I thought I would take a break from social media and public relations today to offer up a mantra that has kept me going these past few years–“Hard work pays off.”
When I began working two jobs for a total of 40+ hours a week this summer, many people told me to take it easy, “You work too hard,” they told me. Maybe its just the old-school work ethic instilled in me by my hard-working parents, or maybe I am simply an idealist, but whenever someone says that I am working too hard, I have to shake my head. “No,” I say, “I am not working hard enough.”
Thousands of college students graduate each spring, looking for a way into the workforce. The reality is, less than half of them will actually find jobs right out of college, and many others will be forced to take internships before they can find full-time employment. Receiving a college degree no longer guarantees that you will find employment–those days are long gone.
In order to find a good job today, we need to work harder than ever before to get good experience and make those crucial network connections while still in school. We need to have more than one internship on our resume, prove to our employers that we can handle anything they throw at us and stand out from other applicants by demonstrating ability and dedication to succeed in the workforce.
So, what does it take to “work hard” and still have a life?
- Discipline: The ability to delegate time to multiple tasks is very important in public relations and marketing. If you are working at a firm, you will sometimes be responsible for more than four or five clients at one time, which means you need to figure out how to accomplish everything asked of you by your deadlines.
- Understanding your limits and how you work: Knowing when to give yourself a break and call it a night is important to the quality of work
- Saying ‘Yes’ more often than not. The way I see it, saying ‘no’ to your employes is a luxury. You have to put in your time and pay your dues before you can even think that word. This means that sometimes weekends need to be sacrificed when clients move up deadlines.
- Above all, Balance: If you value the personal relationships in your life, you will need to understand how to balance your work load with your personal life. Sometimes it can be tricky, and I can personally attest to the fact that it is not always easy, but it is extremely necessary. Remember to take a weekend off once in a while, see your family, hang out with your friends, spend some quality time with your significant other. The way I see it, success means nothing if you don’t have people in your life to share it with.
When things get tough and you feel you are running out of steam, stop. Take a breath. And remind yourself, “Hard work DOES pay off.”