Let’s face it, Public Affairs professionals are not created equal. Some of them face disadvantages – in particular: juniors, women, senior professionals. Not necessarily intentional, but as a result of prejudice, good networks, hiring by referrals, and a lack of knowledge about where the jobs are, how high (or low) salaries really are, who you need to know, and most importantly, how you need to sell yourself.

Do you belong to one of these “precarious” groups? No reason to despair, your successful Public Affairs career is out there. Some tips how to win against the odds:

  • Mentoring: let successful people help you – mentors can give you advice, recommend you to others, and teach you based on their experience.
  • Visibility: network, network, network! Especially women tend to put their jobs first. Yes, you need to know your business and do it, but networking IS your job, you get paid for being visible to your bosses and those you want to hire you – and far less for the actual results of your work.
  • Allies: especially in satellite Public Affairs offices far from the Headquarter, getting visibility is difficult, and mentors will not suffice. Seek to build up a support network of people who make sure you get the important news and can participate in the important events.
  • Self-reflection: some disadvantages are self-made. Reflect your reactions critically, get second opinions – and if you’ve made a mistake, apologise if necessary, reflect why you have made that mistake – and then go on, and don’t do it again.

Do you want to know more? And want to practice selling yourself better and to the right persons? Sign up to IMConsult’s newsletter for invitations to its High-Intensity Leadership Workouts. Focus: career and leadership tools for Public Affairs professionals. The first round will be on 25 April 2016 for women in Public Affairs (attention: early-bird fee ends on 25 March!) Sign up at www.leadershipworkouts.eu!

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