Channeling Your Passions into PR
When trying to determine what to do with my life, I knew that I wanted to help people, as most millennials do. However, there was a problem. What could I do to make a difference? I wasn’t good at math. I didn’t have much interest in science. Blood makes me queasy, so being a doctor was off the table. I was a strong writer and passionate about women’s health – so what better way to channel that passion than in public relations where I could actually make a difference with my skill set.
While I’m not operating on patients or curing cancer, I am helping to educate others about organizations who are and ways to best prevent and treat diseases that impact millions of people. I’m not developing therapies for rare diseases, but I am securing interviews for the scientists with widely-read publications like Forbes and Kaiser Health News so people know the therapies are available for their care.
Understanding your skill set and channeling your passions to align with those skills can lead to the most fulfilling roles of your career. We can all agree it’s way easier to work for an organization you believe in and relate to. Luckily for me, I get to believe in and work for multiple organizations. However, this wasn’t always the case. It took me a few years to find my sweet spot in health PR and really hone my skill set. I tried federal IT (talk about boring), education, energy and countless other sectors that all left me wanting more out of my career. With health and advocacy, I can lend to the greater good and hopefully reach people who can benefit from the resources my clients are creating.
At first, the learning curve was challenging. HCPs (healthcare providers), healthcare vs. health care, hospital-owned vs. independent physicians? I had to constantly remind myself to be patient (no pun intended) as I was learning. While I’m not a clinician, I did need to learn to be knowledgeable of my client’s key focus areas. They all used to be foreign concepts to me, but now I throw health jargon around likes it’s my job, literally.
In addition to being patient, rolling with the punches is another critical skill in PR, which I love. Things move fast and change even faster, so being able to adapt and keep moving is very important. This is something I learned very early on and it’s a part of PR that I love. Two days are never the same.
Combining my passion with my skill set has led me to where I am today, at a health-focused PR firm working largely on advocacy and women’s health issues. I wouldn’t have found my path had I tried to force myself into a field that did not match my skill set. It’s all about adapting and channeling your passions to work for you, not against you.