Yesterday, we had our first meeting of 2018 for the Digital Engagement Task Force of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development (SHSMD). This is my fourth year on the Task Force. This year I’m playing a new role, serving as the co-chair. Throughout my career I’ve sought out opportunities to serve on committees of various organizations in the healthcare marketing space. I’ve always seen it as a career development opportunity and as a way to give back to the industry. SHSMD, for example, has certainly played an important role in my career by giving me the opportunity to speak at its conferences and facilitate panel discussions, among other things. Participating in activities like the ones I just mentioned help to build your personal brand and your resume. They can certainly help you to advance your career.
Meanwhile, volunteering to serve on committees can provide important networking opportunities. A case in point is SHSMD’s Digital Engagement Task Force which has 20+ members from all over the country; and those are motivated people who see a benefit in volunteering and are actively seeking out career building opportunities. These are sharp healthcare marketing professionals and good people to get to know.
How do you get involved? It’s not a difficult as you might imagine. Two of the organizations I’m involved with, SHSMD and NESHCo (New England Society for Healthcare Communications) send out an annual request for volunteers. A good first step would be to attend one of their conferences (national or regional) and introduce yourself to board members and staff members. Let them know that you are interested in getting involved. After volunteering for a few years, you could apply or have someone nominate you for a board position. By then the organization knows you and you have a track record of being a reliable volunteer – perhaps even a valuable resource.
So give it a try. I highly recommend getting involved and expanding your horizons. The extra effort will likely pay big dividends.