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Member Column: Why I’m attending this month’s PRSA SunCon

By: Shayla O'Keeffe, Communications Generalist, Jabil

It’s a fast-paced world that we live in and the best way to prepare is to be well-rounded in both our professional skills and personal development. In this industry, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and skills, as well as feeling mentally fit to handle whatever comes your way.

Perhaps it’s needing to learn how to handle crisis communications or properly deal with stress. Maybe it’s about building your company’s reputation or yours through networking.

Each of these is a great reason to attend the PRSA Sunshine Conference 2019 in Tampa, given the diverse sessions available, but personally, I’m most looking forward to meeting people from across the region with all levels of expertise in the field. I’m fairly new to the communications industry, just shy of three years in the profession, so it’s a great time for me to connect with others. Someone once told me to be like a sponge in the beginning of my career and soak up all the information I can from others. Following that advice, I plan to take advantage of all the diverse people at PRSA SunCon and hopefully meet someone who can be a mentor.

Being a newer kid on the block, having less experience than some of my peers, this conference also will give me a chance to be introduced to a variety of learning opportunities, as well as get exposure to skills outside my specific work sphere. It’s easy to get stuck doing the same thing each day, marking things off my to do list, but going to this event will give me a chance to turn my focus toward being proactive and taking a mental break from work to learn new strategies.

I wanted to write this column because I believe that, regardless of your focus areas, there’s something for everyone at PRSA SunCon, no matter your status in the industry, your background or your goals.

A conference is a great opportunity to reignite your passion and meet other like-minded individuals who can help you stay accountable afterward. I’ve left other conferences feeling ready to take on my projects with new eyes and more strategic thinking, and I look forward to having that same feeling after PRSA SunCon 2019.

Don’t let this be a single event; instead, use this as a chance to check the treasure map and set your course to finding the gold – a successful career.  Make this conference a personal experience that helps you grow professionally.

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