Jobs and career networking site CareerCast.com just revealed its top ten most and least stressful jobs for 2013. Not surprising to many in PR, “Public Relations Executive” came in at number five on the “most stressful” side of the rating (in 2012, that title came in at number seven, and in 2011, “Public Relations Officer” was number two).
The job description that CareerCast included for PR executives is pretty accurate to me, but I think it’s worth pointing out that just because the job is stressful doesn’t mean it’s not fulfilling, unrewarding or a poor career choice. The placement of PR executive on this list certainly shouldn’t deter any professional or recent college grad from pursuing this path.
There’s no doubt that PR is a fast-paced, high-stakes and intense career, but that’s why many people (myself included) love it. I’m glad to have a career that really challenges me and pushes me to constantly improve, while being incredibly rewarding at the same time, and it wouldn’t be far off to venture that all my colleagues at Matter would agree. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan (“Remember that product we pre-seeded with reviewers? It doesn’t work.”); sometimes a client has a fire drill on a Friday afternoon (“We need a press release announcing a new customer before the weekend.”); and sometimes we’re faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges (“Sorry I told you to do this 40-page briefing book in the wrong format. Can you fix it within 30 minutes?”) – but that’s what’s great about PR! We never know what’s coming next. And yes, that can be stressful, but overcoming those challenges or getting a sincere “thank you” from a client after putting in the extra time to knock a campaign out of the park or exceed expectations is so rewarding. We do the job because we love having a real impact.
Matter is the kind of place where those that want to make a real impact can do so. Our clients look to Matter to be smart communicators, and even though it is stressful at times, we honestly and truly love what we do. While this may not be the case for all PR people, it certainly is here, and that’s the main reason why I don’t view PR’s placement on this list as a negative, but instead something to be proud of.