Valuable Life Lessons

In my first job at a public relations firm, I was required to attend clients’ events and write press releases for the newspapers.

I had no particular knowledge about, nor interest in PR; I had only applied for this job because my best friend had worked there in the summer and had enjoyed it.

I remember my first attempt at writing a press release. My boss, Carmen Tipling, took one look at my effort (which I thought was pretty good) and dryly told me that this was not the way to do it. To get your PR items carried in the newspaper, Tipling explained, you had to write like a journalist.

Embrace constructive criticism
There began my internship into the world of journalistic thinking and writing. Tipling, a veteran in Jamaica’s newspaper business, didn’t spare any red ink in correcting my work. She drilled me in the principles of good reporting, teaching me many valuable life lessons along the way.

I have vivid memories of the day I handed a release to her, and with a curt nod of the head, she returned it to me without corrections. It appeared that my writing had finally attained Tipling’s high standards – I felt like I had won an Olympic gold medal!

Experience is a great teacher
Although the fields of public relations and journalism didn’t prove to be my calling, today I am very appreciative that I absorbed these early lessons. For many years, my writing skills remained unused, as my career choices didn’t require them.

It was not until fourteen years later that an opportunity came to combine my true passion – helping people to become financially successful – with my dormant journalistic abilities. I decided to write a personal finance column in one of Jamaica’s national newspapers, to spread my message to many more people than my day job would allow.

New profit from old lessons
The lessons I had learned have now allowed me to create my own livelihood. My articles have formed the framework for a comprehensive personal finance training business; and have given me endless sources of additional income.

Years ago, I would never have imagined that Tipling’s writing boot camp could have paved the way for a lucrative, fulfilling career. However, because I embraced those lessons and gathered all I could from the experts, I have been able to see my hard work pay off.

Wherever you are now, whether in a dead-end job or struggling to build your own business, look around for the lessons that life maybe trying to teach you. They may come from a picky supervisor or a demanding bank officer; from a harsh appraisal or a disappointing venture.

So, embrace the education – enlighten yourself and you might just end up earning big time!

(c) 2009 Cherryl Hanson Simpson

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