So I think I've mentioned before that I am self-deprecating when it comes to work, which unfortunately I think has been a bit of a hindrance. I don't give myself enough credit, I don't command enough respect and blah blah blah. The office joke, that I've perpetuated, is that Public Affairs is all about jazz hands and good hair. Meaning, if I work those hard enough, I can turn public opinion on controversial projects around. Of course those that work close with me know it's a lot more complex than that and the ability to do what I do takes tons of brains and is really, really tough. I think in my 20s I relied too much on my appearance/personality to foster relationships, rather than brains. It sounds like such a duh moment, but when I went in to interview for this job, I had a little pep talk with myself in the car and said, Ok, engage brainiac mode. You're smart and incredibly driven FIRST. Everything else is just gravy. I've grown up, I guess? over the years; I rely less now on my sense of humor, etc. to get me through tricky moments. It's a big stretch for me; totally reaching outside my comfort zone and wobbling out there, learning how to vocalize the thought-process behind my expertise and experience and how I approach tricky PR stuff.
My job involves some business development, and when I first started I tended to discount my own skillset, thinking that unless I have extremely specific experience with that exact client, I'm unqualified. I've luckily had my boss and others prop me up, but I'm smart enough to know that the propping up needed to come from me. Not for a GO GIRL reason, for basic job security. If I couldn't be confident and do my own PR for my own skillset, what does that say about me as a PR person. Know what I mean?
Our friend's best friend from growing up came over for dinner to their house one time when we were there, and he and I started talking about PR. He's launching an app this fall and has created a new startup as part of it. A few weeks later, imagine my surprise when he asked me if I'd be interested in doing any freelance PR for him. I first though, nah, it's tech PR, which I have no experience with. But then we talked more, and we were really clicking in terms of ideas and getting him up and running of where he needs to be, and it just seemed like a no brainer. 10-15 hours a week. Reviewing web content, ensuring it's on target and strategically positions the company as innovative and solutions-oriented. Creating boilerplate press releases and guidelines/criteria for usage. Creating an outline of blog posts and social media strategy, and implementing.You know, stuff I LOVE TO DO ANYWAY. Stuff that is no brainer and completely easy for me. I asked my boss and co-workers what I should charge, and then I summoned the courage to negotiate a pre-and post-launch rate with him. People, if I had one more of these gigs, I could quit my full-time job, and work part-time MAKING MORE MONEY. What. Life is so crazy sometimes. This completely fell in my lap and could be the opening to some serious awesomeness and maybe? an eventual change in my career where I can work from home, work less, make more money and set my own hours.
And most importantly? Venturing Out on my Own and Owning My Awesomeness. Kickass.