A few weeks into being a new dad has taught me quite a bit. But the surprise realization has been that my career working in a PR agency has been preparing me for this new role the entire time. Here are the five ways I’ve determined the two jobs are similar:
- You must make plans and be prepared – Both roles require you to plan and try to prepare for whatever situation may arise. Whether it is anticipating potential questions from journalist, or planning variables at a press event, PR people must account for a variety of ways a scenario might unfold. As a father, the same is true. A burp cloth and pacifier can’t ever be out of reach. As new parents, we need to try to anticipate one step ahead to be ready.
- You have to be responsive – Babies have needs that must be met and so do clients. Although you try to plan ahead, both parents and PR agency professional must be responsive and ensure they are meeting the needs being requested. Feedings, diaper changes, needing to be held all comes as the baby decides; responding to clients is similar although the need to hold them is figurative (mostly).
- Be ready to work odd hours – A PR professional doesn’t always get to work the traditional 9 to 5 weekdays, whether it is a late night trying to meet a journalist’s deadline or working round-the-clock on an event, your schedule is not your own. It’s no secret, babies have their own schedule, so you’re on their clock!
- Sometimes it is messy – For babies, that’s self-explanatory. At an agency, things don’t always go as planned, so we have to roll-up our sleeves and do what is necessary in the moment to achieve success. Sometimes you’ll have to play peacemaker between a journalist and a client, sometimes you’ll need to deliver some hard truths, and sometimes you’ll have to take a mud bath in a spa. (okay maybe that’s not a bad kind of messy).
- It is extremely rewarding – Getting a smile from your baby is satisfaction like no other. But achieving your goals, overcoming challenges as a team, and creating positive results for your clients isn’t far behind. They’re both hard work but seeing your hard work lead to direct results is among life’s greatest joys.