10 Ways I’m Being Brazen

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Feb 15, 2009 in Books, Career

First of all, I think Penelope Trunk is a fantastic writer. She’s the kind of writer that makes you think.

You can check out Penelope’s blog here. She’s down to earth and doesn’t mince words. She’s not scared to write about controversial subjects or her personal life.

I read her book Brazen Careerist in early January. Even though there were some parts I wasn’t sure of, there were a lot of points she made that got me thinking. Her book has inspired me to change 10 things about myself.

While everyone was making new year’s resolutions, I was inspired to come up with 10 ways to work on my career and life after reading her book.

10 Ways I’m Being Brazen:

  1. Accept uncertainty. Since I don’t know where I will be in five years, I am focusing more on how to develop the skills I will need to have perfected in five years.
  2. Be adventurous. There are so many opportunities to try new things. I’m heading to New Orleans in March to go to the PRSSA National Assembly. That will be an adventure in itself!
  3. Work on marketing. My Web site, blog and resume are all tool that market me and my brand. In mid-December I had launched a new design for my site. Now I plan on reevaluating my blog and resume so I can market myself better.
  4. Study harder. I’m not talking about school here. I’m studying the PR industry harder so I can be more knowledgeable when I get my summer internship.
  5. Become a negotiator. In order to get what I want, I need to be able to negotiate. Penelope offers great tips on negotiating salaries, which can be applied to other situations as well.
  6. Solve problems. I think Penelope said it best when she said, “Your success depends on your ability to get control of a problem and solve it.”
  7. Clean up the inbox. A few weeks ago, I had more than 250 e-mails in my inbox. I’ve followed Penelope’s advice on getting a “real to-do list” and have been able to keep my inbox organized by filing away and deleting messages as soon as I get them.
  8. Make time. When my schedule is packed, I don’t have time to think. When I do start thinking about stuff, I don’t have time to work on the ideas I have. This semester I’ve squeduled all evening meetings on Monday and Tuesday. I now have more time to breathe, think and blog.
  9. Be organized. According to Penelope, having a messy desk makes you look incompetent. I’m usually fairly organized at my desk, but not at home. I now have a better system of keeping things together at my apartment, which has made me more productive.
  10. Delegate. I used to say, “I might as well do this myself so it gets done right.” Since I have committees and teams in the various organizations I am in, I have started to delegate work more. Not only does this give them experience and portfolio pieces, but I also have more time to do things that matter more.

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What makes a blog successful?

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 19, 2008 in Blogging, Networking, Public Relations

Penelope Trunk says good blogging is simple. Classmates and PRSSA members often ask me about blogging. How do I find things to write about? How do you have a good blog?

Penelope makes a simple, but great point. Write good posts.

I also really liked how she said is that what makes a blog successful is it “helps you to reach your goals— either career or personal.” I started blogging for three reasons; (1) to improve my writing skills, (2) to establish my name as a writer and to brand myself online, and (3) to network. This blog has achieved every one of these goals.

Trunk made another good point: “Find a very popular topic and then write at the very edge of that topic. If you write in the center, that’s where everyone else is and it will be hard to present something that is unique.”

I could easily write posts on how textbook PR. I could write about how to write a press release, but do you really want to read that? Realistically, you could just buy a textbook or go to a PR class. I’m sure many of you already know how to write a press release anyway.

A Step Ahead and my online portfolio serve as a professional development and networking tool for myself. I didn’t create either to make any money (although I did recently start a store to sell PR-related clothing and other items). I created them to develop my writing and critical thinking skills in PR and to learn more about the profession.

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Brazen Careerist Tips

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 11, 2008 in Blogging, Branding, Career, National Conference, PRSSA, Public Relations

2008 PRSSA National Conference

PRSA General Session
Penelope Trunk, author of “Brazen Careerist: The New Rules For Success”

Trunk, a business advice columnist for the Boston Globe, gave some really interesting advice to PRSA and PRSSA members at the conference. Here’s the short list:

  • Money does not equal happiness
  • Focus on optimism
  • Mentoring is the new currency, so ask to be hooked up with a good mentor and be a mentor to others
  • Job-hopping is a good thing
  • Breaks are good too because they allow you to have time to think
  • Blogs are a tool for career stability

Right before going to the conference, I was accepted as a blogger for Penelope’s site. See my profile of Brazen Careerist!

What type of career success advice do you offer to others? Do you agree with Trunk’s advice?

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