Competition in the workplace and in college isn't something that is talked about a lot. It's pretty much avoided; although, we all experience it. Very good news for everyone in public relations: "PR employment to rise 24% by 2018, making P.R. one of the fastest-growing professions." [via http://nyti.ms/eCBcnN ]
More than 300 colleges and universities have bachelor and graduate degrees in public relations, according to PR Week magazine.
With PR on the rise and more students entering communication and public relations, how will you stand out? How do you manage competition with a friend if you are both applying to some of the same companies in the same areas?
When we are all out busy networking, we meet so many people in our field. We meet students and professionals and they quickly become our friends, colleges or mentors.
Other students and professionals really do help us a lot, so how do we manage competition amongst ourselves? It's something I'm not really sure about. I don't think we should step all over each other and not help each other, but I think we should each do our best to stand out.
Things we can all do to differentiate ourselves:
- Create your own brand. I use "laurenkgray" for everything and have branded myself with social media, public relations and marketing.
- Create an online presence. Get involved online! People always look for information about others online. Get a Twitter, get a blog, join LinkedIn and join other professional websites. Join the conversation online!
- Talk to professionals and companies. If you are interested in a company, follow them on Twitter and find them on Facebook. Start interacting and they will notice you.
- Get involved. Don't just stay content with one organization or doing one thing. Take advantage of opportunities you see. Do a guest blog post for someone, write for your University newspaper, join PRSSA, join other related groups to your major, adopt a mentor to help you and more.
- Get an internship. I think internships are one of the top things every college student should be doing. It gives you good interview experience, job search experience and application experience. Get an internship relevant to your field. Make sure you are actually doing something at this internship, you want it to be valuable!
There are so many other things you can be doing too, you just have to do them for yourself and find them for yourself.
Even though we are all in the same field and wanting to do the same things, it doesn't mean we have to see everyone else as competition. We can all help each other and we need to help each other.
Good luck to everyone on their internship and job searches this semester and year!