was an all-you-can-eat buffet of opportunities. My history teacher’s words haunted me throughout my college career, especially in those moments of stress. I really became a glutton for punishment- I couldn’t say no to something I thought would propel me to the next level.

My current mindset leads me to believe that once I’m employed it will resolve itself, right? I mean if you work a full-time job, there’s no time for much else; you have to be dedicated to it in order to succeed. Even though I’m not fully employed at the moment, my self-destructive tendency has reared its ugly head. I currently have an unpaid internship that I’ve mentioned, three times a week, a paid virtual internship that takes up 20 hrs per week, a volunteer PR job with a non-profit and I blog for an online venture. I just struck me today, how I’m going to be great at all of these things?

I’d like to think of myself as perfectionist, which is something I’m not sure exist. The truth is however, while all of these great experience are contributing to my craft, I feel like I’m doing them for the wrong reasons- to get a job. I want to learn, and I am for the most part. But I’m (YoPRo’s) the byproduct of a system designed to sacrifice quality for quantity. “The more internships the better,” seems to be our motto.

Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I’ll be able to say that as a full-time employed PRofessional that I’ve found a nice well-rounded system, but for the time being wish me luck!

New Years Reevaluation

It’s that time of the fleeting year, where we as a society begin to analyze what changes and/ or additions we can bring to our lives to make them better. The constant flood of weight watchers and gym commercials are a clear indicator of this clockwork mentality.

After losing weight, I feel most people are looking to reevaluate their job situation. Whether that be by changing career paths, asking for a raise, or for many of us, actually finding a job. I’m not going to lie, this past week or so, my job searching has been a bit laxed. I’ve ignored my golden rule that finding a job, in itself, is a full-time job.

This week however, I’m back on the wagon, (both in diet and in job searching *double-cough*). While the holidays for some reason can be depressing for some, for a job seeker it’s ideal! I’ll tell you why. Most PR firms are doing their budgeting for the next year; looking over the number, evaluating the freedom to expand or not, and looking at what clients are coming in or looking to gain its business.

So for that reason I feel like within the next couple of month’s I’d expect to see more openings to start popping up.

Along with focusing even harder, if that’s possible, on landing a job. I’ve also tried to focus harder on staying current on the news. The black and white days of getting the daily paper and perusing it over breakfast, died with the DOT COM. Not only, as an informed human being do I feel the need to stay current, but as a job seeker, the luxury is now a necessity. Then the question is where to start? With what publication(s)?

The rule of thumb I live by in this case, is I pick a reputable online newspaper that’s well rounded. It’s not easy and each paper has it’s own stance. Then I look towards publications that pertain to the PR industry and then sectors in which I fancy myself working in. Lastly I pick a blog or two on my blogroll and read up on their latest contributions. I take an hour, or two and do this everyday. Trying to be everywhere at one, especially when it comes to news for one, isn’t practical, and two, it’ll drive you crazy. Also, somethings aren’t particularly relatable.

In the past, I struggled with this. News seemed to mark my arrival into adulthood, which I tried to avoid. Now in my maturing mindset I see its value. If a company can see how you can match the current trends and relate that information to their clients or potential clients, it’s an asset for sure. Plus, most people doing the 9-5 grind, don’t have the luxury of taking the two hours to be informed. It’s not only a novelty, but it’s something that distinguishes you from competition.

I’m sure there are many more things that I can add to my reevaluation, but I’m a realist. I recall a piece of advice my AP history teacher asked me in high school. “Mackey [he liked to call his students by their last name], do you want to be good at a bunch of things, or excellent in a couple?” I took that to heart and bring a level of practicality to the new year.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and like me are looking forward to 2011!

Manic Monday

Yesterday was crazy and wonderful all in one. I was blessed to have three interviews in three different PR sectors: corporate, boutique agency and non profit, back-to-back-to-back.

My first interview was with Turner PR, as I mentioned I would interviewing with. I must say I was bit nervous walking in, comparable to meeting a celebrity. I’m not even sure why, I don’t get nervous usually, plus being that it was an unpaid internship that I was being interviewed for, there shouldn’t have been much pressure. Don’t get me wrong, it would be wonderful to get employed there, but somehow when it’s full-time paid position the stakes are higher, especially as a recent graduate.

It was a good interview as interviews go. Oddly enough though, the questions they asked me weren’t experience focus. It was more of a description of the internship program and what I would be doing. Either way, whatever comes from this, I hope that I’ve made some contacts that I can add to my network.

