Tips from Campus is a monthly column written by WWPR member Jordan DeJarnette exploring a wide range of topics from a student’s perspective including guidance to young PR professionals beginning their careers in public relations.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations
I discovered my passion for serving while on an alternative fall break trip during the fall semester of my junior year. Over the trip’s three day span we slept on hard floors, ate copious amounts of chicken nuggets and peanut butter and got an average of five hours of sleep every night. As exhausted as I was by the end of the trip, I had never felt so alive. The people we served, stories we learned and conversations we shared uncovered a deep thirst in my heart to help others that I never knew existed. I realized then that I wanted to dedicate my time and talents as a public relations professional to bettering the lives of others. I was naturally steered in the direction of the non-profit and public affairs fields of PR and began researching organizations whose passions aligned with my own. When I shared this career-epiphany with friends and family, more than anything I was asked “You know you won’t make much money, right?” I was taken aback. Most of them were concerned with the volume of cash flow than the fact that I wanted to spend my life doing something that made my heart truly happy.
One year later, I’m entering my last semester of college with graduation right around the corner and my job search in full swing. Within a few short months I will be out from other my mother’s financial wing out in the real world and fully supporting myself. With that in mind I’ve had to look myself in the eye and ask what exactly it is that I want to chase – my passion or a paycheck? To those who are finding themselves in my same shoes as you prepare to enter the real world, I propose a challenge – keep your eyes on your heart and not the dollar signs. Focus on dedicating your life to doing what makes you truly, deeply happy. Whatever talent you have to contribute to the world, whether that’s composing music, healing the sick or teaching children, do something that allows you to share your gift. The late Steve Jobs said it best, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”