Q. I graduated three years ago with a degree in business/psychology and now work in sales. Everyone tells me I am a “natural” PR person. How can I go about confirming what they say? And is it a bad time to consider switching careers? –PT
A. The Council of PR Firms offers an excellent “crash course” that might help you determine if you’re, indeed, cut out for a switch to a career in public relations. The 3-module course is called PR QuickStart. The first module is a basic online PR overview, while the second covers what’s involved in working at an agency, and the third is a lesson in media relations. The Council’s Career Center provides insights that also might be helpful.
As far as timing of a career change, I cannot be terribly encouraging since you will be competing with some of the best trained and networked PR graduates ever. I suggest starting with a conversation with your current employer’s PR head or agency to determine what opportunities might exist internally, or volunteer to help on an event or other activity that they handle.
Finally, you can gain further insights by visiting agency websites. You might start with the firms that contributed to the Council’s Career Center and PR QuickStart: APCO Worldwide, CKPR, Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum, Manning Selvage & Lee and Padilla Speer Beardsley.