Your Career and You: "Be Excited about What You’re Doing"


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I just returned from participation in back-to-back Public Relations Society of America events: the 2011 Silver Anvil Awards ceremony on Thursday evening followed by the Association’s 2011 Leadership Rally.

The Silver Anvil Awards recognize the “best of the best” in public relations practices. This was my first opportunity to attend, and I was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone (close to 500 attendees) there… winners, contenders, spectators. I came away with the realization that there are a LOT of folks out there who really care about what they’re doing.

The Leadership Rally…a separate activity held Friday and Saturday (and, ironically, again my first although I’ve held chapter and district leadership positions with PRSA both in Boston and in Hawaii since the mid-80s)…is designed to introduce incoming officers from PRSA’s 10 Districts and more than 100 Chapters around the country to the “art of successful leadership.”

A series of breakout sessions on everything from “Creating Programs that Engage and Enlighten” to “Fiscal Leadership” offered these incoming leaders “how-to” guidance that will help them as they take on their volunteer roles.

The “take-away” for me from the Rally was similar to my impression of the Silver Anvils…the high level of excitement and commitment that every one of these soon-to-be leaders showed.

Why am I talking about this?

Simple…I feel like a “newbie” after these experiences although I’ve been a member of PRSA since 1981 and have been actively involved as a volunteer since that time.

I’m excited about having the opportunity to serve on PRSA’s Board of Directors. I’m eager to work with the Society’s national, district, and local chapter leaders to move our organization, which is the largest of its kind representing the public relations professional, forward.

I’m also and equally excited to be preparing for a new year as Associate Professor of Communication at Curry College, where I oversee the undergraduate Public Relations Concentration and teach most of our PR courses, and as a Lecturer in Communications in the Graduate Communication Department at Regis College.

Why am I talking about this??

Because I’m creeping up on that mythical time of life known as “retirement age.” I could easily fold my tent, saddle my camel, and ride off over the dunes into oblivion.

Been there…done that. Or so I thought until this past weekend.

Nope…got a lot of things I still NEED to do and still CAN do.

Public relations is changing dramatically as a profession, both on the tactical side in the ways in which we provide services to our employers and clients and on the strategic side as we provide advice and counsel to guide these individuals or organizations through the minefields of the business world.

I want to play a part in the changes that we as a professional organization implement to assist our 20,000-plus members in doing their jobs.

And I want to play a part in the changes that we as academicians must implement to insure that our students are prepared to enter the workforce and succeed.

You should feel this way, too, about activities you’re involved in either professionally or as a volunteer. Take a look at what you’re doing and identify the ways in which you, as an individual, are making or can make a difference.

Take pride in what you’re doing, and don’t be shy about letting others see your pride. Be excited about what you’re doing!

“The more you do, the more you can do. The busier you are, the busier you can be.” ~ Dharma Thoughts of Master Hsing Yun, “On Life: The Everlasting Light”

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in Communication, Curry College, public relations, Public Relations Society of America. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Your Career and You: "Be Excited about What You’re Doing"

  1. angereese says:

    Kirk – You've hit it exactly on the head! Enjoying what you do, and being excited about it makes all the difference!

  2. Hi Ange!Thanks…the excitement is what keeps me chugging along!Hope all's well!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kirk,I agree too many people "check-out" way too soon. They then retire and find themselves bored and without a sense of purpose. In my 20 years as an educator I've seen quite a few people with a large amount of experience that can be shared..and I hope they share it. Great blog post!!!! Dean K.

  4. Thanks, Dean. I, for one, plan on being around and bothering people for quite a few more years! ~ Kirk

  5. Kirk…I was at Silver Anvils, too, as a recipient and I agree…you peg the excitement meter when you break out of the day-to-day shell and see the collective genius that is our profession. I often tell new staff and interns that when I don't get excited about seeing a good piece of ours in the media, or when we make a positive difference for a client, it's time to hang it up. I'm in your generation, as well, and I really hate it when I see others start to run on auto-pilot. Wish I'd known you were at the Anvils…I would have loved to say hello in person.DavidShank Public Relations CounselorsIndianapolis

  6. Thanks very much, David. I really appreciate your feedback. If you're going to be in Orlando for the International Conference, let's plan on connecting!

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