Conquering the Job Market – “PR Skills… A Tool for Recognition or Exploitation?”


by Katherine Reilly

How many times have you felt that your efforts at work were frowned upon, or simply disregarded, whereas, your coworkers always manage to be in the spotlight and in many cases rewarded for insignificant tasks? How often do you feel as if no one notices the hard effort you put into a project while the ‘popular’ ones reap the fruits of a new promotion, a salary raise or even approval? This is most often the case in many working environments today, as the ‘image’ one promotes, can most certainly affect the ones around us, and in many cases receive praise, even if he doesn’t deserve it. Public Relation (PR) Skills is, whether we like it or not, a necessary tool for survival in today’s frantic and most competitive job market. The question remains though… How should PR skills be used and to what capacity?

Before delving any further, you might be asking yourself… “What exactly are ‘PR Skills’? Simply put, PR skills are the means one uses to either effectively promote his own image, managing communication amongst himself and his colleagues, or establishing a successful working network of collaboration and mutual understanding with one’s administrator and/or clients. PR Skills are probably THE most important assets one may possess. However, how exactly are we supposed to use them?

What you shouldn’t do…

PR Skills remains a heated subject to consider, as it is a qualification that in many cases is misused, mostly on other colleagues’ behalf.  To put it lightly, getting on your co-workers’ or employer’s good side in order to gain favor, is not only an insult to the people who collaborate with you, but also a discredit to your own achievements and capabilities.

Disregarding a colleague’s capabilities is not a wise decision. As a team player, one must consider all skills his fellow co-workers can offer, which will in turn, get him out of a tight spot if push comes to shove. We must always respect our colleagues’ efforts, even if their way of thinking is not in accordance to our own. Cooperation and mutual understanding must always be a priority at work.

Demoting, is unfortunately another tool some individuals resort to – when in combination with PR skills, can prove detrimental to the person in question. Using one’s charm to demote someone and at the same time promote one’s own image is not only unethical, but in the long run will only backfire, as the proprietor will eventually have to live up to the standards he supposedly claims to hold.

What you should do…

After years of hard work and dedication to our studies, it is only logical to feel the need to establish oneself as a respected, employed citizen of our society. We should be proud of our achievements as we put our abilities, skills and knowledge to good use. It is not an option, rather an obligation to demand the respect we deserve, as long as we are punctual and adhere to our duties.

More specifically, acquiring a degree, a Master’s or a PhD, will mean nothing if we lack the courage – or confidence – to present our qualifications at a job interview. Many a time, job-seekers who have just entered the market, find it almost impossible to land a job, even if they have the potential to do so, only because they do not inspire their interviewer.

PR Skills MUST be cultivated as they are also a qualification to get a foot in the door. Self-confidence and of course self-respect are the keys to building these skills. It is a well-known fact that people with less qualifications and potential, manage to land a job, as their personalities rub off employers who are in essence, charmed by their attitudes.

Is it therefore wrong to inspire a potential employer? Not at all; as long as the skills you claim to have are real and you can live up to them. False promotion is unacceptable as the truth always comes to light in the end, eventually ruining your reputation and leaving a smear on your resume.

In a nutshell, be proud of your accomplishments and promote yourself, not by bragging, but by genuinely offering your services and knowledge to the people you collaborate with on a daily basis. False promotion and charming your way up the ladder will only get you so far. In most cases, you’ll only be tumbling down with no one to pick you up in the end.

– Katherine Reilly


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