And then came Valentine’s Day and I found myself writing and thinking about love: A news release on the love of our homes, a new Valentine’s video from 12-year old Sparkles Lund that captured her love of dancing, and I sat down and wrote a love letter to my wife of 22 years.
So ask this question: Why do you love what you do?
I asked this of a friend of mine when we both were hitting 40. He said he didn’t. I told him, “Look, at our age, if you are not doing what you love, you only have one person to blame, and you’ll find him in a mirror.”
It must have struck a chord, because he left his newspaper job at the top of his game and jumped to a young Internet news organization. He has loved what he does now for well more than a decade.
I love what I do. I fell in love with Public Relations and Communications very early on. I loved to write. Wrote weekly high school stories for the local teen section of our hometown newspaper, was the Entertainment Editor at the twice-weekly broadsheet Miami Hurricane student newspaper at the University of Miami. Even wrote the cover story for the first issue of the now defunct Rock Magazine while in grad school.
And it was in grad school at USC, paying my own way, I did what most financially struggling students did: I got a job to help pay the rent while trying to get a bit of real world experience in my chosen field.
I was attending the School of Journalism, working towards my Masters in Public Relations, when I joined a two-women PR firm part-time in Los Angeles.
I did all the grunt work in helping to promote the 25th Annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in the Agoura Hills in Southern California. It was my first introduction into Entertainment Pubic Relations, and it was like drinking from a fire hose.
It’s also where I first cut my teeth in media relations: Getting to know reporters, their beats, their interests, how to help them craft a killer story idea and where I learned to the most important lesson of all: How to take the time to get to know reporters as people.
I spent my nearly three years during grad school dabbling in the world of Entertainment PR in LA and it was tough for one major reason: The clients and the reporters covering our clients were both prima donnas. They were very demanding, and by and large, most of them were really quite unpleasant. Not all of them, but truly the vast majority were a handful.
Somehow I landed my first job outside of grad school at a bank, Great Western, which is now CHASE, and within a short time I found myself on a plane to New York going to my first NAR convention and attending my first dinner with real estate reporters. I had been working, by phone, with many of them. They were the complete opposite of the Entertainment reporters that I had dealt with before. They were real people without pretense and plenty of passion about what they were doing.
In short, I found real estate journalists to personify the very best kind of stereotype one could hope for in doing media relations: They were typically smart, approachable, reasonable, tough (but fair) and willing to listen.
They were also nice people. No, they weren’t perfect by any measure, but they were generally an incredible fun and kind group that I started to hang out with. And many of us became friends. Lifelong friends.
As I worked more and more with technology companies over the years, I have found very much the same to be true about the reporters on this beat as well.
And that’s the number one reason why I love my job. Because Public Relations is all about relationships and I get to work with some of the nicest, smartest people every day that cover the real estate and technology industries.
Yes, I have to be good at what I do and know my stuff, but it is so much easier when the people you are working with reciprocate the respect you show them.
Do you love your job? If the answer is yes, think about why you do. It should make you feel really good.