You’ve just graduated from university. After what seemed like a mountain of grad scheme applications, aptitude tests, CV submissions, and interviews, you’ve managed to land your first job in PR. You start your first week in the world of work and realise that despite everything you learnt at university, your English degree didn’t completely equip you for a career in technology communications.
What’s IoT? Where’s the cloud? And what’s a press release?
A year later, I may have learnt how to write a press release, but there is still a lot left to master. Always wanting to improve, I decided to attend the PRCA’s Next Gen event, ‘How to make it in tech PR,’ featuring panellists Alice Lankester, Head of Marketing at Balderton Capital and Tara O’Donnell, UK Managing Director at Text 100. Of all the wonderful advice they shared, here are some of the key take-aways:
1. You never stop learning
It was comforting to hear Alice Lankester tell us that she knew absolutely nothing about technology when she first joined the industry. However, what was even more reassuring was when she admitted that she has a lot left to learn.
The technology industry is developing so rapidly that you can never really know it all. What’s hot today may be outdated in six months’ time.
Read blogs, learn about new technologies, and try to stay ahead of the curve were some of the key insights from Alice.
2. Nurture your connections
Throughout your working life, you will meet people who will have varying levels of impact on your career. What the panel articulated really well was the importance of meeting people within the industry and maintaining those connections throughout your career.
Whether it’s chatting via LinkedIn or going for the occasional coffee, you should always maintain the relationships you’ve made and nurture those connections throughout your career.
You never know when you might need to reach out to someone.
3. Keep a good work life balance
One of the points raised by both Alice and Tara was the importance of keeping a positive and healthy work life balance. Tara shared that her first boss had passed onto her: ‘Fit your work into your life. Don’t fit your life into your work.’
Take advantage of flexi-working, leave the office on-time, and make sure you don’t burn out.
What I learnt most from Alice and Tara though, is that your PR journey never ends. Even when you think you’ve ‘made it’ in tech PR there’s always plenty more to discover.
So keep learning, keep building your connections, and keep the spirit of the bright-eyed grad you were on your first day, and you’ll be just fine.
– Alice Parker, Account Assistant, Nelson Bostock Unlimited