As I flick through a back issue of PR week and scan the ’30 under 30’ page it suddenly dawns on me, as of this week, I am no longer eligible for this category.
Slightly concerned, I try and reassure myself that if I had entered the PR sector at an earlier point in my life, I could well have been considered for such an accolade. But it does throw up another question, am I too old to reach my potential in PR?
As a mature student studying PR and Communications at Leeds Met, it is pretty apparent that I am years older than my fellow students. No matter how I dress or immerse myself in the group, the silver flecks in my hair and spreading crow’s feet around my eyes make it obvious that I am not a guy in my 20’s with a lifetime of career decisions ahead of me.
With an extra decade under my belt, I have however managed to draw on past work experiences to help with my university work which has been an unanticipated by greatly appreciated advantage. However, with some of my fellow students being ten years younger than me, when it comes to the crunch, an employer may prefer one of the younger graduates. We hear all the time that a younger person is beneficial to a business as they can be moulded to fit the ethos, are more aware of the modern ways to communicate and have fresher ideas. whereas the term ‘bad habits’ is often tagged to those slightly older and more experienced along with ‘slightly out of touch’ when it comes to the future of PR in the digital sector.
With this in mind, am I too old to succeed in PR? It is a question that cannot be answered as yet as only time will tell. I am however taking steps to ensure that I can answer a firm no in years to come. The plan is to learn as much as I can about PR at university, keep abreast of all technological and digital developments and focus strongly on industry experience. Fingers crossed this will help set me apart but failing that, a creative amend to my birth certificate and a lot of anti-wrinkle cream is waiting in the wings as ‘plan B’.
“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream” C.S. Lewis