September 16, 2011

The guarantee doesn't (necessarily) have more glory

At the end of the week, I'm literally buzzing from all the new information I've accumulated over the week in my Creative Communications Program, or CreComm as you'll hear me (now) affectionately call it. I'm processing all the new theories, practices and skills I've learned, as I will say, and I'm sure others will agree- the learning speed of CreComm is like nothing else a student will encounter in a University classroom (I say this from five years experience at Uni).

Today in my Communications for Non-Profits class, we had Lisa Abram, Director of Communications for the WSO, visit. Lisa originally hails from Toronto, where she worked at a major Advertising firm, and also was a part of the communications department for TIFF. Having her come to speak to the class was, for me, extremely inspiring and very insightful into how different people find their way to their dream profession differently from everyone else. Lisa has a B.A. of Psychology, and has worn many different hats in her life of communications, from corporate to non-profit, entertainment to ad sales.

I found her presentation so inspiring because I feel my entire road to where I am now standing has been the opposite of the straight and narrow paths many "conventional" careers call for. If you're a medical student or a law student, you have a very specific path to get to the career you've chosen- and are almost always guaranteed that career somewhere.  (I use these examples from my boyfriend's brothers, an Emerg. M.D. and a corporate lawyer with Filmore & Riley).
With communications and P.R., the path seems less "guaranteed" from a student's point of view. To date, the freelance clients I have are all ones I have personally sought out, offered services to and then come to a contractual agreement. For Sound Republic, I used my networking capabilities to meet with Stephen Hua, the CEO of Sound Republic, owner of Republic Nightclub, Fame, Rockbar, Mystique and Luxe+Charm. He was someone I admired for his business savvy, his hardworking attitude and persistence. Now, I can proudly say I am the P.R. Coordinator for Sound Republic, and work with a company I truly believe in.

My opportunities are ones I haven't looked back from. I sought out these meetings and was lucky enough my clients trusted my reputation and believed I could help their companies. With a corporate communications job or non-profit director position such as Lisa Abrams', you would apply and then hope that H.R. appreciates your resume enough to give you the position (or so I thought). I thought that to be successful in the aspirations I have in business, I would need to "get lucky," versus being able to create the opportunities for myself as I have previously done.

What Lisa communicated to my class, was that she had various jobs that had not alot to do with eachother, until she was working in her current position where she had pulled from each experience skills she didn't even realized she had learned. For someone who has a resume as diverse as a mosaic, I felt comfort. To date, I have been a Sales Coordinator and Assistant General Manager of GoodLife Fitness, Communications Strategist with the CCPA-MB, captain of my university volleyball team, a freelance DJ/Sound Technician (currently), a Personal Trainer, a Special Needs aid with the YMCA-YWCA, Communications Coordinator with Freak Fitness and PR Coordinator with Sound Republic.

Sometimes, my hat rack seems pretty full.

Now, instead of feeling like my resume may CONFUSE potential employers, I'm taking a more optimistic approach that my various roles will play in my favour. The lyrics "I've been everywhere man," come to mind.

I'm interested to see others experience with strategies to make a confusing resume seem diverse, and how to tailor your resume for specific job opportunities.

Have a great weekend bloggers!

xo Hannah Rose

1 comment:

  1. There are a zillion paths to a successful career in PR - it's a benefit of the diverse profession it is.