Being a 24-year-old in the working world has taught me that there are some unfortunate stereotypes surrounding entry-level professionals. Despite all of the negative connotations that exist, there are many perks of being a new professional, especially in the field of public relations.
From my experience, here are five reasons why starting at a PR agency makes the most sense for us millennial employees:
1. You wear all the hats
Working at an agency, you tackle everything under the public relations sun from traditional media, media relations, writing, strategic planning, social media, and more. This proves to be a very convenient way to discover what it is you really enjoy doing, and what you don’t. It’s also possible you love the day-to-day mystique, and decide to stay in an agency setting for years to come.
Also, there is never a shortage of work which provide many opportunities for you to work on higher-level projects. This is conditional so long as you do the initial tasks and prove you’re a go-getter up for new challenges. Sure, the first month or so could involve mainly pitch calls and coffee brewing, but the more dedicated and on top of things you are, the better the chance of your workload growing.
2. You get a taste from different industries
Interested in health care? Wearisome about education? Want to learn about environmental issues?
Agencies work with a multitude of clients allowing you to find your niche. Should you eventually decide to leave agency life, you will have a better understanding of where your passions lie specifically within the realm of public relations.
3. You have a whole team of like-minded professionals to learn from
Often enough, with in-house communications jobs, you are expected to be the expert or you might be the only person who focuses on social media, pitching, event planning, etc. at your company. This can be daunting as you feel you have a lot to learn, which you do! You’re new to this arena and should absorb as much knowledge and insight as you can while you have the time.
Conversely at an agency, you work with other communications experts that serve as a sounding board to gain insight from.
I love this because as a new professional you don’t quite have the institutional knowledge for workarounds and time-saving techniques that you would only be able to learn from researching. Access to this wealth of experience is priceless and should be utilized. Don’t recreate the wheel if you don’t have to!
4. A great networking opportunity
Similar to the second point, you can leverage your exposure to a wide array of industries as an opportunity to grow a diversified network. This results either in helping you become more connected in your community with opportunities to bring in new business, or it could help land your next job if you decide in-house PR-life is your next move.
5. Learn the basics of running a business
Being at the bottom of the totem pole isn’t a bad thing at an agency. Because of this, you’re often involved in the pitching of new business. From digital marketing strategies to outreach tactics, you gain a general understanding of business operations. Let me tell you, this is extremely valuable. If you understand how a business operates, you can better market a business and apply those techniques toward client work.
Being a lower ranked employee also lends opportunity for planning company programs and events as well as watching account management in action, all of which will help you move up and earn that next promotion.
See? Being an entry-level professional, especially in a public relations agency setting, has its perks. So don’t work too hard to make short of your time as the young employee. Use it as an opportunity to grow and refine your skill set, discover your likes and dislikes and establish a solid networking foundation.
And remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
What other perks do you have as current and past entry-level employees? Search