7 Things I Learned in My First Year as a New Professional

By: Gina Masciantonio, Public Relations Coordinator at Godfrey Advertising

Halfway through my senior year in college, I accepted my first real job at a public relations and advertising agency. Now looking back over the last year, there are so many things I have learned along the way. Here are the seven things I have learned in my first year.

1. Staying organized and managing your time is key.
In PR, everyday is different from the next. There are some days I come into the office and end up never touching my to-do list. Knowing how to prioritize your workload and manage how much time you spend on each task will be crucial to being efficient. Tools such as Google Calendar and Trello are great for project management. Personally, I live by my planner and old fashion sticky-notes!

2. Be detailed oriented.
Paying attention to detail is crucial in public relations and writing. Even in an entry-level job, the project you are working on for your manager will eventually be handed to a client. Make sure all your work is client-ready.

3. Ask for feedback.
Learn to not take criticism personally and ask for honest feedback from your co-workers. Learning from their edits and taking their advice now will help you avoid developing bad habits that may be hard to break later down the road.

4. Go above and beyond.
Don’t be afraid to show up early to the office to get ahead on a project or be willing to work late. The extra time you put in shows your passionate about your work and will get noticed by your managers.

5. There’s always something new to learn.
Despite being out of school, there will always be something new to learn. Whether its branching outside of your department and learning a new skill, attending a webinar, researching a new client or learning the latest social media trend. In PR, we need to be life-long learners!

6. Never stop networking.
Networking is just as important after college. The mentors I have gained my first year as a new professional have really guided me through new challenges that I have faced and have helped me shape my future goals. Being a member of the local PRSA chapter and joining the PRSA New Professionals section has also been a tremendous resource and learning tool.

7. Have a balance between your work and personal life.
With technology, it’s easy to be connected to work 24/7. However, it’s important to establish a boundary between work and your personal life early on. Make time to unplug from your email and work phone so you can relax, recharge and be refreshed the next day to tackle a new day of challenges.

Image credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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