With Group Election of Officers meetings looming, I thought I would try my hand at a blog about why you should put your hand up for a position on the Group Management Team (GMT).
Unfortunately, many groups run with a bare minimum of GMT members where only a few do all the work to keep the group functioning and delivering meetings and events for all its members. Eventually, this can be exhausting. There is some truth in the old adage that many hands make light work and the more people on the GMT, the less work that needs to be done by any one individual. This is especially helpful when we are all working in a voluntary capacity and most of us are already in very demanding jobs.
The group needs you!
It goes without saying that the most obvious reason is that a group cannot survive without a GMT. At the least, it needs a President, Finance Officer and Membership Officer. In the ideal world, there should also be a Vice-President, Meetings Coordinator, Admin Officer, Sponsorship Coordinator and Newsletter/Social Media Officer and a couple of general members who can do ad hoc tasks and pick up projects such as helping to organise Administrative Professionals Day.
Gain new skills
Joining the GMT may give you an opportunity to try your hand at a skill that you don’t get in your day job. For instance, I know people who have taken on the finance role because they don’t have any accounting functions in their work role. It’s amazing how many PA/EA roles these days require you to do some basic accounts work, such as budgets and reconciliations, and taking on the Finance Officer role is a great way to gain these skills. The same can be said of many of the other GMT positions, such as minute taking, project and event management, leading a team, etc. As National President I have been lucky to attend many professional development and networking opportunities and am learning so much. I make a point of sharing any new information with my manager and colleagues, as well the National Executive Team (NET) so that many people benefit in turn.
I think it would be safe to say that every position on the GMT provides you with meaningful transferable skills to enhance your CV. As noted in the paragraph above, tasks such as project and event management, basic accounting, budgeting, minute taking, running a meeting, leading a team, problem solving, report writing, planning, working to deadlines; they’re all things that turn up in position descriptions. Having these things on your CV already may give you the edge over your competitors for your dream job. I know people who have acquired great jobs because of the skills they learnt on the GMT.
Boost your CV
Every skill and relevant experience that you can add to your CV, or discuss at your next performance appraisal, adds to enhancing you as an employee. It may mean you are considered for a new work project, or boosts your chances of a pay rise or new job. In addition, being actively involved in your professional development association not only shows that you are serious about your career and professional development but also indicates that you are a motivated individual who is prepared to ‘muck in’ and get things done.
Taking on a role with the GMT is a safe place to stretch your administrative muscle. There will be others on the GMT, or within the group, who can mentor you in your learning new skills. If you take on a role you already have experience with, you could be the mentor for someone else who is learning. Of course, there is that amazing feeling of a job well done and the satisfaction that you are giving back to your Association. There’s also a lot of pride in knowing that you are helping the group to tick along. The feeling of fulfillment I get when the NET comes up with a tangible solution or brings an idea to fruition is exhilarating, especially when it something that will directly benefit AAPNZ members.
There’s nothing quite like being in a team of people working towards a common goal. You will meet every month and get to know the other team members really well. I, and I know of several others, have formed life-long friendships with people I worked alongside on the GMT. I looked forward to GMT meetings where I could spend time with these people, working hard for the beginning and then having a laugh together over coffee/wine and a snack. I look forward to the NET meetings in the same way. Yes, there’s a massive agenda with some rather challenging topics, but we make sure there are chocolate biscuits and lots of laughter to get us through. There are several ways you can make meetings feel less onerous and building friendships is just the start.
These reasons are just my musings on why being on the GMT is a good idea. If you speak to your current or past GMT members, they may have other things to add.
So, if you are thinking about it, or even haven’t been thinking about it until now, be brave and put your hand up and get that nomination form in! Join your GMT and contribute to your professional Association. I promise you, you won’t regret it.