your pr career… One Year Down, 60 More To Go! by Courtney Vaught

As one of my co-workers said, 23 is not an envious age. You are trying to find your place in the workforce; you aren’t sure what you really want to do with your life; you have far too many awkward moments, and things are uncertain—especially in this economy.

Now you have at least one year of experience behind you. Whether you’re happy with your current company or thinking of moving on, take time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. In doing so, you might get a better idea of where you want to go and how to get there.

I’d like to share some of the advice I received from a career consulting professional who’s been in the business for 25 years. His name is Jeff Vaught, but I call him Dad. (Don’t think I’m mentioning him just because he is family; he really does have some great insights into career development.)

Before you start thinking promotion or job search, first, ask yourself:

  • What are your professional goals?
  • Does your current position allow you to pursue your goals?

If you want to continue along the path you’re in currently, ask yourself:

  • What have you done to earn a promotion?
  • Can you handle the greater responsibility?
  • What added value will you bring?

If your employer is a little too comfortable with you in your current position and will not consider a promotion, then start looking elsewhere. Remember to stay stealthy during the search, and take extra precautions.

  • If posting your resume while employed, keep it confidential—don’t list the name of your current employer.
  • Don’t take calls during work unless it’s easy to do so—running out in the hall to talk on your cell phone is painfully obvious.
  • Don’t fall into the counter offer trap—if you’ve tried to negotiate a promotion with your employer and they didn’t listen to your concerns, don’t assume things will change if you stay

Do you have questions or concerns about where your career is headed? Do you have other suggestions to share? Leave comments!
We are all in the same boat and can always use the advice.

COURTNEY VAUGHT is a member-at-large of PRSA New Professionals Section. You can reach her at or @CourtV. If you have more in-depth career questions for her dad, Jeff Vaught, you can reach him at