I’m not going to write about this very tragic week. Our thoughts are with Boston and Texas whose victims’ awful destiny was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I’d like to write about more a life-affirming kind of destiny: the aspirations of my students. Many are anxious about the next few weeks, because these are the weeks when college will end and they’ll try to find employment in their chosen field of public relations. Some are already getting interviews and jobs; most are getting the process started. As I speak with them, I find myself thinking about clichés and maxims we often hear. A few I like are worth examining:
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” TRUE. While PR often features long hours, frustrating clients and unfriendly reporters, you’ll rarely have a bad day when you like your job. I’ve loved almost every minute of my PR career.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know.” TRUE…and FALSE. Although it really helps to have connections and to network like crazy, you’re not getting a PR job without knowing what you’re doing–and possessing a degree.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” TRUE…and FALSE…and my favorite maxim. John Lennon’s lyrics acknowledge that however much you plan, events take different, both positive and negative, turns. But I believe you should always point yourself in a direction and stick to it as best you can. Life and career are tough boats to steer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” TRUE, again.
“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze,” said Forrest Gump, “but I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.” Your thoughts?