“I’d like to volunteer” in the security industry “Mr Mainwaring!”

“I’d like to volunteer, Mr Mainwaring” states ASIS International

“I’d like to volunteer” in the security industry “Mr Mainwaring!”

by Mike Hurst, Vice Chairman – Strategy, ASIS International UK Chapter

Whilst the life of a volunteer leader in any membership body is normally underappreciated, over worked and less than glamorous, I have just returned from the ASIS International 62nd Annual Seminar which, this year, was held in Orlando, Florida. This was a three-and-a-half-day conference plus an exhibition that was a similar in size to IFSEC.

During my time there I collected an Award on behalf of the ASIS UK Chapter for its Quarterly Newsletter which although it pales in relation to the august publication, is something the Chapter is very proud of. Also, I, along with Professor Martin Gill, received President’s Awards of Merit for our Volunteer Leadership and services to the security sector. I know I can speak for Martin, when I say we were both very surprised and honoured by the awards.

“So what?” I hear you all groan and you have a point. Well, I am not writing this column, just to say “look at me!” but rather to encourage others to take part in the running of an ASIS Chapter or any of the other security bodies, that rely so heavily on the good will and commitment of volunteers to help promote education, standards, professionalism, networking and many other things.

The cynical amongst you (and I am something of a cynic myself) may well, once you’ve finished groaning, say “Why should I, what’s in it for me?” Well, returning to a topic I have probably mentioned in previous pieces, I am a firm believer that ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. I’ve found this to be true, not only in my working and personal life, but also with my various volunteer activities.

Here are some examples:

1) It’s good to be part of the security community. We are pack animals at heart and we normally achieve more when working together.

2) There is a sense of achievement to be had from watching the effort you have put in to an organisation develop into a great conference or membership programme.

3) You might learn something.

4) Sometimes it pays! The networks you develop and people you meet may end up being clients, candidates, future employers or employees, sources of information, problem solvers, solutions providers…

Remember, as long as no one is shooting at you it’s good to volunteer!

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