Profile of a volunteer - Jane Royden
Posted by APM on 11th Feb 2013
Name: Jane Royden
Why did you decide to become a volunteer with APM?
I was introduced to the APM by a colleague who had been a member for number of years, initially going along with him to a People SIG workshop, and gradually taking a more active role. I don’t think there was a point where I actually made a decision to volunteer – it was more organic – and it’s only recently that I would have described what I’ve been doing as ‘volunteering’.
At the first workshops I attended, I was interested in the topic that was being explored (mentoring), and found myself being able to actively contribute and those contributions being welcomed. I wasn’t even a member to start with – that came later when I was encouraged to become an associate and subsequently given the confidence to apply as a member.
At present I’m an active member of the People SIG and in my second year as Chair.Now in a formal volunteer role, I’ve becoming increasingly aware that the APM, in its capacity as the leading membership body for professional project managers in the UK, has huge potential to influence how seriously the profession views the people management element of successful projects – and that’s what keeps me involved.
What benefits have you gained from being an APM volunteer?
The most satisfying and immediate benefits are those associated with being active in the People SIG. Being able to work with a diverse group of project professionals, learn from their vast experience and above all collaborate to develop new thinking that people working on projects will hopefully find useful and inspiring.
More widely, the opportunity to meet some of the most successful people in project management, who I would never have come into direct contact with otherwise, and at the same time, increase my own profile in the community.
Also being able to attend first rate events, hearing what the speakers have to say – from all walks of project management life. For me, this year’s highlights have been presentations on the Olympics, Social Return on Investment and the Battle of Britain.
What would your top tip be to an APM member looking to become a volunteer?
Have a chat with an existing volunteer or the volunteer support team at Ibis House. Find out about what opportunities there are and if any sound exciting. From my experience, the challenge is to stay motivated, with my APM roles getting serious competition on my time from my other priorities at home and in my business.
If you start with a group like the People SIG – we will welcome your contribution and you will immediately have a chance to get involved with one of our development areas. Ibis House are also running volunteer induction sessions – a great way to find out more about how the APM works and supports the volunteer community.
If you are at the start of your career and maybe just curious about what really makes projects successful, or a more experienced practitioner with real life stories to share, why not get in touch and find out how you could get involved. We need people who can commit to (on average) at least 15 hours a month, and support us with the following types of activities; participating in meetings (the majority in London), blogging and tweeting, writing newsletters, doing admin (notes, actions and logistics).
If you feel passionate about improving the area you are most interested in then get involved with the SIGs as a committee or working group member. There’s lots of ways to contribute so read up on the SIGs and offer your services!
Find out more about volunteer opportunities.