One need only to read the PR trades to see that agency life in general, and big agency life in particular, is a never-ending revolving door. It seems like some head of healthcare at one holding company agency is ALWAYS leaving to assume the exact same spot at another holding company agency.
And, although the trades never connect the dots, it's also become commonplace for holding companies to report 'record profits' in one quarter only to silently announce a 10 percent staff reduction in the next.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that personal brand building has never been more important. In fact, I'd argue that lifetime employment has joined military intelligence as a textbook definition of an oxymoron.
That's why I found this Top 10 list from Ford R. Myers so compelling. Myers is a career coach who has just penned a book, entitled: 'Get the job you want, even when no one's hiring.'
I was especially taken by numbers three, four and seven on the list:
– Don't just join trade associations. Take leading roles in them.
– Constantly publish your POV on industry issues.
– Help others, even if they're not in a position to help you right away.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that job offers and, more importantly for the owner of a midsized firm, new business leads have come about as a direct result of my embracing these three specific strategies.
Too many communications professionals wait far too long to begin building their personal brands. As a result, when the Grim Reaper does come around, they're not only stunned, they're also damaged goods (i.e. they've done the same thing for so long that their skills aren't transferable).
Study the Myers list and, whether you're 22 or 52, take his advice to heart. The more people you know and who know you, the better your chances of sustaining a lifelong career path. Make the mistake of focusing solely on your day-to-day work and, one day soon, you'll find yourself a middle-aged, one trick pony who no one knows and no one is in any hurry to hire.
Ask not for whom the door revolves. It revolves for you.