Originally published in the January 2019 issue of JNEB.
As the New Year begins and thoughts of resolutions to be healthier, save more money or take a vacation fill your mind, the FNEE Division would like for you take a moment to consider a resolution about professional development. As nutrition professionals, we seek to make the lives of others better by being healthy. To stay true to that, we must continue to sharpen our skills and stay on top of current trends, practices, and programs. But let’s be honest, in the midst of all we have to accomplish, professional development gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Professional development is an important task that we should seek throughout the year. While it can be a daunting task to tackle alone, utilizing resources and opportunities within your professional organizations such as SNEB, can minimize some of the dread.
Professional development doesn’t have to come in the form of a webinar, lecture, or continuing education units. Volunteering is a wonderful way to gain experience and develop professionally in an area where you are interested in honing your skills. SNEB has tons of opportunities to volunteer and you need only look as far as your Division area to find those opportunities. As the Chair of the Food and Nutrition Extension Educators (FNEE) Division, I can attest to the professional growth that comes from volunteering within the organization. These volunteer opportunities have given me experiences to engage with and learn from professionals across the nation, serve as a resource to some, and grow as leader within my own institution. SNEB is brimming with professionals from all around the country, sharing their professional expertise with each other through webinars, hot topics, journal articles, pre-conference sessions, conference presentations and last but not least, VOLUNTEERING within the organization.
Just in case you need to be reminded of the benefits of professional development, here are a few:
- Professional development gives you opportunities to engage and learn from other professionals in your field, while keeping current on relevant trends.
- Professional development helps you to deepen your understanding and knowledge of a theory, or skill.
Benefits of volunteering are quite similar to those of professional development:
- Volunteering connects you to others.
- Volunteering is good for your mind and body, and can bring fulfillment to your life.
- Volunteering can advance your career.
With the similarity in benefits, volunteerism is a viable pathway to gain professional development experiences. Helping others, while helping yourself, this is a win, win!!!! Please consider your professional development goals for the year, and how you can meet those goals by volunteering within the organization. If you have not taken the opportunity to select a division to join, now is a great time! Wishing everyone a Happy New Year filled with wonderful professional development opportunities through volunteerism!
Feel free to contact me if you have any comments or suggestions for the FNEE Division, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea Morris, PhD., MCHES
FNEE Division Chair
Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior