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Engage…The Best Investment to Your Professional Career!

April 23rd, 2019 by Anne Celeste Anders

I remember walking into a MPINE over ten years ago. I had not been a member for many years and I was trying to decide whether to join again. 


When I walked into the meeting, the energy in the room was contagious and positive, and people actually wanted to talk to me. We all know walking into a room full of new faces at any networking event can be a challenge, even for the most outgoing person. After 15 minutes, I knew I wanted to rejoin. I originally was interested in the programs committee, but Sarah Hamilton of Special Projects told me her committee was the best, so I joined that. I immediately signed up to help with the MPINE Golf Tournament. From that point forward, I was hooked. I have been on the Special Projects Committee, in various roles, since then and now sit on the Board of Directors in the role of Director of Special Projects.


By getting involved, I was able to meet new people, really find out more about what they do, and I felt I was making a difference in the organization. Now, when new members ask me how to get the most out of their membership, I tell them to GET INVOLVED. This is not unique to MPINE. I belong to other associations and the key to getting the most out of any membership is getting involved, being visible and making connections. I know when we hear “Join a Committee” we all want to run. We think long meetings with lots of agenda items where nothing ever gets done. In addition, if you miss a meeting you end up being elected to a wide range of projects no one else wants. I, too, wanted to run the other way, but this experience changed that for me. I have become a firm believer of being an involved member of the organizations I belong to and I’ve never been happier or have grown so much professionally. Whether the organizations mission is to educate or to make connections (or both), you cannot just join and sit on the sidelines if you want to be successful in that organization. You have to be involved.   


I am not sure if it is my personality or that I have a great volunteer reputation, but I am often asked to join organizations and become involved from the start. I love being part of the process and encourage you to do the same.


Everyone should be able to volunteer no matter how much time they have. Volunteering can be managed. Committees need to make sure people know there are different levels of involvement and that it takes all levels of dedication to make the committee run. We often talk about tiny tasks that make volunteering a little easier on the whole committee. Tiny tasks are things that may only take a few minutes out of your day. If you do not take on more than you can handle, volunteering is very rewarding, fun and so worth it.


Hope to see you volunteering soon.


Photo by Thomas Drouault on Unsplash

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