It’s a Small, Small PR World

Running into an old boss, there are moments in life that happen so fast you don’t have time to think about it.

I was walking in downtown Chicago and happened to see my old boss from my previous internship. Now just a quick bit of background: Not every internship or job you have will be perfect. Perhaps you won’t be doing the kind of work that you enjoy doing at first. Perhaps the agency culture isn’t a good fit.

My last internship was my first one out after graduating from college. For a number of reasons, at the end of the internship I was not offered a full-time position. This was an incredibly stressful experience that, considering everything I handled fairly well.

I had seen my former boss since my last day of work and had a decision to make when seeing her walking by. Do I go up to her and say hello or do I put my head down and try not to be noticed? I went with the former and we had a delightful impromptu five-minute conversation about my new agency, Chicago’s ridiculous summer weather and life in general. The next day I followed up with a simple e-mail saying how great it was to run into her (which was true).

I write about this because we can sometimes get caught up in the search for a permanent job in the industry. And that search can at times be incredibly exasperating. But as much as the temptation might be there at times, make sure not to burn bridges out of frustration.

On a professional level, the PR business (like many others) is incredibly tight-knit, so I can’t imagine having any enemies would be a good idea.

On a personal level though, your bosses are human as well. It’s their job to make tough decisions. Odds are it’s not that you don’t have a future in the business, but that the agency simply wasn’t a good fit.

So definitely keep your head held high and continue to gain experience in any way possible and you’ll definitely find the place that’s right
for you!

About the Author
James is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri, where he majored in Strategic Communication. His broadcast experience led him to an internship with FOX News in London, where he gained experience producing live shots for shows including Fox & Friends and America’s Newsroom. During his most recent internship at Golin Harris,  James conducted public relations for top clients including McDonald’s, John Deere, USG Corp, and UNICEF. He is currently looking for full-time work in Chicago or New York. Contact James on Twitter via @JamesCoston or on LinkedIn

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3 comments on “It’s a Small, Small PR World

  1. Great reminder James….I have been thinking about this very topic for a few weeks now and completely agree about the importance of NOT burning bridges…it is definitely a small world and that’s why it is so important to be nice to everyone you meet 🙂

    • Thanks Lesly! It can admittedly be hard to stay positive during a difficult job search. Putting on a happy face if you happen to run into someone you may have not gotten along with in the past may force you to swallow your pride a little bit, but it is absolutely necessary, not just for the sake of your career, but also for growing as a good person.

      All the Best,

  2. Pingback: What To Do When Something Goes Wrong At A PR Event | PR at Sunrise

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