Surprisingly there has been little attempt to consider the career management of PR practitioners – and as I felt it would be an appropriate area of investigation, it is the topic I have decided to pursue for my doctoral studies at Bournemouth University.
The topic fits within my Greenbanana concept of “if you are green, you are growing”, so I will use this blog to reflect thoughts emerging initially from the extensive reading I am undertaking, and in due course, from my primary research.
Research on careers in public relations has largely focused on role typology and other practical elements of what practitioners do, rather than consider the discipline from a strategic career management perspective. Given the recent growth of PR as an occupation, the challenges it faces from other disciplines, changes in the job market and ongoing moves to enhance professional status, this is an area where I believe new research will provide valuable insight for practitioners, organisations, educators and professional bodies.
I aim to explore the trend away from traditional “career ladder” linear models to emergent/adaptive strategies that can be implemented at the individual, organisational and societal levels.
I am also interested identifying factors that affect decision-making as part of career planning and management. Overall, the study should highlight future career challenges, and recommended solutions for the PR profession.
There is a large body of existing career development literature which I am reviewing alongside relevant PR work and wider reading – as ever with such topics, the connections soon take your thinking in lots of new directions. Feel free to make suggestions if you know of anything you feel may be relevant.
The graduate school at Bournemouth University offers a number of courses (such as speed reading) which are very useful. The University also has a great range of online resources – which are really helpful when working from home.
I am undertaking my studies on a part-time basis over the next five or so years, so the end goal currently seems a long way off. However, I know how quickly time will pass – although the “journey” will be full of valleys of despair and slopes of hope.
So I intend to use the Greenbanana blog to maintain my motivation and also to share some useful insight. This offers me a new direction for the blog – but also a guaranteed range of topics over the coming days, weeks, months and years.