Every Day I’m…Stressin’?
All work and no play undoubtedly results in unwelcomed stress levels. It can be difficult to cope with, but what about a stressful job offering a combination of both work and play?
According to CareerCast, public relations executives make the list of the top ten most stressful jobs. They cite several reasons for the 47.56 stress score that ranks PR at number seven, but compared to the stress score of an enlisted soldier, it’s not so bad.
As a seasoned PR pro navigating her daily life in this demanding yet exhilarating field, I’ve come to learn the ups and downs of the industry. Even though stress can present itself every day and with each individual client, I’ve found my career choice to be incredibly rewarding. Although an array of reasons have been discussed following the news, I wanted to take a minute to provide my very own.
- The never-ending workday. In our line of work, there’s no such thing as down time. There is always media coverage to be obtained, so work becomes an ongoing process with no clear end in sight. Fortunately, this means something new each time you step in the Dittoe PR office.
- The love/hate battle with to-do lists. Many public relations employees find that a to-do list is a great way to stay organized and keep on task with what’s expected of you that day. It is orderly and outlined, but it will most often get disrupted by something that is out of your control. When interruptions occur that cause your list to get thrown out with the lunch you don’t have time to eat, it is important to remember to stay flexible and go with the flow. In PR, your daily plans can change with one email or phone call, and it’s much easier to welcome disruptions rather than fight them.
- The lack of control. Clients are all different, but without them, our jobs wouldn’t exist. Unrealistic expectations and deadlines are just a few of the ways clients contribute to our anxiety. Or, is it insanity? Of course, a lack of control also comes with the media. Knowing that you have briefed and prepped your relevant media members is a surefire way to outsmart the stress. Preparation is an integral component of any project in public relations, and you’d be surprised by the difference it can actually make in the day-to-day life of a PR enthusiast.
- The need to become an expert many times over. It’s not easy to deliver big-time results, but investing valuable time in research leads to increased knowledge and insight pertaining to clients, their competitors and overall industries. From healthcare to tech startups to education, PR pros are required to cover a lot of ground when it comes to having a well-rounded viewpoint on each client’s industry. What many quickly realize is the scope of work keeps you on your toes at all times. Although I’ve had my share of stress-filled days, weeks and months, there is no better reward than seeing the fruits of your labor with a client’s name in the headlines. With the expansive responsibilities come a season professional readied to take on any client’s requests.