Stand For Something; Believe In What You Do

“Purpose is not nice. It is about having edges.”

– Polly LaBarre, Founding Member, Fast Company, Editorial Director, MIX


I think for many students, one of the biggest fears is finding themselves working day after day at a job they absolutely hate. When we’re in college, it’s all about “what do you want to do after graduation?” Most students, when asked that question, won’t have an answer. How could we possible have already identified one specific job that we’re ready to commit our lives to? After attending the PRSSA 2014 National Conference, I don’t think we’re really asking the right questions. Instead of frantically trying to discover the job that we want to do, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves what goals we have and what purpose we have?

Polly LaBarre, founding member of Fast Company and Editorial Director of MIX, said that her first piece of advice is to stand for something. Find a purpose, find something you want to achieve, and then do it. Finding that purpose won’t necessarily make things easier, but it will make things clearer. We’re all searching for our “dream job”, but I think we forget that a major part of that is the dream. What do we really want to do in this world. Once we have purpose and goals, we can set out to achieve it. What companies are in that industry? How can I contribute with the skills I have?

Maril Gagen MacDonald, CEO and Founder of Gagen MacDonald, said “Don’t just have a job. Have a dream, have a goal, have a mission.” Like Polly, she knows that the only way we’re ever going to truly want to work hard at the same thing every day is to believe in what we’re doing. Our jobs shouldn’t just be something we do to earn money. They should be something we are motivated to do every day in order to achieve our goals.

As future Communication Professionals, we have the skills that every company in every industry needs. We have the opportunity to work for the restaurant industry, the entertainment industry, and everything in-between. We’re the ones who help our companies be the company they want to be. We make sure their actions match their mission, and we make sure that everyone knows about it. We have the opportunity to make an impact. As Savannah Fox, Field Organizer for Amnesty International said, “Changing the world is part of the job description.”

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