Glassdoor recently released a list of the top 20 jobs for a good work-life balance. I found myself scanning the list for public relations, but much to my dismay, this was one list PR professionals were left off of. (PR frequently appears on the list of “most stressful jobs” though.)
Subsections of PR were included—corporate communications and social media manager—but agency PR was absent.
I guess I get it. I’m like Pavlov’s dog when my email buzzes (I’m working on that habit…), and client crises can happen at any time. However, a good work-life balance is still obtainable in this profession.
Here are a few things I do to create work/life balance as a PR professional:
- Rely on your team. One of the things I love about ECPR is our client structure. You are never the only person working with a client. So, if you’re on vacation, traveling for work or just catching a movie, you have some comfort in knowing that if an issue arises, other team members can pitch in too.
- Have hobbies. It’s easy to throw yourself into your work—especially if you don’t have a lot going on outside of work. Don’t let yourself slip into an early pattern of your work being your whole life. Make it a proud part of your life, but focus on life outside of the office as well. Whether it’s getting active though running or taking up cooking classes, having hobbies will go a long way toward helping you relax and enjoy life.
- Take vacation. I’ve heard professionals say that they have no time to take even a day off work. In April, Glassdoor reported that the average U.S. employee only takes half of his or her eligible vacation time/paid time off. I certainly understand a good work ethic, but do you think you’re still producing your best work without a rest? Take the time to rejuvenate. You’ve earned it.
- Do what you love. Isn’t it better when work doesn’t always feel like a job? Agency work can be energetic and meaningful. Try to appreciate the great work that you’re doing every day. If there comes a point that you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, talk to a mentor about ways to change that.
There are going to be times when you feel overwhelmed with work, but if you make a work-life balance a priority for the remaining time, those busy spurts will be a little easier.
Vice President, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations