Surviving the first year at a dream job is not always easy. It has been extremely fruitful but I would be lying if I said there aren’t any changes I would wish for in 2018.

It is a common year-end tradition to reflect on the year and set some goals for the year to come. For most, however, giving up on these resolutions is also part of the yearly custom. We either set  unrealistic standards or are quite simply not hungry enough for change. Even with the risk of giving up anytime, it is perhaps worse to never try at all than to try and fail.

A job in a public relations agency very often means to manage multiple stakeholder groups and shifts in the environment. It is crucial to keep the passion burning if one intends to stay in the game for the foreseeable future. This is how I would do it. 

New Year Resolution #1: Get connected

When most part of your work requires you to deal with a multitude of people and personalities, the thought of withdrawing oneself from any crowd can be immensely tempting. Contrary to general belief or rather misconceptions on PR, not all PR person are the stereotypical, bubbly extroverts; some exceptional talents in the industry are actually closeted introverts. Even an extreme extrovert like me would sometimes prefer to retire to a quiet corner during events. It is important to take a break every now and then to avoid burnouts but it is also equally important to maintain one’s personal and business connections. Attending gatherings, dinners or even work events keeps one engaged with different circles and helps to momentarily relief some stress from work. Think of such activities as opportunities to gauge and calibrate one’s sanity after hours or days of work. Introverts or extroverts, everyone needs someone to schmooze with after a long day. Make it a point to turn down invitations right away. Netflix and ice-cream can wait.

PRoTIP: Sometimes you have the best time and get the best insights from the most unassuming of guests at an event.

New Year Resolution #2: Learn a new skill

It has dawned on me earlier this year that a PR practitioner is very often a Jack of all trades. Writing, designing, animating, photography, translating, coordinating, strategic planning  and a convolution of skills help to enrich a practitioner’s work. Job can be rather monotonous when one has a very limited skill set. You can’t possibly paint a rainbow with a single colour and neither can McDonalds only serve french fries. Similarly, the more capabilities one possesses, the more ideas and avenues one can explore with at work. To be honest, not being able to materialise my creative ideas suck but this is the reality when you only focused on perfecting strategic planning during your undergraduate studies. So, Adobe, take my money. After a year of testing and treading waters, it is time to take a plunge. If not now, when?

New Year Resolution #3: Work’s out, workout

Exercise is axiomatically important but if you have attachment issues like me, you’ll definitely understand that feeling of your mind being constantly occupied by work as though being possessed by a workaholic ghost, even during your workout. This usually happens when I decide to go for a workout right after work. “A PR person’s work is never done” is a very common saying in the industry and while it is true, thinking about work 24/7 is neither productive nor healthy. Think Sheldon Cooper on caffeine. Disciplining the mind and body through yoga and meditation may be useful but if we don’t put that phone away, no amount of Oms and Virabhadrasanas can help.  Work is out, it’s workout time. Let it go.

Resolutions are not meant to be easy but neither are they to be impossible to attain. It may take me the whole of 2018 or even longer to finally be able to master even basic photo-editing skills and to not check on my phone every few minutes during a workout class. However, it is better to go through these challenges than to grow to hate a job I would otherwise love. What resolutions are you giving up on making for 2018?

About the writer

Dominic looks after the hospitality portfolio at Brand Inc. He secretly plants food around the office to fatten motivate his colleagues.

In case you missed it earlier, here’s an article by him on how to land a permanent position with us.