PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Your Career = The Stock Market

I’ll be the first one to admit I don’t know a lot about investing. I know it’s a good idea to invest when the market is down, and hopefully, I’ll make some money when the market turns around. That’s about it. I’ve been doing some more research lately and hope to start investing one of these days, but I couldn’t help noticing how similar investing in the stock market is to a career.

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On thing I’ve learned is that your career is a lot like the stock market, for a lot of reasons. Here are 16 basic principles on investing (in your career) from Swap Meet Dave:

  1. Diversify, diversify, diversify. This doesn’t have anything to do with race or ethnicity. It means becoming a well rounded professional and taking an interdisciplinary approach to your career. Try not to limit yourself down one career path.
  2. Start investing early. Your professional career can begin as early as high school. Don’t wait to get experience in the field and taking part in professional development opportunities.
  3. Invest in things you know. Try not to veer too far away from what you ultimately want to do, but do learn about other things that will help you get there.
  4. Avoid fads. OK, I’ll admit, I jumped right on the social media bandwagon. But I’m still learning a lot about more traditional public relations in internships and school. The point here is to not put all your emphasis on one skill.
  5. Don’t let a market fall change your long-term plans. If you want to be the VP of PR for Calvin Klein, make sure you are following your strategy and not becoming deterred when road blocks fall in front of you – and they will.
  6. Don’t check the price of a stock after you’ve sold it. What’s in the past is in the past. You aren’t able to change the past, but you can change the future. Keep your sight directed forward.
  7. Investing consistently works. Invest in your career over a long period of time and it will pay off.
  8. Don’t panic. If you’re worrying about not finding a job or not getting an offer, relax. If you’re confident you did the best you could, you should have nothing to worry about. That said, are you doing the best job you can do?
  9. Pay attention to what’s going on. Always know what’s going on in the company, with the company’s clients and the industry as a whole. It makes you much more capable of holding a conversation.
  10. Hold on to winners and sell the losers. If you’re doing well in your current position, keep it going. If it’s an internship, ask for an extension. There will always be the jobs and internships that aren’t as good, so evaluate the situation and if the job isn’t for you, move on.
  11. Take losses quickly and profits slowly. If you don’t get a job or lose your job, move quickly to your next position. Adopt the attitude that there are bigger fish in the sea, and stay optimistic. It might be hard now, but don’t let the economy drag your spirits down.
  12. Stick to your plan. If you have a research-based and well thought out plan, follow through. Learn from your mistakes and fix it for the future.
  13. Be realistic about your tolerance for risk. Spontaneity is great, but be smart about the decisions you are making. Do you want to move to a city just to move when your network is back home and your have career opportunities? Make sure you are thinking things through.
  14. Get good advice, but make your own decisions. Part of being a young professional is learning from your mistakes. Mentors are great, but make sure you are making your own decisions.
  15. Avoid spending the principle. Budget yourself and make sure you aren’t getting yourself into dept. As young professionals, it’s easy to spend a lot, but be smart about what you are spending your money on.
  16. Make money when you’re right. Seek advancement and promotions when you do good work in your company. Always be proactive and don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you.

All in all, those are the principles that I’ve held true during my college career. I’ve applied for a ton of positions. Some I’ve earned, and some I didn’t. Even so, I’m able to pick myself up and move on to the next project with ease. Things happen for a reason, and with a proactive and positive attitude, you’ll see the bigger fish in the ocean.

So what do you think? How else is a career like the stock market? How do you invest in your career?

Photo by eminiforecaster on Flickr.

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6 Responses

  1. KBeat says:

    Warren Buffett loves Dairy Queen ice cream. He buys it, he eats it, he evangelizes the deliciousness of it. Dairy Queen is one of companies that makes up Berkshire Hathaway.

    Take a tip from a man who knows stocks and apply it to the world of PR and Advertising…

    Support your clients, because in the end they’re supporting you.

  2. Nick — This is a great post and very well done. I couldn’t let this go though without adding my comments. As you know, I work at the world’s largest and most diverse derivatives exchange (www.cmegroup.com). We operate three futures marketplaces – CME, CBOT and NYMEX. So speaking from the futures perspective I would add the following:

    1. Plan ahead — Just like futures products help our customers transfer risk and lock in prices for a future date (from one to 10 years out), job seekers also need to map out their future. I would also suggest to map out a timeline (it’s flexible and will change so don’t get stuck on dates) to help you stick to your plan.

    2. Trends matter. Customers in our markets constantly rely on marketplace trends. Looking for trends in the job marketplace (which industries are in growth mode and which are shrinking) are important and can help you map where your career may go.

    3. Manage your risks. Our markets exist because people need to manage their risk. Farmers and energy companies have risk exposure to weather; pension funds have risk exposure to equity market fluctuations; and international companies have risk exposure to currency changes. As a job seeker, you need to understand your risks (strengths/weaknesses) and how they will impact your job search.

    Allan
    @allanschoenberg

  3. nicklucido says:

    @Kbeat Good point!

    @Allan Thanks for adding your points, especially managing risks. Taking risks is important, but knowing yourself and what you’re capable of is even more important.

  4. tarheelsintransit says:

    Hi Nick,

    I just came across your blog and had to comment – this is great! I’m a senior PR major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and I can’t think of anyone I know that’s doing something like this. I love that you’re bringing a student perspective to the PR world. I’ll definitely be back and recommend this blog to my PR friends.

    Kelly Giles
    http://tarheelsintransit.wordpress.com
    http://twitter.com/kellygiles
    http://linkedin.com/in/kagiles

  5. rikin says:

    Nick this was an absolutely brilliant post and really showed alot of good thought and insight.

    The other reason your career is like the stock market is that you shouldn’t devote all of yourself to it. It’d be simply foolish to put all your time and money in the stock market and likewise it would be foolish to do the same with your career. Live your life, keep your friends and family close, and make time for yourself outside of the daily grind. If you don’t you’ll soon find yourself either rich or poor but definitely alone.

  6. nicklucido says:

    @rikin Very true! It’s something gen Y needs to remember, too. Thanks for the comment.

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