The Value Proposition of Volunteer Leadership

How would you like to get a part-time job that pays nothing?

Oh, come on! You can work hard, have deadlines, you'll need to collaborate with diverse team-mates and deal with multiple bosses and priorities.

Not sold?

Well, what if I told you that you would open up your opportunities beyond your wildest expectations?

...that you will learn new skills and information, you will be able to practice skills that you don't really get to practice during your day job (like leadership, or creating webinars, or event planning)?

...that you will get to know hundreds of new colleagues and contacts? You'll meet people who are your peers, and others who are several organizational levels ahead of you, and those just entering your industry from college or transitioning from a new career?

...that you'll get to meet industry leaders and experts who will want to meet you, vying for your time and attention? 

...that you'll become somewhat of a 'celebrity' in your community of practice - suddenly people will recognize your name and/or your face at professional events and will go out of their way to greet you and thank you for your contribution to their career?

...and that you'll get job offers and/or new prospects and clients who are ready to hire you because of your role in this unpaid part-time job?

Well, that is just part of the value proposition of volunteering in a leadership or committee role in a professional association. It's a golden goose I discovered only about 3.5 years ago, and I've enjoyed its benefits ever since. I was interviewed about my leadership and involvement in my professional association - ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) - by my colleague and fellow entrepreneur, Sheila Savar, back in April for her cable television show all about the Power of Networking.

I've posted my video (in two short parts via YouTube) for your viewing pleasure - let me know what you think and how you have leveraged a volunteer role to grow professionally.

Part 1

Part 2

Value for Organizations

The personal value is unmistakeable. But what about the value to organizations if their employees take on volunteer leadership roles?

The next blog post will deal with just this issue.... stay tuned!

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The Value Proposition of Volunteer Leadership to Employers

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Volunteering as Employee Development: A PwC Case Study