Your Career and You: "Falling in Love"

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It all started with a chance encounter…we were introduced by a trusted advisor.

We both thought it would be a short-lived experience…we could only meet once a week in the evening. How could it possibly work out?

But we were wrong…I was hooked from the first…loved the talk of “relationships” and “mutual understanding.” This was a commitment I was ready for.

And I was right! We’ve now been a “team” for more than 40 years…

And now…

I just received a “Google Alerts” notice that the second of two guest blog posts I wrote for two friends, Shonali Burke and Larry Thomas, had been published.

Got a rush kind of like when I used to, as a kid on Christmas morning, sneak into the living room to see what Santa had left under the tree!

Yeah…there’s an ego-trip-py feeling to it. But more important, in my mind, it’s a reminder of why I wandered like a nomad into…and earned my citizenship in…public relations.

I absolutely love being able to use words and actions to deliver messages, spark interest, and generate reaction.

Not everyone agrees with what I say. I’ve been called some pretty neat things…”dilletante” is my all-time favorite!

But I know, from the comments I get on my blog and other places, that I’ve caused someone to stop…to read…to think…and to react.

If I’ve accomplished what I intended, people have acted.

They joined the Army when I worked as a Public Affairs Specialist for the US Army Boston District Recruiting Command (now New England Army Recruiting Battalion).

They gave lifesaving blood when I worked as Communications Services Director for the Blood Bank of Hawaii.

And they get interested in and study public relations in my current role as Associate Professor of Communication at Curry College, where I teach undergrad PR courses and constantly tweak the PR concentration to ensure that our students are fully prepared for “life after graduation.”

I didn’t start out this way, though.

The story…

Thought I wanted to be a civil engineer building highways and bridges. Discovered you actually had to be able to draw straight lines! Bummer.

Wound up as an English major with a focus on 18th-century British lit.

A few twists and turns, two more degrees (in business management), eight years active duty in the Air Force…and a public affairs  internship with the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. The rest, so they say, is history.

“Love” struck with an elective I took for my undergraduate business degree…”Introduction to Public Relations.”

The course put a name on stuff I had been doing when I was in the Air Force…working with community groups, publicizing activities my unit was involved in, writing promotional pieces for the base newspaper.

Until I took the course, I honestly had no idea what I was doing…I just knew I loved doing it!

Jumping ahead to the present, I’ve had a very cool, if somewhat zigzagging, career. Made a difference to some important organizations.

Loved every minute of it…and still do!

And that’s the point of this chat today…

When you discover what it is that you really enjoy doing, it turns into a love affair that lasts forever. You can’t wait to get to it when you wake up in the morning…and you’re reluctant to leave it at the end of the day.

“To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to ‘t with delight.”
William Shakespeare, “Antony and Cleopatra,” IV, iv, 20


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.
This entry was posted in careers, Curry College, internships, job hunting, job search, public affairs, public relations, Undergraduate Communication. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Your Career and You: "Falling in Love"

  1. I can relate to this! I fell in love with public relations when I walked into "Introduction to Public Relations 101" at The University of Texas at Austin in the mid 1980s. I was entranced. I have never, ever regretted my decision to go into this profession. I love it!


  2. Thanks, Marisa! No one ever talked about public relations at the University of Georgia back in the "Dark Ages" when I was there, so I had no clue the field existed. I knew there was a "journalism" school just behind Park Hall (the English dep't), but didn't know what "those people" did! Thank goodness for Vietnam…a skirmish that took me away from "normal" life, plopped me down in a country far, far away, and introduced me to the art of relationship building and, later, events planning and promotion. Weird, huh?!?


  3. I loved your post. And I'm late reading this – so I apologize! – but it was so interesting to hear about your career path.For me… I never "fell in love" with public relations. My first love was acting, which is why I ended up going to drama school and working in the biz for a while. PR came my way because I was good at telling stories, very good at organization, and some people felt I'd be good at "PR" – so they asked me to try my hand at it. And I've been doing so ever since.The funny thing is, now I really can't imagine doing anything else. I'm interested in a lot of things, and on the days I get tired of our business (let's face it, we all have those days), I start daydreaming about what it would be like to do something else. But then my mind invariably wanders to how I'd tell that story… which brings me right back to Square One.I may not have fallen in love with public relations, but I sure as heck can't get away from it now!


  4. Thank you so much, Shonali, for your comments! And now I know a little more about YOUR fascinating background!!I truly do owe a huge debt of gratitude to the director of the education center at Langley Air Force Base way back when who suggested that I take the "Intro to PR" course because he thought I would enjoy it.One of my credos as a public relations professional has always been: "Other people are a LOT smarter than you, Kirk. So listen to them!"So I did…and I still do!


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