Hello people of the Internet World,
We all know that being a part of an organization or club is important because it allows us to identify with a group of people and grow career wise and from a personal standpoint. However, I believe we do not realize the true benefits these involvements bring to us, and we should recognize those benefits to determine whether or not we are truly evolving as individuals.
As a college student attending a large university, it can be hard to find “your people” but by joining one or several organizations I have been able to find my support ground and a variety of places for me to grow professionally and personally in.
3 reasons that I have found to be beneficial by joining an organization:
1.) It brings you a community of like-minded individuals that will help you see a pathway to your future goals and aspirations:
I am involved in a social media club at my college and we had an activity where we got in groups and talked about our aspirations and what social media platform would we share that on. When I was talking to my friend about it, we discovered that we have somewhat similar career aspirations. She was so supportive of mine as I was with hers and we shared our aspirations with everyone. Nothing but smiles and awes from the group about our conversation! This girl also helped me get my first internship last summer because she shared her experience and tips with me on how she was able to get her internship the summer before!
Since this group of individuals have goals and dreams similarly to mine, we do anything we can to help each other out, whether that be getting connections, giving you leadership opportunities, or bringing you on big trips. Because of this club, I was able to tour Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, and 3Q Digital’s Headquarters!
But, I did not join this organization solely for these purposes.
With this tip, do not go into a club for the soul purpose to get help, because that way you are just taking advantage of them. People can see genuine people. Get to know them personally, that way they will actually be a true source for help in your professional life and a friend to your personal life; lifelong friends can be made!
2.) You have a support system that allows you to be supported and be the supporter:
One in particular is my club water polo team and even my high school water polo team. To this day, despite not seeing my high school water polo team as much as I used to two years ago, I still get love and support from them whenever an event takes place or need some support! Both experiences playing in high school and college have for the most part been nothing but positive however, being in college with having a “matured” mindset and career driven goals makes this experience much more different and special. But, if I didn’t have the foundation on my high school water polo team, I would not have grown or maybe not continued playing water polo in college.
This team has been nothing but supportive to me and my hopes and dreams.
Story-time: In April we had a tournament up in San Diego, and in our very last game I was thinking that I really want us to win, for the seniors and to end the season on a high note. There was a moment where we were tied with a pretty competitive team and at the last 5 seconds of the game, I had the ball and I saw an open shot and heard my teammates telling me to shoot; despite being at half tank, I shot and scored. I truly did not believe that shot was going to go in. So in response I started crying and then a group of my teammates swam to me and gave me nothing but positive energy and I was overjoyed. Truly I wish that a senior scored that shot or anyone else because I feel I don’t need this recognition but I’m so so glad that my dream of winning came true, and I could have not been able to do that if it wasn’t for the team.
Here is a photo of the reaction after the goal:
This experience has transformed into my career development, allowing me to believe that I can achieve anything thrown at me.
3.) The people in organizations allow you to create and/or get brought up to a leadership role that can impact the organization and your growth:
This one is obvious and intentionally why people join organizations but there is a uniqueness to this by what roles you can create for yourself and how you can tackle them.
Going back to my involvement on my water polo team, there have been roles that were nonexistent on the leadership board that I noticed were essential to the growth of the team and recognition as a club. Social Media Lead, for example has been created to have our team share memories and be more recognized as a team! We created an Instagram account 2 years ago, which doesn’t seem like a long time however, if you think about how social media is a HUGE role in our daily lives and how long it has been around, it isn’t that much time. We also have created a Tumblr to showcase our team in a lighter fashion for potential members to feel enlightened about that team, that role was very recently created for one of our team members! So you can arise to such roles like these and many more!
Another example, I also work for my university’s business school as a Peer Academic Leader, where I help the development and success of Freshmen starting their major in Business. Through this role, there is generally a guideline which includes creating and gathering results of events our team designs. Here we developed roles of who will collect data of the events our organization runs, create a digital representation on social media of our organization, who will organize and run events, and who will help in leadership programs. Originally there were only two roles now there are several several roles, which I have partaken in!
In high school, I used to also be a part of Relay for Life’s Event Leadership team in high school. I was the youngest in the group, with most being parents or upperclassmen college students, there was even a role created for me there. Even though now I am not on that team anymore, I still keep in touch with all of those members, and even help volunteer at their events!
Why I am bringing this to attention:
Joining an organization can provide you another home, and the emphasized factor of development professionally and personally!
I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for the organizations I am very actively involved in! They help you with finding people who are most like you but also help mix you with people so unlike you in a good way; I have learned so much about myself through both types of people! But also, they give you a support system and stepping stones that can help your career path and lifelong friends!
I am not saying you have to be a part of the specific organizations I am involved, NOT AT ALL, if anything every person is different and can only take-on so many activities and learn so much. Do what is right for you, join at least one organization or 10. You will develop through the good and bad experiences; however, if overtime you are not evolving as an individual specifically in the three points mentioned above, I would seek other opportunities in other organizations. Sometimes it takes time to find the right group or get comfortable in an organization, whether that be greek life, clubs, sports teams, etc. No matter if you are in college or high school or not even in school, very recommended by me that everyone be a part of some organization if you want to grow professionally and personally!
Hope you found this post beneficial and I would love to hear your thoughts!