Marie Yossava, founder and owner of Grapevine Communications
I hope so. After all, after two years of upheaval following the pandemic, most of us have been too stressed to do much beyond the basics required to survive. Throw in the things that we South Africans have to contend with - loadshedding, water shortages, rising crime, an obvious failure in infrastructure and the accompanying anxiety and uncertainty – and it’s easy to understand why few of us have time (or energy) to dedicate to thinking about what we need to thrive, either personally or professionally.
I was fortunate to be able to do this during my December break. I was able to step back from my world, live in the present and experience joy and gratitude for some of the beautiful things around me: Cape Town’s ocean, mountains, vineyards, orchards, beaches, forests and of course, the many people I chose to spend precious time with.
So, where am I going with this? This cherished downtime also gave me an opportunity to take stock of my career and ask myself where I’m headed, what I like doing and what keeps me motivated. The long and short of it was that I realised I love what I do, and that’s why I remain in the PR/Communications space.
I then dug deeper to ask myself what aspect of my job I enjoy most. The answer: connecting people, so that their new relationship may serve a greater purpose, whether that’s presenting a new opportunity that creates a platform for a client to share their story, or developing a partnership that has benefits for both, like drawing from each other’s expertise and experience.
My view is that PR is there to help people find new opportunities, push boundaries, open new doors and grow their businesses by giving them a voice or face (via the media), or simply empowering them by introducing them to other professionals that you believe will support their goals. It’s about matching people who share similar values, so that entities can have results that have a positive impact that reaches far beyond the individuals directly involved to affect communities.
It might sound simple, but my ability to forge these connections has been honed over many, many years, and is facilitated by a black book that I have compiled over an equally long time, and which enables me to keep connecting with remarkable and interesting business people. It’s gratifying to see that, just as I have been able to help others through my business practice, I often see the same type of assistance coming my way.
I hope that, if you haven’t been able to find the time to undertake a similar exercise during recent months, you’re able to schedule a moment to ask yourself: do you like what you do?
Discover what you find valid in your work. Because if, like me, you love what you do, you will soon realise your job isn’t just ‘work’; its part of your professional journey – and one that I hope you will enjoy.