Motherhood: Real Life PR Prep May 24, 2012
By Breanna Standifer
After returning from a year-long career break when my second child was born, I am learning more and more how personal life experiences prepare you for transition, especially when entering back into the workforce.
I’ve always had respect for stay-at-home moms, but respect and real life experience are two totally different things. Between my 5-year-old asking his typical “mommy what if” questions, keeping count of my husband’s undershirts for work, and the no-sleep newborn baby blues that turned into no-sleep teething infant blues, as a stay-at-home mom, I was constantly on the move.
Being back in the PR world, I now realize I learned a lot during the short time that my job title was “stay-at home mom.” It definitely helped prepare me for the ever-changing world of PR.
Michelle Rash states it best in her PR Daily article “The many ways motherhood prepares you for PR.” As a mother, one learns to multitask, react quickly in a crisis, work 24-7, be flexible, and respond to tough questions.
Mothers are asked tough questions every day, and we must provide an answer. The toughest question that let me know I was in the right place came from my 5-year-old son. “Mom, do you love me the way that I am?” he asked. I think it was difficult because I was not expecting it, especially from a child his age. After a thoughtful pause, I responded: “Of course I do. You are the way that you are for a reason, and I wouldn’t want you to be anyone but you because you are special. You are supposed to be different; it would be a boring world if everyone was exactly the same.”
Is that not a perfect example of what we do in PR? We always have to be ready to answer the tough questions, and answer them well. We also work daily to shape perspectives – not just the way the public views our clients, but the way our clients view themselves. Ultimately, we want to promote confidence and value in our clients and the services they provide. In that moment, answering my son’s hard-hitting question, I realized my career choice was a direct reflection of my personal choice to become a mother.
I must say, I have the two best jobs in the world!
How has motherhood, or other personal life experience, prepared you for your career?