PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Goals in the Workplace

This post is coming to you from a guy with experience in sales, but what I learned in that position can be applied to every industry.

Goals are an important part of any job. Setting goals, working to achieve them and eventually accomplishment is a three-part cycle that will help guide you to success. Here are some tips on how to set goals, especially as an intern, and how to keep improving.

Make goals

Think it sounds simple? It’s harder than you think. Coming into an internship, you’re there for a limited amount of time to learn. Make sure they are measurable and specific. Sounds like a PR campaign, doesn’t it?

Some good goals:

  • I want to improve by AP fluency through such writing projects as press releases, media advisories and company newsletters.
  • I would like to work on at least one writing project a week.
  • I would like to experience all practice areas of the company in my time with the company.
  • I would like to help plan _____ event and assist from start to finish.

The point of these goals is to show that you want to learn and help. This sets you apart from the rest of the crowd and shows that you’re serious. Once you can build a positive reputation, you’ll be able to take on more and more.

success

Let your supervisor and other coworkers know about your goals

Now that you made your goals, make sure your team knows about them. Set some time aside in the beginning of your internship (probably in the first week) to meet with your supervisor and talk about the things that you would like to accomplish during your time with the company. Pay attention as to how the different titles of the company operate and be careful not to overshoot. Listen and learn before you take on too much responsibility.

It’s also a good idea to talk about what kinds of experiences you’ve had in the past. You can talk about what you’re good at and what you would like to improve on. Also, be careful not to turn down functions of an intern. Saying you don’t want to get coffee, file or answer the phones can put you far behind. Have an open mind, especially in the beginning, to make a solid first impression.

Constantly evaluate your progress

There are a couple of different ways to keep track of what you’re doing. I have seen some career blogs in which the authors talk about what they are working on and what they have learned. Some meet weekly with their supervisor to check up, get projects and see what they can improve on. Whatever you do, try to keep track of what you work on. This will help you to show future employers what you work on and it will allow you to keep track of your own progress. No matter what you do, be careful as to not get too specific on what you’re working on. You never know who is reading your work.

At my internship this summer, I created a “weekly evaluation” of sorts that I could fill out and send to the team. Here’s how I kept track over the summer. I took off the client names, but the information is all still there. In case you can’t tell, I do like to have a good time so I had some fun with it. But it was my way of showing the rest of the staff what I was working on and what I would like to work on. After all, you’re at an internship to learn and contribute!

What did you learn?

You should have learned something. Look over your goals and see if you accomplished them. If you did, great! If you didn’t, see what you could have done and try it again at the next job. Maybe your goal is too big or too general; if that’s the case, make a stepping stone goal to get you to the promised land.

Also, when you are done with your job or internship, sit down and add your best work to your portfolio and update your resume. I made the mistake of putting my portfolio together after two internships and a job with relevant work, so needless to say it took me a long time. It’s so much easier to have everything ready to pass on to future employers. When you scramble to put everything together, chances are there will be a mistake.

Just like in public relations, you don’t want to do something just to say you did it. You need quantitative and qualitative data to show others what you worked on. It might help you move on up, but it will also help you to learn and grow as a young professional.

How else do you keep track of what you worked on or accomplished at an internship? How did you employers feel about it?

Photo by aloshbennett on Flickr.

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One Response

  1. […] your results. Set goals that are measurable and track them. Also, keep a portfolio of your professional work demonstrating […]

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