The salaries in South Florida are very depressed from the rest of the country for top PR and Public Affairs Specialists. Recently, the City of Lake Worth hired a highly qualified and experienced professional. The City, it appears, is highly fortunate to have someone with her excellent skill set for this salary level because she loves her job and where she lives (among us!). Senior public affairs officers generally start (other parts of the globe) at $80k/year.
What is a great PR person to do who enjoys sunshine and oranges? Suggestions:
1. Keep developing your skill set. The more skills you have, the more flexible you can be in jobs to consider – e.g. it opens up more opportunities
2. Consider moving.
3. Take a part-time job for your base and practice your PR consultancy as a “side line.” This gives you an aura of mystery and demand. You can play your employer and your clients off each other and build your base as you get increasingly more opportunities.
4. Take a totally unrelated job and wait until the right thing comes up.
5. Don’t be unemployed! Ever. Don’t be too humble to work at TJ Maxx or as a secretary with a temp agency. Just keep doing something. Wake up depressed. Go to your job depressed. Cry over the bills. BUT – keep doing. That means:
a. Apply to atleast one job a day – don’t get crazy. Just keep an open mind.
b. Smile when you write up that sale at Sears. Hillary always smiles and she doesn’t always like her job either.
c. Work on a new skill.
d. Do volunteer work. Use that to build your portfolio.
e. Attend meetings – whether for PRSA; AdFed; American Marketing Association; GCPRC; Women in Communications; Florida Festival and Events Association; Florida Nonprofit Association; Social Media; SFPRN web site has a few listed….
f. You can call me up crying and I can help with a new resume. I cry a lot too when in between clients and jobs. Be assured – one is never too old to cry when the bills pour in and the money doesn’t.
Best to all the PR peeps who deserve more!