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The Joys of Volunteering

ASEA Monthly

How many times have we heard a call for volunteers and said, “not me,” “someone else will volunteer” or “I don’t have the time”? 

Volunteering for a committee at ASPPA may seem daunting, scary, and intimidating. I would like to share that while taking that first step of saying yes to volunteering may seem like a terrifying step for you, it is an even greater step for your confidence and professional development. You will meet your peers and develop relationships with other volunteers that will impact you professionally in ways you did not anticipate. 

I took the leap several years ago when I joined the Professionalism Committee. This commitment did not take much of my time. Being on the committee involved reading the draft of a revised ASAP, providing some comments during two or three calls which lasted less than an hour each and took place over a few weeks.

My involvement has grown over the years. I was just re-elected to my second term on the ASEA Leadership Council. About a year ago I took a giant leap outside my comfort zone and volunteered to be on the planning committee of the 2022 ASPPA Annual Conference. Here I was, in the same room as some of those speakers we see year after year up on the podium, with the ASPPA president and ASPPA president-elect. Sounds intimidating. We had a job to do. 

Our mission was to make the conference the best one ever — to “Level Up” your experience — I and those on the committee were interested in my thoughts and opinions. While attending ASPPA Annual this year I felt more connected to the event than I had in the past. I had more confidence to ask questions and participate.

Also, being a member of the planning committee has seen my list of contacts grow, and I have a larger pool of people to reach out to if I have a technical question.

I share my experiences to encourage you to volunteer. If you are not sure how you can help, then reach out to someone on the ASPPA or ASEA leadership councils. Their names are on the ASPPA website. These leaders are just like you and me. They have full-time jobs and personal commitments. They have embraced volunteering and the rewarding feeling of giving back to our profession.

Eric Brandon, EA, MAAA, MSEA, FCA is a Pension Actuary with the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.