Director of the retail and RPO divisions at Kelly Services Hong Kong.
Can I find a perfect personality fit in PR?
I’m in PR and after four years working my way up to account manager at my previous company, I left because I couldn’t stand the boss anymore. I moved to an in-house role at a new company after some sweet talking from the communications head, who seemed really nice – but after joining, they turned out to be even worse than my previous boss. I’m now being “tapped up” by another PR manager who on the outside seems great – but how do I know I’m not falling into the same trap again? Is this just PR, or should I be doing more to research the specific people I will be working for?
You are wise to have identified the importance of “chemistry” in a job. Regardless of the industry you are in, your relationship with your boss and your colleagues often determines how much you enjoy your job.
Though the few experiences you had with your superiors may not be pleasant, they are nevertheless valuable. Through these episodes, you learn to be more aware of your unique qualities and what individuals you work well with, and how to deal with difficult personalities.
You may find some of these tools useful when seeking a new job, as some companies include personality tests, such as the Myer-Briggs, Harrison or Enneagram, in their interview processes.
When seeking a switch, you need to identify your goals, such as a better remuneration package, career advancement, learning opportunities, work-life balance, company cultural fit, a compatible boss, or a harmonious work environment. However, there is no perfect job. You may need to lower your expectations in one area to satisfy your needs in an area of higher priority to you.
If having a compatible manager or team is a high priority, you may need to do some research before making a move. With your several years of experience in the PR industry, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find people in your network who know your potential boss and team mates. Also look for information about the company or a specific person on the company website and via social media.
When the hiring company is close to offering you a package, you may want to request a meeting with your potential team mates. This will show that you are a keen team player, and a good interview with your peers may give you insights into a typical day for the team, the challenges they face and possibly an understanding of the dynamics.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Can I find a perfect personality fit in PR?