I love talking about LMA member value. Conversations usually highlight educational and networking opportunities, industry leading thought leadership, and online resources. But often under-promoted are the benefits of volunteering. Volunteering for LMA provides opportunities to learn and practice leadership skills, while connecting with other professionals to lead our profession.
Volunteering has its benefits!
If you are interested in developing deeper relationships with fellow Mid-Atlantic region members or further developing skills and knowledge to take back to your firm then volunteering is for you!
Experience: In the “Outliers,” Malcom Gladwell analyzes what makes successful people different. He concludes it is not limited to IQ, but is a combination of commitment and opportunity; a matter of experience. Malcolm’s conclusion begs the question, how can we become outliers? The answer is simple – gain experience. One avenue to get that experience is through volunteering.
Growth: Associations provide a safe place to learn and make mistakes, as well as opportunities to learn from others outside of your office. You can grow and use your experience as a career enhancer at your place of work while building your self-esteem. Remember to include your volunteer opportunities and growth in your annual review. Volunteering is also a great resume builder. Volunteer performance demonstrates skills, character, strengths, potential and ethics.
Networking: Through volunteering you interact with fellow professionals creating a cohort for knowledge and opportunity sharing. Your new connections will introduce you to new opportunities and can be added to your reference lists.
Fulfillment: Volunteering provides the opportunity for personal fulfillment and helping others while giving back to your community. Your skills and experience can be shared while new friends are sharing with you. Giving back makes people happier while fulfilling the need to be needed and giving you pride in sharing your knowledge and abilities.
I challenge you to get more out of your LMA membership by becoming a LMA volunteer at the local, regional or national level. Think about what you want to gain your experience, your personality and interests, and look for opportunities that align. Explore applying for a board or local steering committee position, or volunteering as a member or co-chair of a Shared Interest Group, committee or working group.
The more you put in to LMA, the more you get out of it. How will you maximize your membership?
By Helena Lawrence, 2017 LMA Mid-Atlantic Region President, Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager, Orrick for the May/June 2017 LMA Mid-Atlantic Region Newsletter