“Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.” Those are the words of motivational speaker Harvey MacKay, and they ring true for me.
In my role as Public Information Officer for the Fairfax County Park Authority I work closely with the media, promote popular programs and environmental initiatives, ensure public access and participation in our planning efforts, and engage in event management on a regular basis. I have lots of fun and constant deadlines, but you won’t hear any complaints from me. Which is not to say that over the past 25 years of communications work in government there have not been moments that felt overwhelming and frustrating, or that there were not times when I wisely moved on to another position that was a better fit. In this field, you have to own it. Less than total commitment just doesn’t work.
I wake up and feel lucky that every day is different; new challenges, intriguing situations and multiple communications options. They key to success is to surround yourself with talented, dedicated people and stay open-minded as new technology, new issues and ever changing communications tools. Staying current can be challenging for those of us over 50, but ask yourself if you really need that additional platform and remember that the “old” ways are still effective.
My job is to distribute accurate information, tell a compelling story, and get the message to the right folks. Even after nearly three decades, it still feels right to me.