Do you have the Fylde factor?

According to the BBC's Lab UK Project with Cambridge University, I would be happiest if I lived in Fylde, Lancashire.

Personality traits of extroversion and neuroticism have served Amanda Kamin well in PR
Personality traits of extroversion and neuroticism have served Amanda Kamin well in PR
There I would find a home with others who balance out my extrovert and neurotic inclinations – at least that’s according to the survey, which mapped the dominant traits of individuals to where they live, revealing interesting geographical concentrations of particular personality types.  

Which is a shame for me as Lancashire is not (yet) well known for its throbbing PR offering (cue to all Fylde-based freelancers to write in and prove me wrong).  

But those personality traits of extroversion and neuroticism, which I link back to an East-coast American childhood, have served me well in the PR world.  

And it made me wonder whether the same survey would show such distinct patterns of behaviour if individuals were mapped to professions rather than locations.  

I suspect it would.

PR is not a profession for shrinking violets. First jobs in PR usually involve a lot of cold calling of journalists and tend to make the more reticent question their choice of career.   

So what about those quieter individuals in the PR world?  

I think it’s important to remember that flamboyance is different from confidence. Quiet, confident assertion can be extremely attractive to a client.  

Encouraging colleagues to play to their strengths builds confidence and delivers results efficiently.  

Teams work best when they’re balanced and it takes a significant level of self-awareness to know where you need that counterweight.  

For me it’s having someone on my team with a great eye for detail and a talent for Excel.  

But it’s surprising how often in our careers significant time is spent trying to fit square pegs into round holes or trying to soften the edges of said square pegs.  

It’s when we start tinkering around the edges of ourselves that we risk ruining the best bits.  
I’m all for flexing style and trying to gain new skills, but if the fit isn’t right to start with, it rarely ends well.  

For the millennial generation, authenticity is extra important as there is a blending of work and personal time as well as the values brought to each sphere.

I’ve been very privileged in my career to have had great coaching, mentoring and training.  

But in the end, it’s brought me back to rediscovering the raw, unedited personality traits I carried with me in my first roles.  

The passion (some would say workaholic), creativity (some would say monopolising in brainstorms) and relentless pursuit for excellence (light self-esteem issues) is what enables me to lead great teams and deliver outstanding work.  

It’s also what most of the Omniwomen group cited as their top tips for women leaders in marketing and communication – to let their true selves shine through. 

Ultimately it comes down to this:  if you enjoy what you do then putting in the time and effort to become good at it is much easier.  

So despite my Fyldian traits, it’s the world of London PR where I really feel at home.

Amanda Kamin is director, corporate and brand, at Burson-Marsteller

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