(HELPFUL TIP) Should you not get the job/ decide for whatever reason it’s not meant for you, follow up with an email, asking them if it would ok to keep in touch and follow up with them at a later date. Assuming they agree (99% success rate) add them to you LinkedIn network.

My second interview was the Big Kahuna! Weber Shandwick, which is a company whose results speak from itself. This interview was for AE position in their technology and healthcare sector. The woman who I interviewed with was just as nice as you can be. She’s been with the company for 16 years and her zeal for her clients and Weber Shandwick in general was evident.

The interview went well. Usually most out-of-college YoPRo’s aren’t slated for AE positions, but she was impressed with what I had accomplished in during my time in college and the fact that I was teachable and willing to work hard.

(HELPFUL TIP) Sometimes you can be the most qualified person in the world, but if you aren’t willing to learn and be teachable, you often won’t make the cut. Sure, most supervisors don’t want to hold your hand, and expect you to learn quick, but especially with a new working environment, there are things to learn. Next time you’re in an interview make sure to mention that you may lack experience in a certain area i.e., media pitching, but you learn quick and are very teachable. Employers eat that up!

My final interview of the day was with the Alzheimers Association. I met this woman through a PRSA event, through a person in my network. It to is an unpaid internship position, as most non-profits are, but promised a lot of hands-on experience. That’s really the beauty of the non-profit world, they need they help and because of that you’re able to work on different things that maybe an agency wouldn’t let you work on.

I actually wouldn’t call this an interview, it was more of a ‘where are you in your career’ talk, and how can I help you. It’s so rare, to hear those words. Because I don’t live in the heart of Denver, she agreed to let me work virtually from home, which is something that I can totally do. The AA has a large press conference that their organizing with the Governor of Colorado that I’ll be able to help with as well as their annual Polar Plunge, at the Boulder Reservoir. Fun projects that will allow me to work on the gamut of skills necessary in the PR industry.

(HELPFUL TIP) A lot of student complain about the lack of internships available. Well try this on for size. Volunteer your services for a non-profit. My first internship was with a transitional house in my college town. I did a PR plan for them for their upcoming summer fundraiser. It’s a great way to implement the tools you’ve learned in the classroom. Find a NP that interest you and give them a call, say you’re a PR student looking to gain some experience, would it be possible to come in and talk with them. Simple.

Now it’s the waiting game (my favorite!). Even if none of these transpire into actual employment, it’s still rewarding to get some interview practice and realize that I’m worth a look at.

Heart vs. Mind: On the PR battlefield

Tomorrow I have an interview with Turner PR in Denver. And tonight as I was perusing its web site, for what must have been the 50th time in preparation for tomorrow, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of jubilation and confliction.

When I decided to go into public relations, I had a general idea of what it was- I knew that I would be able to utilize my love for creative writing, research, and relationship building. What sealed the deal was a random google search for “travel pr.” Who would’ve guessed that after I hit enter, my overall vision and purpose for my time in college and burgeoning career would change?

The google search poped out a variety of cases studies, travel guides and of course firms specializing in that exact thing. One of which was Turner PR. It wasn’t even the client list including: Eddie Bauer, The North Face, REI, KSWISS- responsible for ‘Desert Smash,’ a charity golf and TENNIS event (HELLO! Talk about perfect for me!). It was the people behind those campaigns. These principals are cultured, passionate and add charisma to this niche of public relations. Adjectives that I would attribute to myself as well.

How can the son of a glorified chef, outdoor enthusiast, travel maven (if not now, one day), sport zealot and the fact that I was born and raised in Hawaii not be cut out for this type of work? Not to mention the qualifications I have on the PR side of things.*I’m not usually this boastful, at all. But given this is filed under ‘inner dialogue’ you get what you get.*

Going into tomorrow’s interview, I know two things: 1. It’s 20 hr/week unpaid internship and 2. It’s my dream firm. How do I begin to calculate the risk vs. reward of this situation? On one hand, I have this great opportunity, granted I get offered the position to potentially work my way into a AAE position at this firm, if that growth is possible. On the other hand I’ve graduated, have bills to pay, live 60 miles away from Denver (talk about a commute) and would have to turn down potential interests from interviews that I’ve already had and waiting to hear back from (that are either paid internships of entry-level jobs).

Following your heart, has been a centralized theme for mankind, from the moment our species was breathed into existence. Turner PR was a main if not the reason I pursued this career path in addition to the reason I already stated earlier. All of us, no matter what career we’ve chosen for ourselves was inspired by someone or something.

I’ve always sought opportunities that are rewarding and fulfilling. It’s what makes doing something you love so important.

Wish me luck!