There are all kinds of ways to see your career come screeching to a halt—just ask fallen politicians like John Edwards or once-leading actors like Michael Richards. The public relations field can contain the same kinds of career-ending landmines, according to new research from Germany’s news aktuell and Faktenkontor.
What leads the list? Being unavailable during a crisis situation is the greatest career ender for a comms professional (68 percent), the research finds. Second place goes to criticizing your superior in front of media representatives (57 percent). Those who prematurely release balance sheets also run the risk of endangering their PR career (32 percent).
However, there are also factors, unrelated to personal misconduct, that can thwart your career—for example, one third of respondents said part-time employment hampers potential career advancement (29 percent). Interestingly enough, only a slightly smaller portion believed that insisting on a full-time position could pose a threat to potential career advancement (29 percent).
In comparison, only one in five (19 percent) believed paternal leave will effectively end one’s career. More encouraging, taking a strong personal stand was cited as having little effect on your prospective career opportunities—only a handful of comms pros said displaying a clear position in front of colleagues or clients (15 percent) or their executives (14 percent) was detrimental.
Here are the Top 10 greatest career enders in PR:
- Being unavailable during a crisis (68 percent)
- Talking backhandedly about the boss with journalists (57v)
- Publishing balance sheets prematurely (32 percent)
- Working part-time (29 percent)
- Accidentally releasing press materials prematurely (28 percent)
- Insisting on the 40-hour working week (28 percent)
- Taking paternity leave (19 percent)
- Presenting oneself as the successor of the PR manager (17 percent)
- Taking a clear stand against colleagues and customers (15 percent)
- Excessively voicing one’s own opinion as the management advisor (14 percent)
Data pool: 987 professionals and managerial representatives of press offices and PR agencies.
This survey was conducted online in February 2018. Professionals and managerial representatives of German press offices and PR agencies were asked which factors can constitute a potential career ender. Nearly 990 communicators participated in the PR-Trendmonitor.