That “what I do for a living” today on a full-time basis is introduce undergraduate students at Curry College to my own profession of public relations in the hope that some of them will find the field interesting and decide to make it their own career path.
What I try to do in both cases is get them excited (or re-excited) about what they will be or are doing for a living.
The logical (I think) question to ask of me is, very simply, “Why?” Why do I do this, day-in and day-out, weekday and weekend? Simple answer?
In the course of my own career as a public relations professional, I have had numerous opportunities to meet and learn from some of the public relations profession’s genuine superstars including, to do some ego-boosting name-dropping, Edward L. Bernays, Chet Burger, and Pat Jackson. (These are the tip of an enormous iceberg of professionals to whom I am deeply indebted.)
And I would be totally remiss if I didn’t offer a tip of my imaginary hat to Clinton Parks, my internship supervisor at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Public Affairs Office at Fort Monroe, Virginia. I’ve mentioned Clint numerous times in previous posts, but if I’m going to talk about “inspiration,” this is definitely a spot where he rates an entire paragraph to himself. Clint got me started on and nurtured my budding career in the career path of “public relations professional.”
What’s the point of all this, you ask?
I talked to my Mother last night. She’s in her young 90s, and she and my step-father and my sister just moved from our childhood home out in the “country” to a house “in town” (Dublin, Georgia).
Now Margaret (my wife) and I have moved nearly a dozen times in the course of our marriage, from South Carolina to Virginia to the Philippines back to Virginia to Massachusetts to Hawaii and back to Massachusetts, with some additional temporary moves that took us to Indiana and Washington. We know what it’s like to move!!
But talking to Mother, I sensed a little bit of “what an adventure!” in her voice. She had done something different and, in its own way, it was a step outside her day-to-day routine. And she sounded, at least to me, energized by the activity.
Professional life is (or should be, in my mind) an adventure.
Yes, you should have some semblance of order in your daily activities (although, in public relations, that’s not always the case…at least not in my haphazard career!).
But you also should shake things up a bit. Look at what others before you have done, what those who you admire are doing…and find inspiration from their successes…and lessons from their mistakes.
More to the point…don’t settle into a comfortable rut of never-changing routine. Be inspired!
“Inspiration descends only in flashes, to clothe circumstances; it is not stored up in a barrel, like salt herrings, to be doled out.” – Patrick White, “Voss”