I was just talking to someone dear to me a couple of days ago how personal the entire business of communication is and how much of myself I put into everything I do. Traditionally, business is supposed to be impersonal and objective, but not when it comes to communication.
Although, having a background in public relations, I have all the structure set in my mind and all the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge put together like a puzzle, I feel like the one of the most important aspects of this business is how much soul you put into it.
If you’re a programmer, maybe you won’t get that attached to the code you wrote for a website, if you are a designer maybe you’ll really love your design, but you won’t be heartbroken to see it put aside after a while, but to be a communication professional it entirely different. Each word, each phrase and each twist of the pen (or, more appropriately, keyboard) comes from the deepest and most personal corners of our being. Being able to write for a company, about a product or a service, means researching, getting to know that products/service/company. All that information is filtered by the personal and professional perspective, and, if you spend enough time working on it, it becomes part of you.
Building online communities is another example of how the communication professional becomes attached to his/her work. Talking to those people every day, trying to find out what they like the most, answering their questions – all that becomes part of a routine similar to having breakfast or talking to friends. You get involved, and there’s no stopping that.
I believe that caring about what you do is important, if not crucial. Giving more than what a situation requires means delivering a better result, even if it consumes you, even if it’s more tiresome than just doing “ok”. Of course, a balance must be set. Still, whenever I hear someone inspiring talking, whenever I see a TED talk that really amazes me, whenever I read a book that moves me deeply – it’s always when that someone is giving it all away and is really putting their soul on display for everyone to see.
Us, the people who work in communication, are in a very personal business and there is no way around it. You either choose to accept this and do the best you can, or you don’t and find another job. But this is my calling and I am willing to give it everything I have.