Career Growth by Participating in a Community

By participating in our community and industry, you will receive many extraordinary opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you want to grow, influence, lead and enhance your career, consider some of these recommendations that I have experienced and implemented in my career and personal growth.

Being involved in your local staffing community will allow you to meet amazing people, including leaders who could also be a mentor or in some cases a mentee. I have met quite a few new leaders in sourcing who are seeking advice and wanting to learn from you. Yes, your participation means giving time and energy, but you can control that. You not only develop life long personal and professional relationships, but you can also hear about opportunities, gather insider intel and build a favorable reputation of your company.

Communities like SourceCon will help you not only retain and sharpen current skills but provide so many perspectives, that you’ll feel empowered to bring back quality knowledge to elevate your team’s skills and more importantly the means to influence others. Sometimes these communities will ask for volunteers to present and work behind the scenes, after all, this is a community, and we are all responsible.

Volunteering is the best place to develop new skills. Companies are often seeking well-rounded individuals who have good teamwork and goal setting skills. Serving on a volunteer committee or board is a great way to learn group dynamics and teamwork – genius right? You can also volunteer your time by serving on a committee chair. This will expose you to fundamental skills like facilitation, leadership, team and speaking skills. Not to mention, supervising and training other volunteers helps to develop supervisory and training skills.

Opportunities like these to practice your skills in a relatively nurturing, risk-free environment. However, as always, you want to make sure your respectful, compassionate, etc. It is much more useful to practice a skill than to read about it or study it in a classroom.

Becoming involved is an excellent place to experiment, practice and try out new techniques and skills. It offers you the opportunity to build your self-confidence through training. Additionally, our communities provide you opportunities to observe others and select best practices. You can stretch yourself in a new way that can benefit your career.

Volunteering gives you the satisfaction of knowing you are doing good and being involved in your community. Its called KARMA. If you feel strongly about something that is happening or not happening in your community, get involved. Get others to join you and craft new solutions to community problems and present it or write about it. The change starts with you! Community involvement gives you visibility. Community work can indeed expose you to a wide range of people, including many robust and influential community leaders, speakers, and organizers.

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Our industry has many organized meetups, such as Sourcing7 and the NWRA (Northwest Recruiters Association). I mention these because I was a member of these organizations while living in Seattle.

Participating in communities can be energizing/renewing. Sometimes we need a break in our routine, or an opportunity to create a balance in our lives. Volunteering around professional interest can be fun, empowering and energizing. That energy and sense of fulfillment can carry over to your work situation and sometimes helps to relieve work tensions and foster new perspectives for old situations. By watching those around you, you can begin to identify the qualities of leadership that you most admire and you can develop those qualities in yourself. Managing a group of volunteers is not the same as managing employees.

Community groups are often groups of peers, and they respond more to leadership than management. You will have opportunities to lead by persuasion, innovation and your ideas and ideals. Working in volunteer settings will help you learn strategic thinking, change management, and conflict resolution skills. You will learn about your community, about trends and issues, about people and resources.

Life is a beautiful journey, and you never know where it will take you. Our community can help you be more than a passive listener. You can make a plan and actively build skills to enhance your professional lives. Don’t rely on an individual to grow your knowledge; rely on your community that is waiting for you to join! Just commit time and energy, and you are on your way.

Kay Kelison is a respected social media strategist and a principal sourcer who has been in the recruiting industry over fourteen years. She currently works as a Principal Researcher / Trainer for Zillow Group where she partners with both business and recruiting functions to build candidate pipelines, develop targeted sourcing plans, build and manage successful sourcing initiatives, and manage customer/partner expectations. Additionally, she is involved in the developing and managing diversity recruiting efforts through social networking platforms on websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Kay is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.

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