Career development should be a proactive part of everyone’s professional life. Communications professionals are not exceptions to this, and indeed probably need to manage their career development more keenly than others, as in communications more than in many other careers, it is possible to get stuck. A media relations specialist who is brilliant at handling the press will be highly valued for that skill, and employers will often be reluctant to let them move away from it. Similarly, people who enter a communications career via investor relations may find themselves unable to develop skills in say, employee communication, if their value to their employer is primarily dealing with institutional fund managers. Public sector experience is a useful, and often overlooked, way of developing a communications career. Often scorned by private sector employees, mainly because of low compensation levels and narrow-minded views of what the culture is like, it can nevertheless often provide a far wider range of experience – far more quickly – than could be achieved in the private sector.
From private to public
James Magowan joined Taylor Bennett in September 2000 from the marketing team of a FTSE company. He is responsible for searches in corporate and media relations and corporate responsibility. He has international experience, having worked with clients in Continental Europe and the USA. After graduating from Liverpool University with a degree in French, he completed an MA in international studies and diplomacy at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.