It’s that time of year again to start thinking about your 2018-2019 Junior League placement. With the League engaged in so many exciting projects and fundraisers, it’s hard to decide which placements to consider. As you flip through the Placement Bulletin (which will be published later this month), it is helpful to have a little direction. The placement committee has put together five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask at the upcoming Placement Fair on Monday, March 12th before the General meeting.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What am I hoping to get out of the upcoming League year?
Everyone comes to the Junior League with a different objective. Some join to grow their social circles, to network or to make new friends. Others want to learn a specific skill or get experience in a certain role within the League. Asking yourself this important question can help you narrow down placements to consider. Some examples: If you are wanting to meet new people, consider a larger committee. If you are looking to gain experience asking for donations, then consider a fundraiser.
- What skills can I contribute and what skills do I want to develop?
The League is lucky to have women of many talents. When you think about next year’s placement, make a list of your current skills and which positions could help you expand upon those skills. The Placement Committee strives to match League member’s skills with the skills needed for the placement. For example: If you are proficient in excel and want to learn more about asking for donations, consider a placement on one of the Fundraising Council committees.
- Am I seeking out a leadership role?
There are numerous leadership roles within the League. These leadership roles are a great opportunity to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills. However, these roles come with greater responsibilities, and may involve greater time commitments.. If you are interested in a specific leadership role, reach out to the member who currently holds that role or to members who have held the role in the past. Ask them about their experiences, the challenges and the opportunities. This will give you a good idea of the commitment that the specific leadership role would take.
- Am I seeking a placement on a small or large committee?
See your answer to question #1. Ultimately, this comes down to your personal preferences and what you’re hoping to get out of the upcoming League year. If your objective is to get to know more members, on a more personal level, look at some of the smaller committees. If you’re looking to expand your social circle or do some networking, go for a placement on a larger committee.
- How much time do I have to devote to my placement?
While this is the last of our five questions to ask yourself, it’s one of the most important. It requires you to take an honest and realistic inventory of your time. What are your professional, personal, social, and other community commitments? Junior League is a volunteer organization, so it is important that you identify how much time you have to give to your placement. Some placements require work that is “hands on” or “boots on the ground” work. Other placements might allow you to work remotely. Some placements require attendance at committee related events – such as sorting shifts, fundraising drop-offs/pick-ups, etc. Ultimately, by identifying how much time you have to give to Junior League, you can avoid overcommitting or feeling overwhelmed in a placement. (See also, question #3 below).
Questions to ask committee chairs:
- What is the committee’s goals for the 2018-2019 year?
Each committee has a unique set of goals that they are looking to achieve. Perhaps the fundraiser is looking to hit a new revenue goal or a project is looking to expand its reach. Knowing the goals of the committee can help you identify if you have the skill set the committee would need to help achieve their goals.
- When and how often does the committee meet?
Attendance at committee meetings is vital to the work of all committees. When considering a placement, it is important that you assess whether or not your own schedule will conflict with the committee’s meeting schedule. If the committee’s meeting schedule is not included in the Placement Bulletin description, be sure to ask the chair.
- What is the time commitment like for the placement?
Asking this question can help you get a good feel for how much time you are likely to devote to your placement on a weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to also read the job description in the placement bulletin to get a feel for the expectations of the role. You can also check out the “Volunteer Hours & Placements” spreadsheet on the Google Drive. To access the spreadsheet visit the shared “JLO Members” Google Drive folder, then click the “Resources” folder. Keep in mind that these hours are for the duties and responsibilities associated with the placement for the specified League year.
- Are there times of the year that the placement is more time consuming and/or does the committee require attendance at special events or work days?
Typically, committees meet on a monthly basis, however some committees may meet more or less frequently during certain times of the year. It is also good to ask about requirements for attending special events or work days. It is better to know about the requirements ahead of time instead of being caught off guard when you learn your attendance is required.
- Does the committee have socials?
The women of Junior League work hard but they also enjoy time for socializing and celebrating a job well done. Many committees organize social events. If socialization is high on your priority list, ask the chairs if they plan to hold socials throughout the League year.
Hopefully these questions will help you through the placement process. Remember, advocating forms will be due by 7:00 p.m on Friday March 16 and open placement form will be due by 7:00 p.m. on Friday April 6, 2018. If you can’t make the placement fair, you can always reach call or email the committee chairs for the placements in which you are interest