How will you define success in 2023?



A Message from the President of CPRS Vancouver

When I agreed to write this new year’s message, I wanted to inspire CPRS Vancouver members to kick off 2023 with a bang.

But I was stuck.

So, I took a walk on New Year’s Day to clear my head and formulate something brilliant-ish.

It was, as usual, raining.
What on earth could I offer in terms of words of wisdom for the new year?
As the rain soaked through my best holiday sweatpants, I stared imposter syndrome dead in the face. I’m not a life coach, inspirational speaker, or multi-millionaire. Who am I to advise such a fine group of professionals on goal setting for 2023?
Standing under a dripping pine tree I decided that I wasn’t going to give in to this imposter. Instead, I kicked her between her beady little eyes and decided to turn my thoughts to what I have achieved.
I have a job that I love. I do meaningful work. I have a team of smart, interesting, and dynamic people who I admire professionally—and really like as human beings. I make a good living and have achieved what I set out to accomplish when I began my career almost two decades ago and enjoy giving back to my profession through both CPRS Vancouver and other passion projects.

Hmm..maybe I do have something meaningful to share after all.

So, looking toward 2023, here are three things I know for sure (thanks Oprah!)

Get clear on what you want—and why you want it.

Do you want to be a VP of Communications at a Fortune 500 company? Run your own agency? Or leave your 9-5 and work as a consultant? Maybe you want to help move a startup into its next iteration, or channel your skills toward a worthy cause in the non-profit sector.

Many moons ago I was in a PR course and the instructor went around the room and asked all the students to share their dream job. Some craved the prestige of working for big brands like lululemon and Nike. One sports fan wanted to work for the Canucks, another former singer aspired to be a publicist in the entertainment industry.

Me? I had two small kids and wanted a good dental plan.

All our goals were exactly right for where we were in our lives, at that time. And many of us went on to achieve them in some form. (Just ask my adult son who boasts the most beautiful smile you ever saw.)

The key is once you figure out what you want, dig a bit deeper.

What are you willing to give–or give up—to get there?

Does your capacity and desire align with the things you say you want?

Years ago, I aspired to be a freelance journalist. I found a bit of success writing articles for some major fashion magazines. But it was a ton of work—and not as glamorous as I thought it would be. The amount of time I spent researching, formulating, and pitching articles wasn’t worth the prestige—or the pay cheque. Worse still, some of my work was never even published.

After a few articles I came to realize that I just didn’t want it badly enough to continue.

So, I burned the plan and made a new one. (I highly encourage everyone to do this at least once, just for kicks.)

Be honest about what is realistic for you and set goals (or not) accordingly.

Wherever you want to go this year, and however you plan to get there—just keep learning.

As CPRS members, chances are you’re already what I call “life-long learners.”

I am never not honing a skill in something related to my career — and commit at least 15 minutes daily to professional development. Over the past two decades I’ve invested my own time and money in books, courses, events, and educational opportunities in topics ranging from email marketing and website usability to sponsorship strategies and crisis communications.

At this later stage in my career, I’m focused on learning more about leadership, coaching, and JEDI work.

What are you committed to in 2023?

Being a CPRS member already demonstrates your dedication to your career and to this profession. But there is always more to learn and teach.

If your involvement in CPRS is limited to reading the odd newsletter or blog post— great! We’re thrilled to have you in our audience. But if you have the time and inclination to be more involved, even better.

In 2023 we’re opening board positions, speaker opportunities, and volunteer roles — as well as a slew of professional development events and resources to support your career.

Want to learn more? Reach out to me directly, or check out our website.

And whatever this year may bring, I hope you take some time to stand in the rain and reflect on how far you’ve come.

Alexandra Skinner, President CPRS Vancouver