Portrait of Cornelius

Eyes on the prize

I have decided to become an independent practitioner.

That is a sentence that is loaded with much expectation and meaning especially as it was not an easy decision for me to take.

I started in PR back in 1990, because pay in local journalism was poor. I thought a (temporary) move to the Met Police’s Press Bureau would help and that I would soon return to newspapers.

Twenty four years later after a number of job changes and a stint aboard, I had a rude awakening when I was advised by a PR recruitment agency to consider changing careers as my CV would not get me a job in Public Relations.

Perhaps a career with the police, Mayor of London, healthcare in Vancouver and the Probation service was very public sector but having dealt with major issues which needed liaison with central government and communication with multiple-audiences, I thought that I could tackle what would be thrown at me.

Or was I being told that I was dangerously close to 50 and that I couldn’t keep up to speed with today’s digital world? Well having argued for and led the project to have a mayor’s online press office in place in 2002 and having run a number of website I couldn’t understand why this would be considered a problem.

And guess what? It is not a problem for me.

This is an opportunity for me to try something new and to challenge myself by taking on a new venture.

Fortunately, there is a guide available from the CIPR and the PRCA are pulling together a network to support solo practitioners. Equally important I have friends within the industry to give practical advice and support.

I am expecting wins and fails, busy periods and lean ones and times when I will question/doubt myself.

But I will be more in charge of my career and my success and failures will be my own.

I love a challenge. If in a year’s time it has failed then be it but I’ll give it 100%.

I am prepared, as the phrase goes to, “Go Hard or go home”.