Six ways to future-proof your career

PR is changing. The skills we need to develop professionally have been heightened and agency models, as we know them, have been blown out of the water.

"Tell your story" says Charlotte Winslett
"Tell your story" says Charlotte Winslett
For us to grasp the wealth of possibilities presented to us, we must make sure we focus on our professional development or we face being left behind. 

I run an event series called #FuturePR.

Each event is designed to provide a platform for PR professionals to discuss topics affecting the PR profession, which in turn equips ambitious PRs with the skills they need to future-proof their careers.
The tips I’ve picked up along the way can be applied to PRs of all ages. After all, the future of PR affects every generation of practitioner.

1. Tell your story
We constantly talk about our clients, but not about ourselves. It’s time for PRs to start talking and the easiest way to get noticed is to do something. Whether it’s through vlogging, tweeting or socialising, if you don’t speak, you won’t be heard. With so many channels around it’s important to tweet up and blog out. Increasing your presence online will inevitably increase your credibility and recognition. 

2. Find your confidence
Don’t be your own worst enemy. Nine out of 10 times it is confidence that holds people back from expressing their opinion and nine out of 10 times they were right the whole time. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Set goals and make them public (see above). This will make you more likely to drive forward and improve.

3. Network, network, network
The old saying, "it’s not what you know it’s who you know" is as true as ever. The difference now is the way you make the connections. Social media open doors and allow us to discover and attend a range of events that will widen our social circles and introduce us to valuable connections.

4. Know your sweet spot
From media specialists to content creators and strategists – you name it, the PR profession now has a title for it. It’s never been more important to identify where you want to be and the skills needed to get you there.

5. Stay informed
To succeed in any profession you need to know what’s going on around you. Keeping abreast with PR news on sites such as PRWeek and following forward-thinking bloggers will help you stay in the loop with industry news. 

6. Join a body.
It’s highly likely that the highest achievers will be the ones with a constant desire to improve. The PR profession is backed by the PRCA and CIPR; both provide tonnes of courses and materials that will help PR professionals learn continuously. 

Charlotte Winslett is a PR consultant at The Crowd &I

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