Why Im a Member
A case of prioritizing
All of us who work in the journalism industry know the business can be all-consuming. News isnt 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Working for a bi-weekly business journal gives me a more regular schedule than when I worked in the daily newspaper business. But its still hectic and often leaves me with more work than an eight-hour day (or nine or 10) can handle.
Plus, we all have families, friends and personal lives we try to squeeze into our days. Last summer, my husband and I moved to a different area of Charleston. We bought a house that needed some major interior work so my weekends have been filled with painting, cleaning and unpacking.
Mixed in with work and home life, I have SPJ commitments and taught a class last fall as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. I dont doubt my full schedule sounds familiar to many of you. These days, prioritizing and juggling are necessary skills.
But prioritizing a host of worthy projects and commitments can be tough. And some of you may be like I am: no just doesnt come out of our mouths very easily.
In 2006, I resolved to do better at saying no. I wanted to commit to only those activities and tasks that I find most rewarding and most important. SPJ continues to be one of those activities.
Ive been a member for 11 years and a regional director for five years. Not once have I put SPJ at the bottom of my priority list. It continues to be an important part of my life for a host of reasons. Primarily, I like the feeling of being a part of something bigger. I like knowing Im giving something back to the profession and that maybe, even in some small way, Im contributing to an industry I hold dear.
As a member of the board, I am able to shape this Society growing and building an organization founded almost 100 years ago. I know SPJ will continue for another 100 years and want to know I played some role in its history.
Over the years, SPJ has given me friendships, contacts and a network of colleagues around the country. I enjoy the camaraderie and the connections SPJ provides.
If I lessened my commitment to SPJ, I feel I would be lessening my commitment to the journalism profession and to about 9,000 friends.
I understand what its like to be swamped and a little overwhelmed with a to-do list that seems to never end. Yet, I would urge all SPJ members to stay committed to the cause and to make SPJ involvement a priority whether its taking five minutes to send in your renewal form, 15 minutes to check out whats new at spj.org, an hour to attend a local chapter event or two hours a week serving on a committee.
Weve all devote a great deal of time and energy to our jobs. Lets funnel a little bit of that time and energy into an organization that will ensure this industry stays vibrant and relevant for years to come.