ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING AND CONTINUED LEARNING
Become an expert in your chosen discipline or industry. Stay current on trends, competition and opportunities.
Have a commitment to lifelong learning. Seek out opportunities to learn new information and to grow personally and professionally.
Expand your expertise beyond your core area. Consider reading up on trends in human resources, legal, and other areas.
ON STEPPING OUT ON YOUR OWN/TRANSITIONING
Gain a basic business acumen, as you will be running a business. Develop a business plan. Establish a good relationship with one or two mentors that will help guide you through the process.
Be flexible and mobile. Decide what you want and go after it. It may require an alternate route, i.e. a different title and more or less responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to try a new location.
Consider joining key organizations and associations. Professional development, job banks, resource information, and exposure to new contacts are but a few of the member benefits that make the investment of your time, talent and dues rewarding.
ON MAKING THE RIGHT MOVES
It’s okay to be eager–now channel the passion. When you make a call or pitch to a journalist, write a script so all your thoughts come out. Make certain you believe that your story is a good idea; If you believe it others will.
Use technology such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkdIn to let potential clients know that you are available and have the skills to make a contribution.
Do become an expert on ethics. Know your industry’s code, and know the public relations code. Live by these codes and champion them in your organizations and with clients.