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I entered my BA (PR) degree and Journalism major with only a vague idea of what I wanted to do with my career. Four years- and countless mind changes- later I was no closer to knowing what do. So my instinct was to simply follow my passion.
My passions for reading, writing and working with people lead me to search the PRIA website for small, local consultancies that specialised in my areas of interest. One of the consultancies I rang, PRhelp, just happened to be looking for someone new to add to the small team, someone young who had multimedia and social media experience. It was through this job that I had the opportunity to organise the publicity campaign for the Williamstown Literary Festival for two years running.
My passions then lead me down a new road of freelancing for magazines, when a local street magazine contacted me, as the media contact for the Literary Festival, asking if I would write a story about the Festival for the magazine.
Six issues later I write regular stories on arts, culture, food and people based in and around Melbourne’s western suburbs, having had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people like Marieke Hardy, comedy writer Mark O’Toole and indigenous performer, Kutcha Edwards.
While I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to be doing, I was happy with the freedom that came with freelancing in PR and journalism, and following my passions in these fields. There was only thing I’d ever really been sure on, and that was my dream job- travel writer. But the odds were against me, as one of the most competitive writing jobs in the industry.
But with timing and luck on my side, I contacted the right person at the right time and landed an internship of sorts, churning out articles for the editor of Travelling in Australia Magazine. It just so happened that the editor was inundated with stories, but didn’t have enough people to write for her. Offering my services for free meant she was able to offload some work without having to factor me into the budget, and, after proving my reliability and commitment, I secured a fully paid freelance position as major contributor for the magazine.
In my spare time I also write my own blog, aptly titled “Talking and Writing”. It was through this that I discovered Mia Freedman’s website, Mamamia, and after contacting her about an interest in blogging for her website, Mia allocated me a topic on the Fistula Foundation which was published on her website in June this year.
Now I know this might all sound pretty easy, but in actual fact this took years, and countless job applications, networking, emailing and phone calls. But as it turned out, after all the effort I put into looking for jobs, the ones I have now are the ones that, well, seemed to fall into my lap. Ironic, yes?
So what does this mean? It means that the perfect job can come up when or where you least expect it, so never lose hope. If you offer your services for free through volunteer work it can open up loads of opportunities.
But most importantly, it means you should do what you love, what you’re passionate about. Employers can tell the difference between a person who is passionate about the job and a person who is applying for the hell of it. The beauty of the PR degree and Journalism major is that it can go into any field you love, whether arts, sports, science or IT.
Because my “title” is freelance PR consultant, writer and photographer, and I work for myself, I can choose the jobs I want to work on, and since I only work on what I’m passionate about, whether arts and culture, food, travel or literature, it never really feels like work. And that’s the best kind of job to have.