Volunteerism and Professionalism

Make A Plan

What is Volunteerism:

Volunteerism is the experience whereby we move from an awareness of others‟ needs and/or opportunities for personal development, to an organized, relational engagement with another/others in the community to address those needs, on an unpaid monetary basis. Volunteering, on the other hand, is molded by and arguably, constricted by organizational and societal demands for professionalism.

What is Professionalism:

Definition of professionalism 

The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person

Professionalism and its impact on the wellbeing of everyone that attends or staffs nerd and pop culture conventions/events is more than anecdotal. The topic is important to volunteers, volunteer coordinators, staff, and convention planners in general.

Managing or staffing a nerd, geek or pop culture convention/event carries with it a great responsibility. The positive perception the community has developed over many years can easily slip because of one simple lapse. This means your guard cannot be relaxed. Reliable and consistent behavior must always be displayed. This sense of professionalism will promote a culture of safety and a positive environment for all participants.

Ever noticed how a superhero changes when the suit goes on? Whether wearing a uniform or not, a similar thing happens with convention planners and staff members. There’s something different when that happens. Professionalized Volunteering is about their stance and demeanor, as if confidence and composure is being worn like an invisible cloak.

Professionalism is how you act and it is acting with responsibility. All of the convention, event and show community act, as ethical stewards to the public and the difference is that some get a pay slip and some don’t. I don’t know how many times we’ve used that line, but that’s the difference.

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Treating staff, stakeholders, clients and all attendees with dignity and care, focusing on the needs of others, and respecting and supporting all people, organizations, and cultures without prejudice is at the heart of the Make A Plan initiative. 

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism

https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6010

 

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Volunteerism and Professionalism by James Fedora is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6010.
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