5 signs PR is the wrong career for you

Swimming in the ‘shark tank’ isn’t everybody’s cup of chum. This checklist might have you reconsidering you chosen field—or at least polishing up certain aspects of your workday.

Have you ever heard someone call public relations a “shark tank?” Well, they’re right.

PR is a competitive, nonstop career that will challenge you every single day. Whether it’s drafting a press release over your lunch hour or getting into the office before the sun rises for a client call, PR will always push your limits as a professional. If you’re not fully prepared, it could eat you alive.

Though every agency employs a handful of different personalities and work styles, many PR professionals have several traits in common. Conversely, here are a few foolproof signs that you’re not cut out for public relations:

1. You don’t pay attention to the news. We have stacks upon stacks of newspapers and magazines piled up in the Blastmedia office. Some might call it hoarding, but we call it work. As a PR pro, you are expected to be up to date on your clients’ industry news and current events. Whether it’s scrolling the pages of Mashable or picking up the latest edition of The New York Times, we’re always on top of what’s happening.

2. You can’t juggle multiple tasks at once. Though this certainly applies to almost any career, it’s especially true for PR. On any given day, you can be juggling four different clients with six different crises, attending five meetings, and dealing with a handful of editor requests—all at the same time. As any seasoned PR pro will tell you, time management is key to staying on deadline while anticipating what’s coming next.

3. You are not an excellent writer. Have you ever read an email that makes you cringe due to poor grammar? Yeah, so have I. PR pros are responsible for making their clients stand out, so we must write creatively and concisely in everything we do. Whether it’s an email pitch or a press release, excellent writing skills are vital to this profession.

4. You only want to work 9-to-5. Although fixed hours work for some companies, it will never fly in PR. With clients all around the world, it’s our responsibility to be the point of contact when anything (and we mean anything) comes up. Blast stresses the importance of taking time to enjoy life outside of work, yet we all have our emails connected to our phones and work to always deliver on (or before) deadline.

5. You can’t deal with rejection. Breakups are bad, but has an editor ever blacklisted you? It’s worse. Editors can, at times, be downright cruel, and if you’re one who takes everything to heart, you’ll never make it. On the same note, your work will constantly be scrutinized (by both co-workers and clients), so having a thick skin is necessary. When mistakes are made, don’t cry in the corner; instead, fix them

Taylor Harruff is a PR account executive at BLASTmedia. A version of this story originally appeared on the agency’s blog.

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