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First job in PR? Here's 8 things you need to know

In the beginning of your career, a new job can feel overwhelming as you’re still getting to grips with the role itself. Throw in the added pressure of new processes, colleagues and finding your feet; it can be a daunting task. In the fast-paced world of PR, you often hear phrases like: just jump right in, or grab it and run.

While that may be the way for some, as a PR who’s been there and come out the other side — here are eight tips to help you settle into a new agency:

1. Introduce yourself

Getting to know your colleagues not only makes the work environment more enjoyable, but it can also open doors to new projects and opportunities. Whilst you’re new it can be easy to rely on people coming over and introducing themselves to you, but if you want to get a head start at forging these important relationships take some time to speak to everyone. This can literally be a form of speed dating. Take yourself off around the office, say a brief hello and keep it moving, but having had that first interaction makes the next one that much easier.

2. Bring your interests, personality, and perspective to the table from day one

Showing enthusiasm and being yourself can open the doors to some great opportunities whether it's new client work or supporting an internal initiative. Look for opportunities to join brainstorms, insight sessions or even just creative Slack channels where you can share your thought starters and ideas. You’ve been hired to add value, so showing people how you can do that is so important from the off. Don’t be shy about it.

3. Learn the lingo

All agencies have their own way of speaking. Create a cheat sheet of acronyms, project names, and internal processes so you can refer back and make navigating the agency easier. That said, if you’re completely confused by a new acronym, don't be afraid to ask what it means, your colleagues are here to help. This can also open up a funny dialogue about some of the more ludicrous acronyms being used, which is another great excuse to open up new conversations with colleagues as you build relationships.

4. Ask for regular feedback

Regular check-ins with your line and account managers can make all the difference in the first few months of a new job. It's much better to be aware of what you’re doing right, and where you may be going wrong, in real-time so you can receive constructive criticism and use it to improve your work. Plus, regular check-ins also allow you to share feedback on your journey so far, which can help improve processes for new starters.

5. Prioritise work-life balance

Agencies can be fast-paced, and when you’re just starting out, finding the balance between working hard and overworking can be difficult. Saying no to extra work can feel difficult, especially when trying to prove yourself to new colleagues and clients, but don’t be afraid to boundaries. Learn to prioritise tasks and delegate when possible.

6. Ask questions

Tasks like coverage tracking are a right of passage for any junior PR, but sometimes it can feel a little thankless. Asking questions and learning the purpose behind a seemingly boring task can allow you to see the value you are adding to your team and your client.

7. Embrace your heritage

Don't shy away from incorporating your experiences into your work, it will only make your ideas richer. You might worry that your experience isn't relevant, or feel uncomfortable speaking up in meetings. One way to overcome this would be to share initial insights and ideas with your teams over Slack, Teams or email which you can then sound out further in meetings.

8. Document your wins

Track your achievements, big and small. It's easy to forget things in a fast-paced environment, but keeping track of your accomplishments can help you reflect on your growth in a new role. This will come in handy when it's review time, as you should have concrete examples of times you've demonstrated a skill.

Written by

Rayo Yusef, senior account executive at Hope&Glory

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