It’s amazing how something that you did in your past can become front-and-centre in helping someone today. For me, I had written an article for Project Times, a web-based magazine for project managers. I started writing that article during the course of my Master’s Certificate in Project Management (MCPM) that was put on by Saint Mary’s University. I wanted to provide insight into the educational component of becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP), a designation that I currently hold.
I tried to make the article fun and humorous, but to also show the value that you can extract from developing your skills. Writing this article had the added advantage of giving me some Professional Development Units (PDUs) that I need in order to re-certify every three years. Finally, I just wanted to create “content” and put it out there for people to read – I think I can see the start of VOCL coming from this article – hmmm…. If you want to read it for yourself, you can click on the link: http://www.projecttimes.com/articles/project-management-training-a-students-perspective.html
I got an email yesterday, telling me that someone had commented on my article – I had forgotten about it because it had been published on 6 April 2011. That’s nearly three years ago (that reminds me, I need to do the re-certification paperwork), but people are finding it helpful today. Amanda wanted some advice on getting ready for her exam, so I provided some feedback about my experiences and gave her a few options to consider. I was also somewhat surprised when I looked at the “read” counter – as of this post, there were 3280 views! Unless the website goes away, I would imaging that the counter will keep climbing over time.
Finally, I’ll get to my main point – the value of helping others. I am working on VOCL because I want to help YOU. I get no financial compensation for any of this; actually, it costs me money and time to do the podcast and the website (I’m keeping the figures from my wife for the sake of keeping a happy marriage!) Understand that I am happy to do so because it is a way for me to “pay it forward” for all of the great opportunities that I have been given in my life. If you have been given opportunities in your life, please consider how you would pay it back, or pay it forward. Don’t just think about it, though; ACT upon it!
The more that people give to others (in whatever capacity that may be – money, time, skills, being VOCL about leadership, etc.), the better off the world will be. And that, my friends, is a good thing.