Being on a committee can sound intimidating or like it will involve a lot of boring meetings, but it is really beneficial to your career and actually fun if you make it. Take advantage if someone invites you to join one!
I am on two committees: the JOA Charitable Giving Committee at work and the Society for Technical Communication Scholarship Committee. I joined both of these committees this year. These are the awesome benefits I’ve found:
Develop new relationships
We know that 80% of getting jobs is networking, and developing new, quality relationships in the work world is always good, so why not develop some new relationships on a committee? Usually, you will meet new coworkers or friends or work with people that you wouldn’t otherwise work with. Working together toward a common goal always makes you feel more connected and provides bonding experiences.
Expand your skills
Really engaging in the meetings and thinking of new or better ways to drive the goals of the committee forward will definitely expand your collaboration, communication, analyzation, and problem-solving skills. For example, recently one of the committees I am on was struggling to handle all the requests pouring in for us to look at, so I suggested we develop a rubric of criteria that would allow us to evaluate each request in an efficient manner to save time at meetings and take the pressure off the committee chair. We brainstormed the criteria together, and I developed the rubric document. The next meeting went much more smoothly as we were able to start getting requests off the table. It made me feel great that I could use my technical writer mind in a room full of my coworkers to bring a solution to the table that they probably wouldn’t have thought of.
Feel more connected to the life of the organization or community
The goals of many committees are to impact other people directly in some way, and that’s an awesome feeling. Committees have a great way of making you feel as though you are impacting the company or organization you work for or the greater community in some capacity which builds a great sense of purpose and belonging. You also end up feeling much more invested in the health and goals of your organization or community and you’ll want to see it continue to improve.