Continuing my journey through this list of 200 top-rated jobs and consider whether any would be worth a career change. For background, see the first post in the series. Next discussion point is chosen through random number generation. The random number generator says:
79. Public Relations Executive.
Duties, per CareerCast site: “Helps governmental bodies, businesses and individuals maintain a positive image with the public.”
Before I do any further research:
What do I think people who have this job do? You meet with said governmental bodies, businesses, and individuals that want to improve their image. You wear a telephone headset. You use the word “synergy” a lot, and on occasion, “syzygy.” You know people in high places, in the press, and on the streets. You prepare press releases and arrange photo shoots. You have an encyclopedic knowledge of public failure, and are kept up nights worrying about doing the same to your clients. You know a really, really expensive lawyer. The day-to-day job is pretty exciting and stressful, you do a lot of different things, from getting a website up to explain how such and such business really cares about where it dumps its toxic waste, to putting on an “impromptu” public event for the executive board to attend and pretend to do work for the community. When a crisis arises, you get a phone call and tell your clients what to say. I think you get a pretty great salary but work like 80 hours a week. Also you have to be some kind of great talker and really good at getting to know people and conversing with strangers. If you’ve got the skillset, I think there’s plenty of work for you and this is a job you’d dig, but you’ve either got it or you don’t.
Do I think I would like this job? I don’t think I could handle the stress. Plus I think I would naturally about the worst public relations executive ever.
What would be required to become qualified? I bet this is a lot more about having the right personality than having the right academic or work background. Though if you worked in business you’d know that world pretty well, or government, same deal.
Would I want to do that? I don’t think I could really turn myself into this person unless it’s a lot more low-key than I realize.
Looking at the numbers:
Overall rank: 79. Overall not a bad gig to have. For the right person.
Details: Work environment gets a moderate score of 1247 (lots of public contact, crisis handling), physical demands light at 7.24 (this is a mental and emotional job, no question), stress almost off the charts at 78.5, income and hiring outlook both pretty good.
Looking at a few job descriptions is enlightening. Probably not usually as much running around doing political stuff as I thought. A lot of jobs are corporate. You make sure brands are consistent, so you spend a lot of time in meetings making sure people are going the same direction. You spend a lot of time studying competitors to see what they’re doing and try to spin ways to make it better. Overall, seems like a job for an extrovert who likes to get immersed in their work, do a lot of talking, go to a lot of meetings, and create and refine an image. Salary is pretty good but maybe not worth the trade-off in hours you have to spend on the job, or the stress. Pretty much, not for me in any way. Thanks for playing, public relations executive!
Next up: #35, Industrial designer.