• Duane C. Barney

Community Involvement

Our lives are extremely busy and the last thing we need is one more activity on our schedules. The reality is that citizenship comes with an obligation to support your community. If everyone does a little something, everyone, including you, are better for it.

Join something or attend a meeting. There are hundreds of community events going on all of the time. Your experience as a construction professional can be a huge asset to a lot of committees and projects. There are construction committees for schools, community center or your church. There are zoning boards, architectural review boards and variance request committees. Habitat for Humanity or other similar groups can use the experience of a professional to bring teams together.

If you want to clear your head of construction, there are plenty of other things to do. You can be a coach or assistant coach (not a lot of experience required) Boy Scouts and Girl scouts are looking for troop leaders or merit badge counselors. You will be surprised at the talents you have that can be shared with those young minds full of mush.

You don’t have to jump all the way in—committee chairman can be a retirement activity, for now you can attend or help, who knows you might even volunteer to do more. Your involvement also sends a silent message to you kids. They see what you are doing and how important it is and they respect you and the institutions a little more. They see their role as an involved citizen and will want to step in to help in someway as well. For most of us any positive activities our kids do is less time for them to be doing other less productive events.

Committee involvement may also help you fine tune some personal skills like remembering names (as you meet more people) and speaking in front of a group. You will gain a better understanding of how your community works and the impact it has on your life. It will also give you an opportunity to speak up and change things.

Management tip:

Start slow but join something, PTA, homeowner’s association, volunteer at the library, I don’t know but look around and find something that interests you. The benefits will extend to everyone around you. It may even carry a side benefit, you are meeting new people and they are all potential customers.

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