I’m told there was a time when professional organizations in our region were thriving. Membership was up and attendance was through the roof. There are old pictures knocking around the deep storage in our office showing raucous events and widespread professional involvement. Somewhere along the line though, involvement from folks in our region dropped off. Maybe it was the recession, or the advent of digital means of connection, but the present situation begs the question: why is it important to get involved?
As a member of Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, I’m hard-wired to struggle with the give and take between work time and personal time. Moreover, I get the sense that unless you’re working primarily in business development, it can be tough to quantify the value of involvement in professional organizations and attendance of significant community events. So let’s explore some reasons why it’s a good thing to get out there and get involved:
- Face to Face connections – Never underestimate the value of a face to face connection. In-person attendance of events and involvement provides a great opportunity to create awareness for your company and develop professional relationships. Positive social interactions (i.e. chit-chat) are great for the mood and support creative thinking.
- Show you Care – I read in National Geographic this month that “in our modern world the most valuable commodity is time.” Obviously this statement is the journalist’s individual opinion, (which I happen to share) but supposing it’s true, let’s consider the implication. Time is a finite quantity; giving our time to attend and take part is a direct reflection of what we value. So if you believe in what an organization is doing, get involved and show you care.
- Professional education – First-hand knowledge and understanding of the changing landscape in our industry is something that comes through experiences. Getting involved in regional initiatives, councils, events, charrettes, etc. is the best way to connect what you’ve read about in industry magazines or online with real-life application in our communities.
- It’s Fun! – Whether it’s an educational construction site tour, gala event or intramural soccer league; you’re sure to have fun if you’re approaching these professional events with a positive attitude.
I know it’s easy to come up with excuses to skip those events and things; hopefully these four reasons will give you more motivation to invest your time in our professional community. I’d encourage you to explore what you’re passionate about and look into ways to get out and get involved. We all have what it takes to be movers and shakers in our community. Let’s recapture that hay-day for professional involvement, make good connections and have some fun along the way!
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