‘I’m fine with being a member. Holding a leadership position is too much work to do!’ That may be very true. Being a leader is no easy job. However, that’s just one side of the story. With work there always come rewards. A better question to ask is probably ‘what’s in it for me?’ Let Digital Senior give you 5 reasons why you should step up as a leader.
Hall points and resume
First, being a leader gives you many practical benefits. If you need hall points to stay on campus, leadership positions usually come with higher hall points. With higher hall points, you will get a place in a hall faster and all the associated benefits will just flow to you.
However, getting higher hall points is by no means the bigger picture of practical benefits. Having leadership positions is a great resume builder. Though Digital Senior does not encourage participating in extra-curriculum activities for the sake of building resume, you need to have basic stuff on that piece of paper. If you are applying for a competitive job, the resume screeners will keep an eye on the key words that showcase your leadership capabilities; and a leadership position, together with clearly defined title such as ‘president’ or ‘head of committee’, sends a clear message to the recruiters. Putting some leadership positions on your resumes help you stand out from thousands of job applicants.
But having a good resume is really the first step towards securing a good career. How far you progress in the job application process and how well you perform on the job is not necessarily correlated with how impressive your resume looks like. You need to have real leadership qualities that can be more effectively developed by becoming a leader first.
Juggle, juggle and juggle
There are many desirable qualities that come with holding a leadership position. Let Digital Senior give you three first. Firstly your time management skill will be enhanced. Being a leader definitely means more work. While your teammates may just need to take care of their work, you have more things to worry. You need to keep the entire team in mind and make sure the final results are delivered. Yet you have similar, if not more, workload for studies. Hence you will be forced to find out ways to how to manage your time. Once you have developed effective time management skill, you can achieve more than your peers in the future, especially when you start working in the future.
Interpersonal skills improved
Moreover, your interpersonal skills will be improved too. Holding a leadership position exposes you to more opportunities to interacting with all kinds of people. You may need to talk to an industry partner for possible collaboration. You will need to learn how to establish rapport with your teammate that is necessary for effective teamwork. You will hold many meetings, do many presentations and make many speeches.
Yes, you may not do well initially. You may even make embarrassing mistakes. But all these are valuable processes of learning. University offers you a low-cost environment to make mistake. If you make a blunder in your speech, well, it doesn’t matter in the long run. No one remembers. If you make the same mistake while you are working, that can affect your reputation, which can’t be easily restored. Hence make as many mistakes as possible now, learn from them and move on.
Friends and fun
And having better interpersonal skills is not just beneficial for your work. It also helps create a better social life for your. Perhaps this is one of the greatest rewards you can get while being a student leader in university. Your circle of friends and connection will soon widen, as you are at a more visible position than many of your peers. Don’t be surprised if your friends list on Facebook becomes much longer or you say “hello” to people more often as you walk on campus. Isn’t that a nice feeling in itself?
And you will develop strong bonding with your colleagues in the same club. A few of you are responsible for running the club and you go through hard and good times together. You may be staying up late to finish a proposal, hold post-event reflections to honestly critique each other or chill out at the club barbeque and drink until your stomach cannot take anymore. When you look back at your university life, it is such pieces of memories that define how good your undergraduate experiences are. Go create your memories now!
Live by examples
Lastly, you will be forced to live by examples and there is probably no better way to develop good qualities in you than that. In fact, we are all inherently capable of having good qualities, but some people manage to develop them in the right environment. If you are not a leader, you would never hold a meeting and appreciate the importance of being punctual. You may actually be late for many meetings, thinking that’s fine. Once you are a leader, you will have to put yourself to higher standards and will unleash the potential in you to become a better person.
You naturally want to improve your public speaking because you have to speak up more often. You naturally want to learn how to communicate effectively, because that is important to get your message across. You will seek upgrading and improvement, something that you may not even contemplate about before. You are thrown into a motivating environment and there is no better classroom for personal development than that.
The benefits of being a leader are endless. The five reasons above, though common, are by no means exhaustive. Essentially, how much you benefit from the experience depends on how much you want to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself further. You define your own benefits!