Early in my career I became dissatisfied with the available communication and PR positions; none of them excited me or seemed to be challenging enough. However, I understood quickly that there wasn’t a lack of job opportunities. It was that I needed to do some “inner work” to identify what I needed in order to be successful both professionally and personally.
For me, success doesn’t necessarily include being the best communications or PR person ever. Instead, the most important goal for me is having a career that offers a sense of purpose and service to others. I have always wanted to give a “voice to the voiceless.” In grade school, I stood up for children who were picked on or isolated for not fitting in. I’ve been a champion of justice of all my life. Remembering these events from my childhood reminded me who I am and what’s important to me. I believe the “inner you” knows what’s best for you; it’s just a matter of overcoming your fears, other people’s expectations, and life’s setbacks.
Today, I look for opportunities to work in a serving capacity. This led me to establishing my own communications/PR company in 2010. TTG+PARTNERS specializes in starting thoughtful conversations about race, ethnicity, and diversity in higher education. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with some of the nation’s top colleges and universities, Fortune 500 companies, and nonprofit organizations—helping to empower traditionally underserved student populations—my business allows me to stand out and grow in formerly unimaginable ways.
I would advise young women looking to move their careers forward to do their inner work. Be sure to tap into your unique gifts and talents—everyone has them, and part of finding fulfillment in your career/life is taking the time to identify them.
Tia’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
In the fields of communications and PR, it’s critically important to be a great writer and speaker; these skills will help to take anyone far, especially young women who want to stay competitive and excel in their communications or PR careers. You’ll also need to be well rounded and flexible—open to learning new approaches, styles, and technology. Finally, young women who are looking to build and prepare for a career in this field should remember that success requires hard work and patience. Although it’s commonplace to “job hop” in today’s marketplace, you must be willing to go through the growing process and learn all you can with each experience. No lesson learned will be wasted, and every teachable moment only helps your journey.