"Getting Involved"

Involvement is participating in activities outside of the work place and benefiting from that experience. It rounds out an individual's experience by promoting new opportunities and the development of new skills. Involvement may be becoming involved with an alumni association, working in a community agency, or participating in athletic activities. People get involved in many ways and for a variety of reasons -- what is important is finding the activity that best suits you!


What's in it for you?

People get involved for different reasons based on their individual needs and desires. What they receive varies with their individual contribution, but most people say they receive great personal dividends. Some of the most common reasons individuals get involved are:

  • growth
  • recognition
  • achievement
  • participation enjoyment

The benefits they receive from their involvement include:
Working with groups (running effective meetings, offering skills and attributes to the group that have made them successful in the work place, relations, etc.)

  • Interpersonal skills (communicating, managing conflict, listening, etc.)
  • Making a difference in their community
  • Polishing leadership skills (delegating, communicating, managing time, setting goals, etc.)
  • Having fun


What involvement is best for you?

With so many choices, it might be difficult figuring out which involvement opportunity fits your needs and desires. The first step is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What have I been involved with in the past?
  • Why did I get involved in those particular activities?
  • What benefits did I get from these involvement experiences?
  • Are there new types of involvement opportunities I would like to explore?


Goal Setting is the next step!

Establish personal goals and then decide how you will reach those goals through your involvement experiences. Select activities that will help you reach your goals.

Once you know what type of involvement you are looking for, put a plan together to take that first step. Some suggestions are:

  • Talk to your friends who know you best.
  • Find out as much as possible about the organization.
  • Go to a meeting with a person already involved in the organization.
  • Grab a friend and go to a meeting together. If you can't find anyone who wants to go, go by yourself.

Student Involvement - University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Originally appeared on the California Alumni Association's Online Resource Leadership Center.