Last week I was out of the office for some personal and professional development. As I reflect on the time that it took to set up out-of-office alerts, change my voicemail, review staff guides for work events that I wasn’t able to attend, I paused to question whether or not it was all worth it. The short answer is, yes.
The nature of our jobs as association professionals, whether we are directors, planners, suppliers or students, is one of constant juggling. There is never a “good time” to be away. Someone will always need information, or a contact, but mostly your time and attention. And guess what? They will be patiently waiting when you get back. I know it is not easy. Officially I am the Vice President of Training for LeadingAge Indiana, but on any given day I am also a graphic designer, marketing specialist, trade show trouble-shooter, mommy, wife, Girl Scout co-leader, church lector, Rett Syndrome Advocate, ISAE member AND IMPI Past President. No matter how hectic my day, I continue to make time for my professional associations and all the valuable connections and education that are a part of belonging.
Recently I saw a quote on Pinterest that said, “Stop the glorification of busy.” So I pinned it. And now I am working on believing it. There is always more to do and less time to allocate, but we are really doing ourselves a disservice if we do not purposefully stop and make the time to invest in our professional and personal development. So set that “Out of Office Assistant”, change your voicemail message and clear your calendar for at least a day.
I challenge you all to get more involved in your professional associations and make a commitment to continuing your development. I would argue that you can’t afford not to. Leaders aren’t born, and each moment you take towards bettering yourself is a step closer to becoming the leader you were meant to be.