When I graduated college, my resume touted all I accomplished during my four years at Arizona State University. Three internships. Two relevant part-time jobs. President of my fraternity, and a good gpa. Sounds impressive, right? These kinds of accomplishments impressed a hiring manager and got me a job, but they meant very little once I started work.
We all make mistakes as first time full-time employees, but mine was a big mistake. I acted as if I knew everything.
Just because you had four or five internships, doesn’t mean you know everything about Public Relations. I’m happy to report that I stopped making that mistake quickly. My attitude quickly changed once I realized that pretending to know everything was the worst thing one can do.
Entry-level employees often are afraid to seem inexperienced so they pretend to know all the answers. The point of an entry-level position is to learn about the industry you work in, develop yourself as a full-time employee, and grow your skill set. Your boss isn’t expecting you to be perfect nor is your boss expecting you to manage yourself. If your boss wanted those traits in an employee, they would not have been seeking an entry-level employee.
As a new professional you will undoubtedly make mistakes (whether accidentally or on purpose). The key is to learn from those mistakes. Study what you did wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Another key to your entry-level position is to master your entry-level tasks. Once those are accomplished, your boss will feel more comfortable giving you higher level tasks. Developing your skills takes time. You can always be a better writer, listener, and practitioner.
Your skill set isn’t going to develop overnight and no matter how many internships you have, you never stop learning in this industry because Public Relations is continually evolving.
BRIAN CAMEN is a Public Relations Specialist at a top-ranked international b-school in Glendale, AZ. Read his blog The PR Practitioner (http://www.theprpractitioner.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @BrianCamen