Yes, PR is a stressful profession not meant for the faint of heart

The jobs website has released its annual list of the Most Stressful Jobs of 2014 and it includes something I have known for years but might come as a surprise for those contemplating a career in public relations.

According to the web site, the four most stressful jobs, in order, are: 1) Enlisted military personnel; 2) Military general; 3) Firefighter; and 4) Airline pilot.

None of those are a shocker. Those jobs involve a high level of stress most of us will never experience. But look at number five on the list: Event coordinator. Hmmmm. As a public relations professional, I help coordinate a lot of events and I can verify that it’s pretty stressful. But that’s only part of my job. Let’s take a look at that list again.

Number 6 on the list is … Public relations coordinator! That job tops 7) Senior corporate executive; 8) Newspaper reporter; 9) Police officer; and 10) Taxi driver.

The report helps underscore the fact that public relations is one career that definitely involves stress. In my job, I deal with stress on a daily basis. It comes from juggling multiple projects, constant deadlines that I know about and many that I don’t. Let me explain.

I could come to work and have in my mind what I plan to do that day. But an unexpected crisis might occur, or a reporter might call me with an interview request on a totally unexpected topic.

To meet the reporter’s deadline, I usually have to drop everything I’m working on and focus on getting the information the reporter needs, formulating my response and sometimes coordinating an interview with an expert from my company.

Sometimes there are multiple reporters calling on the same day with different requests. I try to respond promptly to each one in order to preserve the relationship and take advantage of the opportunity for free publicity.

My point is that this is a profession that involves a lot of stress. And stress can be good. Stress is what keeps me moving, my heart pumping, and my fingers flying over the keyboard. Stress helps me react quickly when I need to in order to be good at my job.

But I realize that stress is not for everyone. And if you’re thinking about getting a job in the public relations profession, you should know that stress is part of the job.

If you can’t handle stress, don’t worry. There are lots of other professions you can consider. Just check out the list of the “Least Stressful Jobs” at CareerCast and find one more suitable.

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