Self-Efficacy, Doubt & Pulling Myself Out of a PR Slump

I know it’s super late and nobody (but me) is up but I really had to get this post out of my mind right now because I feel really strong about  it and I am looking forward hearing your feedback about it.

So, I had a tough PR week last week: I wasn’t hearing back from journalists from my pitching, I was jealous of a fellow intern (ugh…I hate jealousy, it’s childish & solves nothing), and some of my writing that I worked on for HOURS was basically deemed…not so good. And so, I started feeling the big D word…yep, DOUBT; all young careerists feel it (I stole that term, BTW, I like it!) and aspiring PR pros especially. Why? The PR field is super cut-throat; just do a quick search on Linkedin, there are thousands of “aspiring” PR pros and interns with the same dream as me and you: to make it in the PR world…or at least be able to make a living out of it (lol). Anyway, I started feeling really down about myself & even my supervisor noticed it (and she bought me a cookie! What an awesome boss). But this weekend, I worked through it and I wanted to share some tips on how I did it, and hopefully, if you feel the same way, you can use them too.

  1. Seek out inspiration: I spent a couple of hours going over blogs and Twitter feeds of PR pros I look up to and others like me: young, ambitious aspiring PR pros. It really made me feel better knowing that I’m not in the boat alone and that there are others like me who have accomplished so much!
  2. Take a break from obsessing: I think about PR A LOT. Like A LOT. I am always thinking about campaigns I want to a part of, firms I want to work with, etc. and so it’s easy to drive myself crazy. Well, this week, I took a few days away from social media and the blog and just chilled out. I went outside and walked, watch some trashy TV and just cleared my head. PR was there when I got back LOL.
  3. Get Proactive: I used to work at a Burger King (That’s a whole other story folks) and one saying my annoying supervisor always used to say was, “Jessica, there is always something you could be doing” of course, he was talking about cleaning the hooded dryer, but it’s the truth. Today I stayed in the house, but while I was in the house I read some helpful articles, researched some firms, reached out on Linkedin to some PR firm HR people and got some blog posts ready for this week. I can’t sit around feeling sorry for myself; this is my dream, I have to make it happen.
  4. Learn the concept of “Self-Efficacy”: I have to admit, I had no idea what “self-efficacy” was until this evening (Heard it in this video which talks about confidence as well, I really enjoyed it). It basically is the belief a person has in their ability to reach their goals and that they WILL reach their goals. Once I heard the term, I knew it meant for me to hear it & start putting it into practice. I HAVE to believe that I have a long career in PR ahead of me, and as long as I believe, I will keep fighting for my dream. Self-efficacy is such a great concept that I want to start practicing ASAP.
  5. Remember why you are where you are: I have come very far from where I was a year ago, even 6 months ago, and I am proud of myself and all I have accomplished and I have to remember that I got me to where I am (with help from my amazing family) and with the same perseverance and hard work I’ve been putting in, I can make it to the next level.

Have you been feeling doubt? What do you use to pull yourself out of a slump? I really hope you don’t get into one of these PR slumps (or any slump, for that matter) but let’s be realistic, it might happen and I hope, if it does, you’ll remember these tips. Can’t wait to hear from you all and thank you so much for reading and enjoying!

XOXOXO, Jess-AsPRing


14 responses to “Self-Efficacy, Doubt & Pulling Myself Out of a PR Slump

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jess! Everyone just has one of those crappy weeks, and I am so glad you were able to find inspiration in the midst of this. I believe in you!

  2. Such a great post- I definitely have had some of those weeks, and it is great to hear that I’m not alone. Great tips as well!

  3. I have to tell you, this post was right on time for me! I watched the video and that gal has brought the most clarity on confidence I have seen yet! I rememebr my first few internships and not feeling like I had enough skill to make it in the real world! But those experiences have actually helped strenghthen my confidence in my skills. And you are so right about the need to look to others for inspiration. That is another reason I am happy about my life so far because others have encouraged me to grow. I’ve learned, however, that if you want to surround yourself with more positive people, you have got to get rid of the negative ones first!

    • I am so glad you found the post at the right time (and watched the video, I love her!), I hope you find the time to write about your experiences with confidence building; I’d love to hear about it!

  4. Hi Jess! Chin up girl! I wanted to comment and say that you are right when you say that this business is cut-throat and that it’s natural for people to make you feel envious, but that it’s how you deal with these feelings that will define you later.

    As an intern, you still have plenty of time to grow and develop and it’s always a learning process. I’m currently pursuing freelance consulting and am always talking to current professionals about how they made their way and what works in our metro area, so it’s good that you listed #1 & 3 because they are totally true.

  5. HI Jess,

    I feel ya! But much like yoakleypr said, as an intern there is so much to learn. I am discovering this in my first pr internship (post grad at that). PR is definitely a competitive profession, more or less depending on the industry. With that said, just hang in there and don’t plague yourself by measuring your success by someone else’s because when your pitch is picked up it’s going to be a shining moment in your career and one that you’ll always remember. Thanks for the post!

  6. I have been feeling a lot of doubt lately. Not just in my abilities as a writer and a designer, but also that the efforts I’m making won’t be noticed. Are people looking at my website? Will anyone really care about my blog? Eek, practically no one’s following me on Twitter! I hope my efforts will be worth it. Thanks for the post, it’s good to be reminded I’m not the only one doubting myself. And thanks for letting me get this off my chest! Lol

  7. I don’t work in PR, but as an editor, and believe me I understand where you’re coming from. I think #2 is a really tough lesson to learn, but a great one. Being able to clear your head helps you to stay focused and wiser once you do center back onto the important “work stuff”.

    Believe me, if you keep this attitude, you will absolutely do great! Watching the interns here, it is young women like you who stick out to us when hiring time rolls around.

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