By Jacqueline Velasco
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose
To those of us working in public relations, it’s no surprise why the PR profession always makes the list of top most stressful jobs every year. While those not in the industry do not understand why this is so — we PR peeps know it’s on these lists for a reason.
From constant rejection or black holes from reporters, to unrealistic requests and demands, constant fire drills, and managing multiple accounts at one time — it’s no wonder why we sometimes feel as though our blood pressure is on the rise (as it probably is).
The excitement from the “every day is different” type atmosphere is both a blessing and a curse for those of us who chose this career.
So what is it that we can do to manage the stressful parts of our job, while still maintaining a positive attitude about the career we have chosen and continue to remember why it is we love PR? Here are just a few tips on managing the stress:
Don’t procrastinate: When you are constantly finding new assignments or clients piling up on your lap, procrastination itself can add to your stress. By getting to those projects you are aware of straight off the bat, you can better adjust your time when those unexpected fiascos decide to hit.
Ask for help: Being at an agency specifically, you find yourself working on teams with some amazing talent. Don’t forget, you are all in this together and you are part of a team for a reason … so ask for help when you need it. While you may feel a task needs to be owned by you, and you alone — if there is just no way it is going to get done with your own manpower — tap into the brains around you. You will be surprised how often your teammates will jump right in and help. After all, they are there for a reason, and there are times they will need your help too.
Make time for yourself: While work takes up (at minimum) 40-50 hours of our 168-hour weeks, you need to make sure to schedule time to do things that you love outside of work. After all, life isn’t all about work. Spending time with family, exercising and spoiling yourself with a massage are all good ways to get rid of that stress that builds up throughout the day or week. And if your company has great benefits and offers paid time off — take it! Sometimes we all just need a mental health day to feel rejuvenated.
Take things as they come: While in PR it is always good to be a step ahead and prepared for anything that can happen, we cannot control the inevitable. A lot of times stress comes from worrying about the future instead of focusing on the present. Just keep reminding yourself, the present is what matters most and you will deal with future issues once they present themselves. Do not overthink things that have not yet happened. Sometimes you will just waste your time worrying about things that never actually do happen anyway, creating unnecessary stress on yourself.
Remember, while stressful situations are bound to present themselves in your career, your employers are on your side. They too understand the stresses of the industry and are another source to help get you through the tough times. After all, no one wants a burnt-out employee!