The Value of Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to develop personal and professional leadership skills for career development and the best way to get the most value out of SMPS and your membership. Chairing or serving on a committee can be an excellent resume builder, which also enhances your marketability.

Volunteers have lots of strengths and perhaps a few weaknesses; they come in all shapes and sizes. They make the association run like clockwork. Before volunteering, you may want to ask yourself – What individual, personal, and professional goals are relevant? Why do I want to serve in a volunteer role?

Motivating.
Are you passionate about something within the organization? Are you looking to use existing skills and build new skills? When you determine the path you will travel, your personal commitment will motivate you to benefit from your decision.

Connecting.
Volunteering is also a great way to build relationships for possible teaming opportunities as well as life-long friendships. Where else would you have an opportunity to network with your peers around your professional background or interests?

Overreliance.
For a chapter to remain healthy and get fresh ideas, bringing new members into the organization’s leadership and committee level roles is exciting. This is an opportunity to take your membership to the next level. It can be so predictable for the same people to remain on a board or committee. Involving new people provides a more collaborative outcome and less time commitment for each volunteer.

Overcommitting.
Is serving on a committee an honor? Is it just one more thing to add to your to-do list? Or, is a combination of both? Most definitely, it is a commitment.

Be prepared to work hard – set strategic goals and realistic timeframes. You will want to be accountable for the goals you set. Make sure you write them down. A tangible goal is more likely to be obtained.

Going above and beyond, and setting high expectations will probably net you higher results. As with any volunteer position, there is always a limited amount of time that you can devote. Don’t forget to celebrate your milestone successes.

Recruiting.
If you are currently volunteering, I would challenge you to recruit another volunteer. Even as marketers, many of us would not out-right make the call to volunteer for a committee or board position. However, if we are asked to participate, we will probably be flattered and most likely say ‘yes’ to the opportunity.

Like some members of my church have stated, “If Pastor Lee calls to ask you to volunteer for a committee, there is no way you will say ‘no’ to him.”

No matter where or why you volunteer, have fun!

Niedzielski_K---web2By Kim Niedzielski, FSMPS, CPSM
SMPS St. Louis Chapter champion
Senior Marketing Manager
HGA Architects and Engineers
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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