To Thrive in Your Career, Create an Action Plan
After the disruptions of 2020-2021, PR professionals “have to reach harder for career opportunities,” said recruiter and career coach Angee Linsey. “In a short-view world, we have to take the long view” through daily, weekly, monthly and annual actions that benefit our careers.
Linsey, author of the book “Dare to Be Deliberate: Level Up Your Communication Career,” presented an ICON 2021 workshop on Oct. 7 titled, “Thriving in Your Post-Pandemic Career.”
Find your direction.
To chart the course of your future career, identify the direction you’d like to take, Linsey said. But remember that “what’s next doesn’t have to be forever.” When necessary, “pause, reset, reimagine and then start again.”
Linsey suggests PR professionals create action plans for their careers. Start by describing your ideal next position. Add your strengths, skills and other attributes that will help you reach that goal. “Know your dealbreakers and non-negotiables” and include them in your plan, too.
Identify five people who are doing the type of work you aspire to, she suggests. Try to talk to them. She advises against cold-calling, but recommends that communicators talk to one of these people every month. Outline what you hope to learn from the conversations.
Linsey dislikes the term “networking,” which she said people often consider a chore, or another word for wanting something from colleagues. “Don’t think of it as networking, but as connecting to people you genuinely like.”
It helps to have a natural curiosity about what other people do. “You’ll learn about industries and opportunities that you didn’t know about before.”
Make nurturing your network part of your job, she said. “Don’t wait until you need something to get in touch with your network.” Just like with friendships, “Make time for your network or it will go away.” Develop the habit of staying in touch with your contacts.
Everyone wants to feel their work matters, but sometimes we need to shift our perspective, Linsey said. “Think about who benefits from what you do. Seek out what your purpose is.”
Tell your story.
The ability to tell your own story is an important skill to hone, she said. “Know who you are now and give context for how you got there and where you want to go. Remember that it’s OK to show a little vulnerability.”
If the tumultuous past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that what matters to us can evolve. “You might have to change how you introduce yourself based on what you do today — but every time you do, you make an impression,” Linsey said. “How you define yourself is how people are going to see you.”