It may surprise some of you who haven't fully read through my site, but aside from my job in public relations and marketing, I'm also an officer in the military (the Army National Guard specifically). Every month I drill my unit for 2-3 days and then in the summer I'll go away extensively for military training (usually a few weeks).
Although I don't have to be there around the clock, I still have responsibilities to take care of outside of drill along with my professional career in PR... and it gets tough sometimes. It can certainly feel like I am carrying the weight of the world, but it also is extremely rewarding. Whether I get an awesome media placement or see one of my soldiers get promoted, I feel a sense of pride in what I do on both sides and thought it was time to do a post on connections I found between the two.
Networking Isn't Only For the Office
In PR it's no secret that there are multiple opportunities to network and you're a fool if you don't take advantage of it - well the same goes for the military. I'm just a second lieutenant now, but even as a cadet I took advantage of any opportunity to make sure I was keeping my connections strong. I take a personal interest in each contact's life - whether it's checking in on how their family is doing or how their recent deployment went - taking the moment to just say hello really matters. You never know who you'll run into, the military is much smaller than you think.
Your Best Doesn't Always Please Everyone
Sometimes you have a great pitch and no one picks it up, and sometimes you think your report is correct and it's not - these are the problems I find myself facing as a leader. Your best isn't always enough no matter how hard you try, nut you are 100% obligated to give your 100% no matter what. At times it gets rough and your confidence just isn't there, but knowing that you can do better and you have before is the motivation I use to keep the momentum going.
Organization Is A Must
If you looked at my desk at work you would think at least one of the following thoughts:
- "This girl has a tabbing obsession."
- "Why are there 6 different colored highlighters?"
- "I literally don't need to search for anything - everything is out."
- "Someone clearly loves wine..."
It's true (I love wine) AND I am very, VERY organized when it comes to my desk. Literally everything is where it should be, nothing is impossible to find and it is organized. Whether you prefer folders, google calendar, whatever - some kind of organization is necessary. I have two jobs that require LOTS of paperwork and keeping all that organized isn't easy. It took a while, but after I went through to learn how to filter and color-code my emails it was worth it and a way to organize for you is something that definitely can't hurt.
What are your tips to balancing your work life and everything else around you?