When people think of New York City, the quintessential symbols come to mind: taxis, pretzels, rushing to work in the streets of Manhattan and sky-high office buildings. Terms often associated with NYC are “fast-paced,” “ever-changing,” “opportunity” and “stress.” Public relations has had a habit of matching NYC in some of its symbolism. The practice is constantly evolving to match new channels of communication and cultural shifts in thinking. A public relations career also offers much opportunity and its fair share of stress.
Manhattan is made up of smaller, very characterized neighborhoods. You may live in Manhattan, but it takes time to learn each one of these specific areas before you can confidently navigate them. The various sects of public relations are quite similar to a map of Manhattan. You may study the practice in college, but it is not until you explore an area in depth before you can confidently practice it. As you live longer in the realm of public relations, you become familiar with more neighborhoods, and as you navigate these areas you build a confidence for the practice.
Both the city and the profession are fast-paced environments. Life in Manhattan is one of perpetual commotion. Work leaves the office and spills over into events, dinners and weekends. Professional and personal life often blend into a blurry mix of friends, coworkers and mentors. Public relations is also similar in this respect. The practice of effective communication requires a full and colorful personal life that can benefit your professional career. In public relations, it’s important to know a little about a lot of things, and this comes in the form of reading, art, talks and various other experiences. With a world constantly changing, we must strive to keep up with news, technology and culture, much like the New Yorker keeps up with art gallery openings, academic talks, cultural events and political rallies.
In this fast-paced environment, how does one succeed? How do you keep focus as things fly by? It’s important to keep your goals in focus and practice self-analysis. Ask yourself questions to evaluate your successes and what you need to improve in the future. With a goal-oriented mindset, you’ll excel in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Lastly, both can be quite stressful and require the art of learning balance. Many people can feel lost in Manhattan. It’s vast, lonely and harsh at times. Although it can put the toughest personalities to the test, it’s full of opportunities. Learning to balance personal and professional goals is a huge part of not only living in New York City, but being a public relations professional.
It’s easy to get lost in the noise of NYC or the career path you’ve chosen. Finding a personal-professional balance is key not only for NYC but for anyone pursuing a high-achieving career path. Keep yourself goal oriented, grounded and always moving forward. Practice a culturally enriched personal life and maintain a balance between professional work and personal well-being. Above all though, use your knowledge and integrity to further the profession.
Nicole Armeno is a senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and is serving as the 2016–2017 FIT PRSSA Chapter president. If you’re ever in New York, drop her a line. Follow her on Twitter @nicole_armeno.