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How to Recession-Proof Your Career

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“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week.  But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

Nolan Bushnell
American Engineer & Entrepreneur

Whether working for a corporation or as a consultant, if you’re a public relations professional, your fortune is inextricably intertwined with the successes — and setbacks — of your clients.  So it’s not surprising that in today’s turbulent economy, hiring in our industry has slowed and salaries are frozen. 

Nevertheless, I remain optimistic about the future. As I’ve said before, this is just a temporary state of affairs. History has demonstrated that the entrepreneurial spirit can triumph in the worst of times … even in the depths of the Great Depression. I believe that, even now, we have it within our power to make ourselves invaluable to our clients — both internal and external — simply by thinking and behaving like an entrepreneur … by always being a step ahead of the client. 

What is an entrepreneur? It’s a person who takes control of a venture and assumes responsibility for the risks and the outcome. It’s a different kind of mindset.

Where a typical employee looks for reinforcement from the outside, in the form of praise, raises and bonuses, entrepreneurs are driven by a self-defined mission. They are constantly learning and looking for new answers and challenges. Results are what matter to entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to found a company to be an entrepreneur. When I first came to New York from St. Louis, right after graduation, to take my first job in public relations, I had no idea what I was going to find or what the path to success would look like, or even what I had to do to find that path! But I was determined to succeed, and that resolve carried me forward. It can do the same for you.

Kenneth D. Makovsky, APR, Fellow PRSABy Kenneth D. Makovsky, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of Makovsky & Company, one of the top 25 public relations firms in the United States. Kenneth also is a founder and past president of IPREX, the third largest global network of public relations firms in 56 cities and 23 countries. He is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, the Arthur Page Society, the Advisory Committee of the Newhouse School of Communications (Syracuse University) Public Relations Executive Distant Learning Program and serves on the board of trustees of the Institute of Public Relations.

Join Makovsky, along with Carolyn Mayo, APR and Jenny Schade, for their co-presentation, “Accelerate Your Career in Public Relations: Steps You Can Take Now to Prepare for Your Future,” a FREE webinar, on Thursday, April 9, 2009, at 3 p.m. EDT!

About the author

Kenneth D. Makovsky, APR, Fellow PRSA

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