Tag Archives: Passion

What your PR boss will never tell you 

Sitting at a desk, writing releases, drafting  social content for your boring client, or writing that dreaded white paper on a topic you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, while clocking your time in 15-minute increments fighting to stay awake… is NOT PR.

It’s a function of PR, for sure. But the concept of acquiring just enough information to kinda, sorta, maybe, get the company’s culture a bit (by furiously reading as much original content from the company’s website as possible so to not waste your billable time ‘researching’) – is seriously draining.

I realize that we all have to do something we don’t want to do from time-to-time, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the game just as much as the next person… But what IF we all could work for/with people and causes we actually cared about?

I know what you’re thinking: Sure Amanda, that sounds like a dream – one I have no time, or ability to achieve because:

1. I have bills to pay.

2. I have a family/spouse/myself to support.

3. Could never leave my safe, constant, office job because that’s just the reality of this profession.

Sure, those reasons are excuses to make money – but they aren’t excuses to stay in a job you hate. Those pressures you put on yourself are exactly that: pressure YOU put on YOURSELF.

In case you missed it, I recently quit my job to follow my passions. At the time, I wasn’t even sure what the hell that meant or what I was going to do, but knew the internal struggle I felt everyday living someone else’s dream wasn’t the life I wanted for myself. I respect myself too much to let my life pass by without being present in the direction it takes.Screenshot 2015-12-14 22.08.41Recently I’ve found myself in a place where I work 10 times harder than before, and every day is equal parts terrifying amazing and inspiring. Once I slow down and tell myself to breathe, I have to pinch myself to check and see if I’m living a dream or real life.

For the past few months I’ve traveled as much, if not more, than I have in my previous 26 years. Every day is unknown to me. One day I’m on the ferry heading to Victoria, then the next I’m in Prince George planning a trip to China! I’ve flung myself whole heartedly into working with a team of people who care so much about what they do, and enjoy it so intensely, that the days run into the night and you stay up until 3am simply because you know how important the work you’re doing is. Not just for the client and your company, but because you enjoy what you’re doing for yourself.

So what will your boss never tell you?

They hired you because they thought (or at least really, really hoped) that you would care about their company as much as they do. They hope you’ll work your ass off to make sure you cannot fail. They all only want one thing in an employee: one who gives a shit. Cares about the clients, the company, what they do and doesn’t let an obstacle get in their way. They want to hire inspired and hardworking employees who find answers not excuses.

The world of PR has absolutely nothing to do with putting your head down and ‘getting the job done’ – it has everything to do with how passionate you are about what you do, the clients you work for or work you do, and how hard you’ll work to figure it out.

Don’t settle for the comfy desk job that you loathe. Take chances and do only the work that lights up up, and you believe in with every ounce of your heart, body and soul. It’ll show and it will prove to be far more successful in the long run than suffering through that internal struggle of feeling obligated to do something you hate.

What IS PR, might you ask? 

That’s coming in part 2. Stay tuned.

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Why I quit my job to jump into the unknown

Three weeks ago I quit my job.

I left my full-time, well-respected, comfortable, coveted, Vancouver PR agency account manager position without a new job lined up.

If you’re reading this right now and are thinking:

“WHAT, WHY?! She’s crazy, I’d kill for that job.” – please see response A

If you are thinking:

“Hell yeah! Good for you!” – please see response B

Response A

You’re right, I am a bit crazy. I’m also a bit irrational (as in, I don’t put up with irrational crap just to make others happy), sometimes overly optimistic (I’d rather look forward to the future than have the energy sucked out of me dwelling on the past) – and always passionate about what I’m doing (passion creates energy, which then inspires others to take action).

Response B

Thank you! As confusing and scary this new adventure is, I’m staying true to my values and even though I don’t have it all figured out, trusting that the universe will provide what I’m looking for along the way.

