PR Consultants Have the Freedom to be Human

I was recently reminded, once again, of one of the most important  benefits of being an independent PR consultant.

Over the past few weeks, I was away unexpectedly due to a family emergency. Early on a Saturday morning, I received a call that my mother – always the picture of health – had developed a serious condition and was in the hospital in another city. I packed in 30 minutes, hopped a plane, and was at her bedside within hours. As the work week approached, I didn't give it even a fleeting thought.

I did not need to:

  • Call a boss to inform them I wouldn't be in the office (and suffer the guilt that often accompanies such calls)
  • Ask for permission to be away from the office for an extended period
  • Worry about whether I had the “leave time” to stay where I was needed
  • Decide how long I would stay (I could make my decision on a day-by-day basis)

Once the work week was underway, I stayed on top of my emails and informed clients of the situation when necessary. I ended up being away for nearly two weeks. No  deadlines were missed, and only two meetings were re-scheduled.

My mom is now doing fine, and I know that my presence was a huge help to her. We all know that our human connections are far more important than work — isn't it great to have a career that allows us to put our priorities where they belong?

This is just my most recent example. How about you? When has being an independent consultant allowed you to focus on what matters?