Making a career change is a big step. There are a number of things you have to consider, including what you are interested in, what skills you possess, and where your skills and interests can help you move forward. Deciding on a new career can mean going back to school, and dealing with challenges that you’ve not anticipated. However, some career moves, such as from public relations to social work can help you do better in both.
1. Improved Listening Skills
When you’re in public relations, you need to be able to listen to your customers and understand what they need. However, listening becomes a crucial skill when you’re working with people in the social work sphere. When you’re working toward a degree in social work, you’ll work toward improving your listening skills to understand the underlying issues in the family dynamic and more. Your improved listening skills will also help you if you go back to public relations, as you’ll be able to make better connections with your clients.
2. Gathering Information
In addition to actually listening to people, an important part of both of these jobs is pulling together information. Gathering information can help you figure out problems with clients in both fields. In social work, you’re going to be dealing with people who may not want to give you the information you need. In public relations, this may also be the case, however more often you’ll be dealing with clients who may not know what they want. When you are able to gather information that isn’t being given readily, you’ll improve your standing in both fields.
3. Building Trust Effectively
When you’re working in public relations, you need people to respect and trust you. If the clients you are working with don’t trust you, you’re not going to get anywhere with them. Because of this, building trust with clients is important. It is also an important skill in social work. When you change careers to social work, you’ll find that your skills that help build trust in others will improve. These skills make all the difference in your interactions with families and people in the community. Learning to build trust is something that will help both career paths significantly.
4. Polished Writing
As a public relations specialist, you know that you have to be able to write well. This is a large part of how both you and your client are seen by the world. However, many people don’t realize that this is also a skill that must be cultivated by those in the social work sphere as well. When you move to social work, you’re writing is going to change. However, this will give you a different perspective on well-written, polished work. You’ll need to write reports, keep notes, and more. In addition, it will need to be well-organized. These skills will help you further your career in public relations if you ever go back.
5. Keep Focused
Sometimes in the office it seems like everyone is clamoring for your attention, all at the same time. When you’re doing social work, you feel like this both in the office and in the field. You need to be able to stay focused on the task at hand, to be able to help families and communities. Learning the focus of a social worker will help you in public relations, as you’ll be able to keep focusing on one problem or one client at a time.
6. Go With the Flow
Things happen fast when you’re in public relations. In fact, those in PR may look at other jobs and feel like it would be too slow or boring. This is not the case when it comes to social work. Social workers need to be able to go with the flow and manage changes just as quickly and effectively as those in PR.
There are a lot of aspects of both social work and public relations that can help you further your career in the other field. If you’re currently in public relations, but looking for a change, consider looking into social work.