This past summer I was laid off from my job. Facing a job market that was worsening by the day, I was aggressive in my efforts to find a new position.
I had multiple interviews, was even flown to Philly to meet a potential boss, but things just didn’t pan out — until I decided to accept a free lunch.
I had been faithfully attending our Chapter’s PRSA meetings, looking for opportunities to continue networking. When our Accreditation chair promoted a free “Introduction to APR” lunch, I thought I might as well attend — I was unemployed and could always use a free lunch.
So I went to the lunch and did my usual networking, making sure to tell everyone that I was looking for work. I left that lunch with a few new connections and with a renewed interest in pursuing my APR.
Two weeks later I got an e-mail out of the blue from a woman I met at the APR lunch. She had decided to leave town to take another position and her boss was desperate to find someone who could fill in as a freelancer until they could conduct a search for the right candidate.
Thanks to that APR luncheon, I found a great freelancing gig that eventually turned into the best job I’ve ever had.
My advice to ANY public relations person who finds themselves unemployed is this: Take advantage of your flexible schedule and get your APR. The prep classes gave me a reason to get dressed and out the door to interact with my classmates and local APRs who taught each week. Plus, the discussions and study materials helped me keep my public relations head in the game.
I started my new job right before I became the first person from our class to complete the Readiness Review. And once I passed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, my new boss was very proud to receive official notification of my APR status.
In every good career, there’s a place where determination and dumb luck collide to provide fabulous opportunities. I found mine on the path to APR — you may want to stop there too.
Holly Michael, APR, is very happy to be employed as manager of communications for a 600-bed hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She blogs about her experiences straddling the sometimes equally stinky worlds of public relations, motherhood and farm life at Bringing Home the Bacon.