Lessons Learned in Eight Years at Barokas
September 27, 2018
Today marks my eighth anniversary with Barokas. When I started my career at the agency, I never imagined I’d be celebrating this milestone. Millennials are notorious for job hopping with the average tenure somewhere around 18 months, yet here I am bucking the trends and joining the ranks of our parents and grandparents who settled into their jobs for the long haul.
Over the last eight years, I’ve launched companies, rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in tech (and a few celebs), and had the opportunity to work with incredibly smart and fun colleagues and clients who have all taught me important lessons in life and PR. Here are a few:
Relationships with coworkers, media, clients… they all matter. Coworkers see you at your best and worst and are there to support you in a time of success or challenge. Relationship with media can help make or break your story. Clients that you have a strong relationship with can be the most rewarding for your career as they support you in thinking bigger and pushing the envelope further.
I have made some of my best friends working at Barokas, kept the coverage pipeline full thanks to great media contacts and have experienced some of the biggest career highs with some of our long-term clients.
Work-Life Integration is Key
For years I tried to find the ‘balance’ between work and life. Compartmentalizing my time, getting angry when a client would call on vacation, or feel guilty when personal things took over the work week. It wasn’t until I had a child that I realized everything is intertwined and the more we try to put our lives in a box, the harder it becomes. Life is messy, work is hard, but by allowing the two to coincide provides the flexibility for both to thrive in their own time.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
I can’t think of how many times a reporter initially said no to a story idea only to be swayed, or a client who said no to a concept, but that initial ideal eventually led to something bigger and better. When we hear ‘no’ in this industry, we have to be creative to find a solution that works for everyone. By allowing that creativity to take over, to think differently, is when the magic truly happens.
Every Crisis Has a Cycle
One of the most challenging aspects of PR is managing crises, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. No matter the situation, your client relies on you to be the voice of reason, and provide the calm in the storm. Successfully managing a crisis sharpens your skillset as a PR person and further builds trust with your client.
Today, I’m feeling a bit of a crisis myself. How did eight years go by so quickly (read: how did I get so old?!)? But as I look back on my time with Barokas, it has been some of the most challenging and rewarding years as I have grown personally and professionally. But like all crises, this cycle too shall pass and I can’t wait to see what the next eight years bring.