New Year’s Resolutions for PR Professionals
Here are my 2016 ideas for becoming a smarter, happier and more productive professional and person:
- No more excuses. It is easy to dwell on reasons our careers, lives and families are challenging, unreasonable or stressful. In 2016, instead of making excuses and complaining, take control and change your situation for the better. Take responsibility for your own actions, decisions and choices and you will become a more positive and productive person.
- Maintain perspective. We aren’t doing life-saving surgery, fighting a war, or solving the debt crisis. It may feel like that sometimes, but although the work we do may be important and meaningful, maintain perspective lose the self-importance.
- Be benevolent. A great way to maintain perspective (see #2) is to help others. Volunteer, take on a pro-bono client, and consider building your corporate social responsibility offerings or career path. Working to improve society should be an element of everyone’s work and lives, regardless of the profession.
- Avoid drama. You are never going to win an argument with someone who isn’t rational. Instead, turn the demand or rant your boss or client spouted into a calm and positive opportunity. Don’t get defensive, don’t seek validation, overcome your need to be right or prove a point. Walk away from situations that truly aren’t worth your energy. This includes office gossip.
- Admit you’re human. Take responsibility for your own errors. Admitting you are wrong and working to rectify the situation in a thoughtful manner builds camaraderie and encourages an honest approach to business.
- Take risks and challenge authority. The most successful relationships are built on mutual respect. Instead of saying “yes,” when given an assignment, carefully consider business implications. Don’t be afraid to offer ideas and solutions that may seem against the norm. Your ability to take initiative, generate new ideas and deliver thoughtful counsel will earn you respect and grow your role beyond that of a tactician and into a true strategist.
- Impact change as much as possible. Focus on clients, projects and priorities with the highest opportunities for meaningful results. Don’t get distracted by process or minutia.
- Get over it! Your boss or client criticizes your work or, worse, you. Not everyone is going to love your work all the time. Your openness to suggestions or criticisms and ability to learn from them, and not dwell on the negative will serve you well.
- Turn OFF the devices. Being accessible 24-hours a day not only kills work/life balance, it sets unrealistic and unreasonable expectations. Truly shutting down for even a few hours a day will help you de-stress and recharge your body and your brain. Taking a device free walk or jog can do wonders for your mind and body!
- Consider your legacy. We are ALL too young to think about our long-term legacies, yet take a moment to think about how you wish to be remembered and reflect on how you are living your life. If you honestly consider how you are perceived by colleagues, friends and family you may change your behavior, relationships and perhaps even your professional path.
Best wishes for a productive, joyful and healthy 2016.