Giving time to create connection: why I volunteer
I was shoulder-tapped in 2017 to join the Board of IABC Saskatoon. This isn’t unlike many of my acquaintances who have volunteered on this Board and others. While this was the impetus for my volunteer journey with IABC, there were a number of reasons why I decided to give my time.
For me it had nothing to do with beefing up my resume but I was definitely in it for the networking. And my pals convincing me delivered a strong argument, focusing on the community found with this professional network of volunteers and the leadership experience that could come locally and at other levels of the organization.
And I may have been wooed with the promise of social events… and wine..
Aside from the desire to give back to our community and IABC, which had provided significant value to me throughout my career, there are a number of benefits to joining a chapter board.
Advance the profession. Contribute to local, regional, national and even global efforts to foster trust in and demonstrate the value of professional communicators. Collectively, we work together to elevate professional communicators to be recognised as strategic advisors. One of the most rewarding opportunities for me was to judge IABC’s Silver Leaf and Gold Quill Awards.
Develop your skill set. Take the opportunity to try something new and expand your areas of specialty, or hone your existing skill set! We encourage others to try new things and, bonus, if you pursue the Board leadership track (VP-> Prez-> Past Prez), there are many great PD opportunities sponsored by the regions.
Maintain certification. If you have obtained your CMP or SCMP certification, acting as a Board Director for IABC counts as 10 points toward your certification maintenance! And the commitment can be as little as 6 hours per month (including Board meetings). Easy peasy right?
Help steer the ship. In my early years as a member of IABC, I recognized an opportunity to help the local chapter provide more value for members. This was a big reason I agreed to participate – to contribute to the chapter’s direction. Here’s your chance to help shape IABC’s strategic plan and offerings that will provide the most value to you as a member, and to others.
Belong to a tight-knit community. The biggest selling point for me to continue volunteering with IABC was being part of the IABC fold. Through various conferences, Board work and professional development events solely for Board members, I’ve expanded my professional network significantly – but more than that, I’ve made a lot of new acquaintances and dear friends – and I’ve had a lot of fun.
Of course, before embarking on any new opportunity, you should ask yourself – what am I looking to get out of this and how can I contribute?
Check out IABC Saskatoon’s current Board opportunities here and get in touch.