Your Career and You: "Love Hurts"

I had coffee with a friend yesterday…one of my budding PR superstars from Curry College, where I oversee the public relations concentration and teach most of the PR courses…who has been out in the “real world” for about three years now.

She wanted to talk through her plans to re-purpose her business, and she figured, I guess, that since I’ve left more jobs than most people have actually held, I might have some wisdom to share.

Aaahhh, the innocence of youth!

We chatted for an hour or so, and I got more excited as the time passed.


Because I found myself talking with an incredible young entrepreneur who has a heartfelt passion for what she’s doing and the willing curiosity to explore new ideas.

What does this have to do with “love” and “hurting”?

Quite a bit, actually.

I’ve said time and again that I want you to go out and find something that you are passionate about and can’t picture yourself not doing.

Finding your passion isn’t a clearly-defined thing. Sometimes we don’t know what it is that gets us excited and makes us want to jump out of bed in the morning and dive merrily into.

For me, it was a 10-year quest that got its focus when I accidentally took a course called “Introduction to Public Relations” as an elective for my second bachelor’s degree. Read the book, realized that what it was talking about was what I actually had been doing for the past six years…just didn’t know that was what it was called.

Flash forward some 34 years, and I now am teaching the next generation of public relations professionals as much as possible of what I have learned over the course of my career.

But it wasn’t easy. There were some tough decisions along the way…a lot of moves (some voluntary; others not so much) in pursuit of a satisfactory “relationship.”

Which brings me back to my young friend. For the past three years, she has been up to her ears in what, at first, was the career of her dreams.

And she has had a fabulous time in the process.

But she has now realized that what she has been doing isn’t exactly what she wants to do. She has refined her list of interests and identified a more specific area in which she wants to make her name.

And now she’s off and running…again…totally charged up…eager to realize the success that she knows is waiting.

Success in life…in work…in love…takes determination, limitless patience, and absolute belief in your ability to achieve that success.

But it’s going to put you through some gut-wrenching exercises in the process. It’s going to make you doubt yourself on occasion. And, once in a while, it’s going to slap you in the face.

That’s called “life,” and everyone, regardless of his or her perceived strengths and weaknesses, has to go through it and learn to accept the “hurt” along with the warm glow of a job well done.

“Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.”
McLandburgh Wilson, “Optimist and Pessimist”

Note: On a totally unrelated but immensely personal note, as I write this today, my wife Margaret and I are celebrating the 39th year of our undying commitment to each other. The road hasn’t always been smooth; there have definitely been some challenges. But it has all been worthwhile. 🙂


About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 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.
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