If you’ve run into your public relations career guns-blazing, full-steam-ahead, ready to take on the industry solo - you’re not alone.
In fact, I approached my step into PR in much the same way. I have no doubt you can take great ground and make a real mark on your own.
But I will say - having a mentor run alongside you can be priceless.
One of my first mentors in the media industry played a significant role in helping me get focused in my career. She was a guiding voice among all the other strong voices trying to play a role in my future.
She helped me identify my strengths, and hone in on my skills, to build them over time and future-proof my years in the industry. Now my skills are in use around the world - and I have her to thank for her wisdom and solid advice - over something as simple as a coffee.
Having a mentor can help you find out things about the industry that you never knew existed. They can introduce you to other successful media contacts - which can be invaluable in your personal and professional life.
Being a mentor, or being a mentee, doesn’t have to mean a huge time commitment either. You could meet once every month, every three - or even every six months - keeping each other in mind, and in contact during that time.
So if you’re keen to find a mentor - where do you begin?
Look for professionals in the industry who have had a few more years’ experience than you. Don’t be afraid to reach out in-person, or over LinkedIn or email.
So many specialists in our industry would love to connect with you as a mentor. You simply wouldn’t be aware, because you have’t reached out. You don’t have if you don’t ask! It a great way to meet people - and mentoring can be done from anywhere in the world.
In fact, I was recently contacted to help mentor a PR professional via Skype! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to connect one-on-one and help train the next generation of PR specialists.
Consider offering your skills and advice as a mentor, too. If you’ve had a couple of years in the industry - you can start helping people just starting to study, or breaking into their first entry-level role in PR.
It’s a wonderful world when we work together - giving each other a leg-up in the industry. And honestly - there’s little that’s more fulfilling than using what you have learned to help someone else.
*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. What are you waiting for? Upscale your media coverage today!
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