The Best Career Advice for Communicators


While attending a luncheon some years ago to celebrate the release of Tom Wolfe’s book, “A Man in Full,” the author was asked to share some career advice for people who work in the media.

“Never say 'never' and never say 'always,'” said Wolfe, who also wrote “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “The Right Stuff.”

But there are exceptions to every rule, er, piece of career advice, even if it comes from an author who helped to pioneer so-called New Journalism.

We thought of Wolfe’s career advice after collecting nearly three dozen responses to an informal poll we ran on our Facebook page asking, What's the best career advice you were given?

Farris Rookstool III said: “Always tell the truth and have convictions!” while Rebekah Johnson chimed in: Always take chances when they come your way.”

Meanwhile, Charvett B said, “Always send a thank you!!!”

These are just a few examples of how to use the term “always,” which we can subscribe to when it comes to improving the lot of communicators.

There were some other chestnuts that we could gather around, as well, in terms of solid career advice for PR professionals.

Nicole Cheeks Kegler said: “As a manager, it is a big part of your job to mentor your team and help them grow professionally. If you are not doing this, you are not a manage.”

And, in a post that Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg could appreciate it, Holly Perez advised: “Don't let a degree dictate what you can do!”

The list features advice for most every level of PR. Here are all the responses:


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Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1