The first time I was accepted onto a committee, my imposter syndrome kicked in. I didn’t know what to expect, and to be honest, I was worried I wouldn’t bring value to the committee and could embarrass myself in front of my colleagues.
Fast forward to today, I sit on four committees (and chair three of them). I’ve learned firsthand the benefits of being on committees and feel passionate about paying that forward. Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and get on this many committees – however, I am suggesting you consider committee opportunities, as you have a lot to gain.
So, why would you want to join a committee?
1. Expand Your Network
The biggest benefit (in my opinion) is the relationships you form on a committee. Whether that’s within your organization, community, or industry. It’s an excellent way to meet like-minded people who share your passion and desire to improve personally and professionally. You may also get some lifelong friends out of it (I know I have).
2. Demonstrate and Develop Your Leadership
You don’t have to be chair of a committee to demonstrate your leadership. Through active participation, leading initiatives, and teamwork – you can show that you know what it takes to get the job done successfully. If you are interested in the chair role, it is a great opportunity to lead a team and gain experience in this area (especially if it relates to your career goals).
3. Acquire New Knowledge and Skills
Committee work allows you to gain knowledge and skills you might not have within your day-to-day role. Learn from colleagues or community leaders, hear about different points of view, and expand your knowledge. Gain skills like communication skills, leadership experience, event planning, project management and execution, and much more.
4. Pay it Forward
What are you passionate about? It’s important that whatever committee you are considering that you feel connected to their mission. If you don’t, it will probably just feel like ‘more work’. And being on a committee is work, that’s how you are paying it forward – by providing your time, knowledge, and skills. When you are contributing to the growth and future success of something you are passionate about, it will feel rewarding.
My best advice when it comes to joining a committee is: You get out of it, what you put into it.
So, if you are going to take a ‘back seat’ and join because it looks good on your resume, you probably won’t get much out of it. And may feel frustrated as committee meetings and work come up. However, if you are passionate about the mission of the committee, you actively show up to meetings and contribute – I have no doubt you will find the experience fulfilling.