It’s pretty safe to say that I enjoy being involved in a lot of organizations. In college, I served as the president of the Sports Management Club for two years after being a board member the previous two. I was treasurer of the Multicultural Student Union and spent three years working with the school’s radio station as the host of a sports radio show and was the station’s booking director. All of this was while working an on-campus job in my school’s athletics department and interning 20+ hours a week at a local university’s athletic department.
Based on my past it should be no surprise that I am the same way in my professional career. It started slow. First I was just of member of CoSIDA. I think the more comfortable I get with my day-to-day job of being an athletics communications director is, the more I found time to be involved in other things. It’s extremely important to be involved, whether that is on campus or within your organization, in a professional organization or in your local community.
Besides working my full-time job at ECU, I am an active member of CoSIDA serving as both a mentor and mentee in the mentorship program, the chair of the newly-created Young Professionals Committee and an active member of the New Media Committee. I am a CoSIDA Connect Ambassador working to increase the number of CoSIDA Connect users. I joined the WoSIDA Steering Committee last year to represent younger females in CoSIDA.
Outside of CoSIDA I spent the past year as the Director of Membership for the College Athletics Fan Engagement and Digital Content Association (CAFEDCA). Also, I am a member of the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
Outside of professional organizations I spent three years in South Florida as an area advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization I hold very near and dear to me after losing a good friend to suicide my senior year of college.
And of course I can’t forget to mention co-founding Sparkles and Sports with Katie.
Involvement is important. Involvement at work shows your willingness to be a team player and work for the greater good. Involvement in your community makes you a better neighbor. Involvement in professional organizations helps you network and grow your career.
That all being said, there’s another side to every story. For the last few months several people have warned me not to overcommit and burn myself out. I stepped away from my involvement in CAFEDCA before the school year started, thinking it would free up some of my time.
I honestly thought I had a decent handle on things. And I did, until last week when it felt like my world came crashing down. I failed to prepare myself for a major deadline at my full-time job. My deadline happened to coincide in a week when I had three home soccer matches in an eight-day window including two nationally-ranked opponents and a conference opener. Also happening last week was women’s tennis hosting a tournament, one of our student-athletes playing in California for the ITA Masters and the men’s tennis team playing in a tournament. Additionally on my to-do list this week were several interviews for women’s soccer, planning meetings for women’s basketball and our inaugural year of women’s lacrosse and all of my other day-to-day responsibilities. Oh, and I had a deadline for an article I am writing for the fall issue of CoSIDA 360 Magazine! I worked long hours and late nights last week and have barely held it together.
It’s funny, but I don’t look at myself and think I am too involved. I see things that others do, people I look up to, and I find ways to be more involved like them. Then I realize I need to slow my roll a bit and take a back seat, at least until football season is over!
It’s good to be involved, but be aware of how much you can actually do. There are only 24 hours in a day, and if you are like me, the recommended eight hours of sleep is more than a necessity.
My advice: pick three things outside of your ‘9-5’ that you wish to be involved in. Limit yourself and prioritize. Don’t let your work at your full-time job suffer because you failed to say no to other commitments.