As a newcomer to the PR industry I know I have a lot to learn. And I'm grateful for the vast community of PR professionals willing to teach me and connect in some way. It's easy to assume people are too busy to take a connection made through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and have a conversation outside of that space. That assumption couldn't be farther from the truth. I've come across individuals who are offering up their time to create new connections. Arik Hanson was motivated to offer his time for Skype chats based off this initiative by Heather Whaling. I was fortunate to take advantage of Heather's invitation and jumped at the chance to chat with Arik as well. Arik and I discussed our career paths and advice for working in this industry. Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation…
– Go above and beyond what's asked – always. (The more work you put in, the more likely it will be to get noticed. Ideally, yes, but better yet – the more work you put in, the more you will learn from the experience and from yourself.)
– Be indispensable. Create a skill set that is needed. Learn quickly. (As someone just starting out, THIS is a piece of advice not to be forgotten.)
– A network is a powerful tool. Meet people at every opportunity. Take online relationships offline and truly make them grow. (Arik said he could not stress enough how important it is to make these connections – I even underlined it twice!)
– Do things that scare you. If you're uncomfortable that means you're progressing. (This is an ongoing challenge I am working to overcome. The natural response to being uncomfortable is that I'm doing something wrong. I need to recognize it's all a part of the learning process and it's not always going to come easily.)
Throughout the conversation I could tell Arik wanted to leave me with as much advice as a short chat would allow. What he didn't realize is how much I learned from his decision alone to offer up his time. It shows me that no matter how busy or how seasoned a professional is, the truly great ones will always make time for the less experienced, as long as we are willing to learn. Thanks to Arik for expanding our connection – I look forward to putting your suggestions into action and, of course, to the next conversation.