How do professional associations form you may ask? What do they deliver? Professional organisations often start from a small group of individuals who are looking for opportunities to talk with others about their practice. They are committed individuals who have a vision, a vision to share good practice, a vision to build something bigger and bring an acknowledgement of their professional practice.
As one of those people who have an interest and passion to contribute to the broader profession it is curious as to what drives people to give us their time to volunteer for something bigger. A number of research papers exist to give us an insight into why people give up their time.
Volunteering adds to people’s CVs, is a way of meeting people, is a way to make new friends, is a way to contribute to knowledge. But is also got to be a two-way process. We put something in and we get something in return, whether that be something harder to measure or intangible such as personal satisfaction or pleasure or something more tangible such as a skill or qualification or award.
I have been volunteering since I was in my late teens to a variety of causes. I certainly know that contributing to a growing professional association like the Change Management Institute and the International Institute of Project Coaching gives me a lot of personal satisfaction, new ideas and networks.
It also gives me the opportunity to contribute to a brighter professional future for others in my field of work. We can contribute to better practice, we can assist recruitment services and organisations make better choices about candidates and above all we can see a shift in practice to the positive.
Have a think about it yourself even if you don’t have much time, support your local professional association and see where it takes you.