爆料公社

Volunteering: Your Secret Career Superpower

Volunteering: Your Secret Career Superpower

By Laura G. Davis, CAE

We all are busy. We all have too much to do. We all have limited time for additional commitments. So, why does it seem that some people have more hours in their day and can find the time to volunteer for their professional association? The answer: They prioritize it.

I encourage you to also prioritize volunteering for your professional association. Not only will your association benefit, but you will as well.
There are many ways you can volunteer鈥攁nd most of them will take as little as 1 hour per month:

  • Mentor a less-experienced colleague.
    Meet them for a cup of coffee or lunch. You鈥檒l be amazed at how much you have to share and how much you鈥檒l learn from each other.

  • Serve on a committee.
    Most committees and task forces meet every other month or quarterly via conference call and have limited work outside of the meeting time. You might also want to volunteer to chair a committee鈥攊t provides some valuable leadership experience.

  • Write an article for the newsletter, magazine, or blog.
    Suggest topics that are important to you and your work colleagues鈥攖hings you鈥檝e discussed while drinking your morning coffee. If it鈥檚 important to you, it will be important to others too.

  • Attend a special interest group (SIG) meeting or educational event.
    It鈥檚 a great way to participate in educational sessions and meet others who are doing what you鈥檙e doing. Why reinvent the wheel? Learn from others.

  • Participate in a community platform.
    Post an article, ask and respond to a question, or recommend a vendor. Share what you know and you鈥檒l be seen as a valuable resource.

Every volunteer contributes to an organization, and each of those contributions improves the association and increases its value in some way. It鈥檚 not just the board members or committee chairs who contribute to an organization鈥檚 success鈥攚ithout the other volunteers, much of the work would not get done.

I鈥檝e been involved in varying degrees with my professional associations (, , , and ) since I first entered the association community more than three decades ago. They have helped me to be more effective in my job in three key ways:

  • offered quality and relevant educational programs to increase my knowledge of association management   
  • given me the opportunity to connect with colleagues
  • allowed me to volunteer and hone my leadership skills.

Volunteer. You will reap the rewards.

Laura Davis, CAE, is a senior director of Membership, Marketing & Communications for the   (AAHPM).

Editor鈥檚 Note:
Laura Davis was recently recognized by Association Forum with the Association Professional Achievement Award for her exemplary service and outstanding accomplishments in association management. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow her on Twitter .

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