Guest Post: Confessions of an Entry-Level PR Pro

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College, I’ve often claimed, is the best thing since sliced bread. The sad thing, it’s over in just four short years and then we are well on our way to the daunting, yet intriguing real world. 

After sitting through nearly two million minutes of class throughout the course of our youth, suddenly a piece of paper is slipped our way deeming us worthy of accepting bigger challenges and solving life’s toughest problems. Ready or not, welcome to the real world. 

I’ve been “in it” for approximately 11 months and I must say it is a nice change of pace. Truth be told you do actually learn a lot more outside of the classroom. Now is the time to buckle up and get ready for an unpredictable ride.

Here are a few thoughts on how to make the most out of your first years out of college:

  1. Take the initiative to keep up with old friends. People are globetrotting more and more these days, so if you want to keep in touch it is up to you.
  2. Rise and Shine. It’s important to get into the dreaded morning routine, you’ll thank yourself by the end of the day.
  3. Your first job may not be your dream job, but don’t let that get you down. Volunteer your time to something you are passionate about.
  4. Show your value early and quickly become an asset to your employer. 
  5. Position yourself as a resource.
  6. Get involved in young professional or young alumni groups and find a mentor.
  7. Figure out your finances and stick with a budget.
  8. Be persistent and always work with a sense of urgency. It shows dedication and commitment to your employer and colleagues.
  9. Brush up on your skills every now and then. Whether it be science, foreign language, music, art, etc. these are unique qualities you want to carry with you.
  10. Second chances are few and far between in the real world. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes, own up to them, learn from it and then move on.
  11. Last but not least- explore. If you have the resources for a vacation or road-trip … do it! The adventures of traveling keep us young and help us appreciate the small things in life.

Adrienne Bailey is a graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She currently works in Indianapolis as an Account Executive for Y&L PR, and also publishes her own blog. She can be reached via Twitter (@AdrienneBailey) or at bailey.adrienne@gmail.com.

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7 comments on “Guest Post: Confessions of an Entry-Level PR Pro

  1. Wow! What a great post, Adrienne! While I think all are great suggestions, I can attest, from experience, that numbers 1, 3, 4 and 7 have been particularly true in the early stages of my “real-world” experience.

    Having most of my best friends move away, I’ve found how difficult it is to maintain those friendships as if we still lived in the same city. Having and being a friend are two different things and you can’t expect your friends to make the effort if you aren’t willing to.

    Your first job probably isn’t going to be the one you stick with for 20 years and that’s okay. But it’s not okay to act like that at work. Give it 110% like you would anything else in life and find something that you are passionate about.

    Finally, as a former professor once told my graduating class, create a budget because you’re not going to have as much money as you think and accept the fact that you’re going to have to have a roommate. He was right … I have two.

    Thanks for the great post!!

  2. Thanks so much for commenting, Kristen. It’s nice to hear you are experiencing the same things. I totally agree about the first job thing. Even though it may not be the most exciting thing ever, you are only going to get out of it what you put into it.

    And I am in the process of finding roommates as we speak. Good luck on everything and again, thanks for reading!

  3. Adrienne,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post and am on the same page. “Intriguing” is such a perfect word to describe the real world. I feel as college students we are anxious to reach that point, but also comfortable to remain in our safe surroundings.

    I found numbers 10 & 11 to be relevant to my experience thus far. Mistakes will happen, and I know I have learned the most from these instances. The important part is teaching myself to move forward with the lesson and leave behind any negative implications.

    I couldn’t agree more with your advice to travel and explore. I visited Australia in September; I actually left for my trip the day after my internship ended and started full-time at my agency the Monday after my return. I will forever view this trip as a transitional stepping stone into the real world… and I can’t wait to plan my next adventure.

    I look forward to checking out your blog!
    -Stephanie
    @StephanieFlo

    Andrew – I’m glad you included a PR pro just starting out as your latest guest post. Look forward to the next post!

  4. Adrienne,

    I love this post.
    Number 3 and Number 10 are the items that I’ve struggled with since graduation. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one.

    The first job out of college can be tough but hard work will eventually pay off!

    @awoodlock

    • Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Regarding your first job, you have the right attitude so I am positive things will pay off. Good luck with everything.
      -Adrienne

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