The real reason I quit my job

Every morning when I wake up, I think about what my day has in store. I go through my mental to-do list, think about how much time I have before I actually have to be somewhere, and determine whether or not I can fit in a workout. Generally, I have things to look forward and people to be accountable to, so getting out of bed is effortless – almost exciting even.

Recently, I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt excited to get out of bed. After laying there for a few minutes, I realized I actually couldn’t recall what that felt like anymore. I knew at that moment, I needed a change and I knew it had to start with my work*.

*One important thing about me is that I’m a pretty passionate person. When I get excited about something, I’m told I radiate energy. I love that feeling. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in – I didn’t feel like that about my work anymore, which meant it was time to get out.

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The next day I walked into my boss’ office and gave my two weeks notice.

I immediately felt relief. Relief that I no longer had to deal with the internal struggle that was my loyalty to my job and the fact that it was holding me back from reaching my fullest potential.

Now what?

I have big dreams. I’m not sure what exactly I’m capable of, but I know that every time I’ve applied myself and put all my energy in one direction, I’ve never failed to thrive and prosper. I’ve registered my business as a PR and Comms consultant (yes, I’m open for work!), have a short term plan (to get as much experience and work with as many incredibly talented people as possible) and a long term plan (TBA, can’t give away all the good stuff in one post!) – and most importantly, to feel inspired and excited about getting out of bed again.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that last week I felt anxious, nauseous, alone and scared… but this week I’ve put those useless emotions behind me and focused on my support system and the opportunities in front of me.

I don’t know everything about this next chapter, but here’s what I know for sure:

1. I’m going to trust my gut. It sounds really cheesy, unjustified and unprovable (yes, that is a word) but your body tells you more than you might realize. Think about that feeling when you see a $20 bill that an elderly lady just dropped at the cash register and you watch a middle-aged man pick it up and put it in his pocket. You are conflicted because you know you should rat on the man, but he’s an adult. He knows right from wrong. What will he say, what will he do? Most importantly: What does your stomach feel like? Whenever I feel THAT feeling, I know whatever situation I’m in, it’s wrong and I need to get out or change it. This is a tried and tested philosophy that never fails.

2. I’m not going to under-value myself. This is one of the hardest obstacles any entrepreneur has to face. When you’re starting out on your own it’s a natural tendency to think ‘once I get enough experience and do a good job, clients will see how valuable I am and pay me more’… that’s like saying you’ll tip your pizza deliverer more every time they do a good job in delivering your pizza. You won’t. People want to save money. They won’t give you more unless you set your value and ask for it.

3. I will not stop learning. I’ve realized a lot about myself thus far in my career, and if there’s one thing I know for sure – I thrive in the unknown. It’s definitely a strength of mine which I’ve learned to leverage in both personal and professional ways. The day you stop learning is the day you die. I’ve got a lot more days to live which means bring on the new experiences!

4. I will not stop caring (aka I give a shit). Some call it perfectionism, I call it integrity. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in it. I see no point in pretending or pressuring yourself to do something or be someone you aren’t. That conflicting feeling is what generates self-doubt, insecurity and the feeling of being ‘stuck’ which I’m sure everyone can relate to. I care too much about things in general to become numb to my surroundings.

5. I’m going to be open to any and all opportunities. In my experience, the best experiences, the most growing and the biggest learnings have come when I’ve opened up my life to possibility. If you’re ever unsure or indecisive about the opportunity at hand, refer to #1 on this list.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” – Henry D. Thoreau

Call to action:

1. If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest you check out the podcast Where There’s Smoke.

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I’ve listened to many podcasts and read many books, and the topics and stories pulled together by host Brett Gajda are BANG ON. From success, courage, visualization, accountability, happiness and so many more – it helped me so much to hear these ideas and realize I am capable of achieving anything I dream of – and I’m no different than any of you.

2. If you’re reading this right now and can relate to anything I said above, please feel free to reach out to me. Tweet, email, comment, send positive vibes – however you feel comfortable, I’d love to hear from you and chat about what you’re passionate about and what you’re going to do about it.

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