109: Translating Daily Job Skills into MES Office Skills

Portuguese: 109: Traduzindo Habilidades Diárias de Trabalho em Habilidades de Cargos da SOM

Introduction

This document is intended to help officers understand how to apply their every day job skills to their work as a part of the amazing volunteer team of the Mind’s Eye Society.

It’s important to understand that in most cases, Volunteering for an officer position with the Mind’s Eye Society is just like accepting any job.  You take on a role with tasks and duties, and you perform that work to achieve a desired result.  However, unlike your everyday job, a Volunteer is someone who has, of their own volition, asked to help a person or persons achieve a goal without any thought to the reward.  You can see examples of people volunteering during the holidays ringing bells in front of a red bucket to collect donations, or even see them within a workplace where someone has volunteered to stay late and finish a project. All of these people have one thing in common: they are taking on a tough task for little personal gain aside from the knowledge that they have donated time and effort towards a good cause.  It was once said that the meaning of life is to give more than you get, and the spirit of volunteering is just that.

However, some of the tasks that come along with officer positions take a little more skill and forethought than the average volunteer project which usually requires physical labor.  Our club needs storytellers who can be creative and adaptable, coordinators with good book keeping and people skills, and a myriad of other officers with an assortment of skills that help our club to function.  If you’re concerned that you might not have the skills to take on these offices, then we’re happy to say that you will be surprised to learn that in every job you’ve ever held, you’re likely to have picked up these important skills.  In the next section, we’ll look at identifying what those skills are, and how they relate between your day job and the officer positions of the Mind’s Eye Society.

Translatable Skills

Every volunteer position within the Mind’s Eye Society has the same primary skill requirements that many jobs also require.  In this section we’ll take a look at the basic job skill elements for every profession, and discuss how those carry over to the Mind’s Eye Society.   Here we have a list of these skills and more information on them:

Communication – Every day you speak to someone, whether your boss, your co-workers, or a customer or client.  This ability to approach other people and share your thoughts, wants, and needs is the primary skill for any job.  In every aspect of the MES, we rely on communication, whether it be monthly reports, or just conveying an idea or storyline to other members.

Industry – When we speak of industry we talk about the ability to perform work in a timely manner, and do it efficiently.  Every job has particular tasks and duties associated with it, and time frames within which they must be completed.  It could be getting the dishes washed for a restaurant so that they can serve food the next day, or producing a report for the fiscal review of a government body.  Just like that, each office within the MES has associated duties and assignments that need to be completed in a timely manner.

Ingenuity –Every job has questions that come up, and tasks that come along that we weren’t aware of before.  With a set goal in mind, a plumber might find a new way to set up a better way to fix a leaky pipe, or a secretary might figure out a new way to deliver information to the other employees.  Officers in the Mind’s Eye Society are always coming up with new ideas on how to have more fun and bring out the best results.  A coordinator might come up with a better way to do prestige audits, or a storyteller will find a better way to convey his ideas to the players.  A little imagination and elbow grease can bring about amazing results.

Adaptability – Every job has issues.  Materials didn’t arrive on time so you had to find something else, or a client changes their order halfway through production and you’ve had to find a way to change what’s already in the works to something else, or perhaps a report that was due three weeks from now is suddenly required for an audit and you have to rearrange your schedule to get it done.  Maybe someone has called in sick and you have to find a way to cover the shift, or perhaps its just a simple thing like finding out the boss wants something done a little different and figuring out how to do it.  Learning what you can about the issue, and finding a way to make it work out is a skill we’ve all picked up, and it’s a skill that’s used every day in the MES.  Things come up that you’ll have to be prepared to accept and go along with.  A storyteller, for example, might have planned his entire game out and thought of every possible route the players could take to the goal, but then suddenly they come up with something he hadn’t thought of or they’ve taken it entirely the wrong direction.  Instead of just telling them no, he takes what they’re doing and puts it to his advantage, using the new information to build an even more colorful story.  By taking a new idea and running with it, and making it work out despite the issues, we learn to be adaptable.

Time Management – This is a topic that everyone needs, and touches on all of the previous items.  In every job we have things that need to be done, some of them in the same time period, but without a little planning everything will fall apart.  When you’re working in a kitchen and you have ten items to cook, you don’t do them one at a time, but you throw the cookies in the oven and start the frosting in the machine.  If you start the frosting first and then bake the cookies, then your frosting goes stale before the cookies are done.  If you have a report to do, and copies to make, an efficient worker would start the copies and finish the report while he’s waiting for the job to finish.    Plenty of officer positions have things that need to be done in a similar manner, whether it be putting out plotkits each month, planning and setting up for events, or simply managing the time of your players while running a game so everyone is busy and having fun.   Everyone has had experience with planning their day to get the most done, and it’s a skill that any officer position requires.   In fact, its important enough an entire document on Time Management is found in the 100s section of our Officer Education.

Technical Skills and Experience

Many administrative officer positions in our club also need filled by members who have received some focused training and technical experience as well. Jobs such as our Website Design staff are educated in program languages like XHTML, Javascript, and CSS.  Our legal staff is composed of lawyers.  In many cases, technical knowledge and experience is requirement to fulfill the needs of the office.  All calls are often sent out of the our US-Announce email group that ask about members who are looking to volunteer some time and have these specific skills, and many new projects come up with opportunities for someone to get in on.

There are also positions that require some experience that can be gained through working in lower offices of our club.  A member who’s not sure how to be a coordinator can take on an Assistant Coordinator position and learn from the current Coordinator about what the job requires.  The same experience will work for becoming a storyteller or filling some of the administrative offices.  With some time and dedication to the club, more volunteer opportunities that were previously out of reach will suddenly be well within your grasp.

Conclusion

No matter what you do in life, the Mind’s Eye Society can use your talents.  Whether a Coordinator, a Storyteller, a plot writer, or an event planner.  You can volunteer to hand out fliers, or act as an intergroup liaison during planning for a major event.  If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer for an office in the MES, then don’t be afraid to apply.  Read over the other education documents in the 100 series, learn a little bit about what it takes, and remember that you’ve probably already learned these skills, its just a matter of applying them.