After a year volunteering my time with AMA Tampa Bay, and as the organization’s newest board member – VP of Communications thank you very much – I have some important pearls of wisdom to share about my experience.
I’ve learned so much over the past year and it has truly been a rewarding experience. I want to share a few of the highlights of how serving on a volunteer organization can help you to grow both personally and professionally.
You’ll flex muscles you didn’t know you had. Brain muscles, that is. Your day job is probably hard enough as it is, and you feel like you stretch every single day to get it all done. But, serving in an outside organization pushes you to think in ways that you don’t normally think at work, and may require you to do things that normally fall in another employee’s wheelhouse during the day. Learning how to give creative direction to graphic designers? Psh, I’d never dare do that at my day job! But in the AMA that suddenly became my volunteer job. Through that opportunity, I’m now able to better understand some of the perspectives of our creative team at the agency.
You can lead without the inherent fear of failing. What is the scariest thing about coming into a position of leadership? While there are many, the fear of failing, managing others, and having increased responsibility top the list for myself and many others. Often times, you can gain some extra leadership experience by taking on leadership roles in a volunteer organization. Like me, you may find yourself responsible for a team of volunteers and for making a positive impact within the organization. Scary? Yes. But is it as scary as doing the same thing in your day job when the stakes are incredibly high? Not so much. By learning how to manage people, report to a president, and serve alongside other top leaders through a professional volunteer organization, it’s so much easier to build your leadership skills to eventually take on a similar role in your career.
It just feels good. Do you know that feeling you get when you do something really nice for someone and you see how appreciative they are? Well, if you’re like me, that feels pretty darn good. And that’s how I feel every day that I give my time to the AMA Tampa Bay. It feels great to be able to use my unique skills not only in my career, but also to help an organization that is 100% volunteer run. AMA Tampa Bay provides an amazing professional service to marketers throughout Tampa Bay, with industry leading keynote speakers, insightful workshops and great networking. None of that would be possible without a team of over one hundred volunteers who donate their time.
So, as I look forward to my term as VP of Communications for AMA Tampa Bay, I challenge you to think about how you, too, could donate your skillset and time to a worthy organization, and in return, receive invaluable experience.