Conflicted in my childhood career choices

Conflicted in my childhood career choices

These days, the only job that seems to keep me interested is the one that combines quite a bit of disparate activity. In PR, we are part counselor, salesperson, troubleshooter, secretary, creative, mediator…you name it and we do it. As a kid I wasn’t much different. I had two main career aspirations – surgeon and go-go dancer.  In some ways, dissection and dancing go hand in hand in the public relations business –  so maybe I’m not that far off from my childhood dreams.

When I was 4, remember it was the sixties and go-go dancing was all the rage. I had the COOLEST pair of patent leather go-go boots, and the shimmeriest shiniest mini- skirt you’ve ever seen. Me and my friend Sheri would practice go-go dancing on the stone wall between our houses for hours. This is not unlike the activity involved with a pitch. Dress it up, make it snazzy, tap dance your way onto the phone with an editor and then hit ’em with your jazz hands. (Everyone, do your jazz hands now. You know you want to.) That’s the outward appearance of PR to most people. We’re glad handers, salespeople, we add the “ta da” to the “to do”.

But in reality, there’s quite a bit more surgery involved than people are aware of. First, we have to cut through the outer layer of the media…that which is on the surface has been planned weeks and often months ago. You can’t pitch a story that will run in January on October news, although many people think that’s how it’s done. No…you have to carefully dissect the different layers to find out what’s being written about now, what’s been written in the past, what’s planned for the near future and what might be interesting down the road. Down the road is usually where our sweet spot lies. (This is for the majority of PR people who do not work with Kim Kardashian, the Miami Dolphins or do crisis communications.) Going deep to find out where we can position our story is what the best flacks really do. The surface stuff is left to those who usually just coordinate.

Sometimes I still think about becoming an entertainer and sometimes that does involve dancing around the house. The last time I danced in public my husband thought I was having a seizure, so I’m realistic about my chances (zero). As for becoming a surgeon, I’d like to think that a doctor of PR-ology. You can call me Dr. Wax.  Go, go girl!


  • Rufus Dogg
    Posted at 15:43h, 08 November Reply

    I kept reading the article over and over, trying to find the part where you are also part dog trainer, dog walker and pooper-scooper 🙂 Go-go boots!

    • bonnie
      Posted at 18:24h, 08 November Reply

      SSHHHH I only compare my clients to dogs in private.

  • Marcus Taylor
    Posted at 22:59h, 08 November Reply

    Oh Bob Fosse would be so proud of you, swinging in a cage on the Sonny and Cher Show. Great post thank you. Marcus

  • Welshcakes Limoncello
    Posted at 17:22h, 08 November Reply

    I really enjoyed your description of the sixties – thanks for the memory!

    • bonnie
      Posted at 18:29h, 08 November Reply

      They really should bring go-go boots back.

  • Joe Freenor
    Posted at 18:20h, 08 November Reply

    See, that’s the problem with getting into this blogging thing at my age! You’re talking about your memories of Go-Go Dancers when you were four years old. That’s about the time I got out of the Army at age 21 and started going to bars with Go-Go Dancers! At the time I thought I was pretty cool. Turned out I was odd man out. Flash forward some 45 years or so, and damned if I’m not still odd man out!

    All kidding aside, I enjoyed your blog. When you first got into your description of PR work and were having some fun with other people’s perceptions, my first impression was, “Oh, no, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.” Which, as you then went on to point out, there certainly is!

    • bonnie
      Posted at 18:29h, 08 November Reply

      Joe, there are plenty of people I work with who were 4 when I was 20. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Todd Vendituoli (@TALV58)
    Posted at 18:46h, 08 November Reply

    I think you could be onto to something here. Go-go boots, dancing and surgery. Hasn’t been done to the best of my knowledge and I think the PR would be fairly easy. Great post Bonnie.

    • bonnie
      Posted at 19:54h, 08 November Reply

      Sounds like a great sitcom haha thx for reading!

  • Paul Anater
    Posted at 19:46h, 08 November Reply

    Between your go-go boots and my tricycle, it was a hell of a decade.

  • Scott Sliver (Sly-ver)
    Posted at 05:35h, 09 November Reply

    I think so many professions are “part this, part that.” Loved your description! (I was hearing, “These boots are made for walkin’…” as I read your post! : )

  • Atlanta coin buyers
    Posted at 08:54h, 09 November Reply

    I had fun reading your post…anyways thanks for bringing back the sixties memories.

  • leather
    Posted at 04:22h, 12 January Reply

    I think you should go with being a surgeon and part-time a go-go dancer. Childhood memories really made you confuse and make you wonder what you really want now and what you want to be in the future. Oh well, enjoy what you have now.

  • Pingback:What did you want to be when you grew up? | HomeCentrl
    Posted at 17:59h, 17 January Reply

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