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For return on investment, volunteer!
2001, March (June 20, 2007)
By Diane Feldman, Carolina Chapter Nominations Manager

Call for Volunteers

Do you sometimes wonder why you or your company bother with the expense of paying those STC dues? Sure, the meeting topics are often good—but you can hardly ever attend because of time conflicts with something else. Professional associations are great for networking, but if you can’t make the meetings, what’s the point?

Here’s the thing: The real networking doesn’t happen at the meetings — it happens on committees! In the context of accomplishing a task, you also accomplish all of the goals of networking. You learn about your colleagues—what kind of work they do, what their skills and interests are, what they have to offer—and they learn about you. You find out which companies are doing what, who the managers are, and where the opportunities are. You get a chance to practice or develop skills that you might not get to work on in the regular course of your job. People in your industry come to recognize you as a committed professional who gets things done.

But you’re busy. Who’s got time for more responsibilities?

The Carolina chapter sponsors a wide range of activities that offer opportunities large and small. Many tasks can be accomplished on a very flexible schedule. Others require your attention for only a specific occasion. Lots of committee work gets done by phone or e-mail, with minimal meeting time. Here are some of the possibilities:
  • Serve as a judge in the Tech Pubs or Online Communication Competitions.
  • Write a newsletter article about that interesting project you just finished.
  • Help to keep the content of the Chapter Web pages up-to-date.
  • Lead a discussion about a topic that interests you at a meeting of one of the special interest groups (SIGs).
  • Hand out packets, introduce speakers, greet participants, or any of dozens of tasks that need doing at the annual Chapter conference.
  • Take reservations for workshop sessions.
  • Assist with the on-site logistics at the upcoming Awards Banquet (greeting, seating, assembling awards, etc.).

This is just a small sample of the ways that you can get involved. Maybe you like (or don’t like!) what the chapter is doing with the job bank, or the educational opportunities, or the conference. Pick an area that interests you and contact the committee leader—the names are listed on the Web site. Not sure what you’d like to do? Call me or e-mail me and tell me what you’re good at or what you’d like to learn. I’ll be happy to help you find the opportunity that best serves your interests and suits your schedule (Diane Feldman, 960-7170 or dmfeldman at mindspring dot com).

Make the most of your investment in the STC and give your skills and your career a boost — volunteer! End of article.

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