Why it’s okay not to stay in your lane
By: Prinella Pillay
Over the years – including my own personal experience – I have come across promising PR practitioners and passionate young communicators, who as part of their induction into the industry, push hard to master one or two aspects of PR, with the hope that this would stand them in good stead for recognition and promotion.
All fair and good enough until a fellow young colleague surpasses them and they are still left in the same role, doing the same task as good as they can.I have done it myself and witnessed this among my younger peers, who fail to see the greater good that lies in them, due to an integral understanding of how to increase their skills expertise. The biggest detractor being: “I am just going to stay in my lane. I am going to do the best that I can in only what I am supposed to do.”
Follow the yellow brick road
Despite the kudos that goes out to junior PR practitioners doing this, I can with confidence say that staying in one’s lane leads to one path – a passion-less, unfulfilled, dead-end profession.
Why? Because in any industry – but more so – in the communications industry being a ‘Jack’ or ‘Jane’ of all trades is the new master of multi-exposing (self-descriptor to explain exposing oneself to the acquisition of many skills to advance within an industry, trade or career path) oneself.
By the way, I did not use the word multi-skilling because, in all honesty, you can never be a master of concentrating diligently on a pot of urgent tasks and achieve maximum success on all of them.
Boxing oneself with “I only get paid to media monitor” or “I am just an account manager, it is not my job” will very quickly set you up for professional and team failure.Break that mindset and grab a hold of as many opportunities that present itself to you.
If you are lucky enough to be within one of South Africa’s leading PR agencies or corporate communication departments, the PR world is literally your oyster with ‘free’ hands-on access to seasoned practitioners, trends, skills development and room to raise your hand and say “can I try?” Multi-exposing has certainly grown over the years and the more I see PR novices asking ‘show me how’, the more confident, dynamic and innovative leading communicators are being raised.
So the next time somebody tells you to stay in your lane, change direction and ask: “How can I help you. Just show me how.”
You will be amazed at what talents and PR skills you have hidden inside of you, which make you adaptable and transferable!