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7 great reasons to get involved

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If you’re looking for a way to build your career, a great place to start is by getting involved at UC. Whether you participate locally — through staff assembly or cultural affinity groups — or by representing the staff voice at the UC Regents (applications are accepted through April 3), there are many ways to participate in the university community. Here are seven ways to enhance your career while serving fellow staff!

1. Build your network

Whether you’re active locally or on the systemwide level, participating in affinity groups and staff leadership gives you an opportunity to build connections with colleagues and leaders whom you might not have a chance to work with in your day-to-day responsibilities. What better way to build your network than by connecting with like-minded individuals? “I feel like I have friends at each of the locations now — people who I can call on if I need to brainstorm ideas, to share opportunities or even just to bounce ideas off from,” says 2019 CUCSA Chair Amanda Chavez.

2. Become a better leader

Wrangling volunteers is different from the leadership skills you use in your day-to-day job, whether you’re a people manager or an independent contributor who needs to manage up. Finding ways to engage and motivate people who are donating time is a great way to learn in real-time how to build momentum and rally others around a cause.

3. Use your skills to further a cause you personally care about

UCSF Black Caucus Chair LaMisha Hill found that her job as director of Multicultural Affairs uniquely positioned her to fill an important advocacy role within the Black Caucus. “When there are critical issues or things that our community needs, I’m a natural advocate for those things because of my role and relationships,” she says.

4. Grow new skills — in whatever area appeals to you

We all have skills and interests that don’t fit neatly into our day jobs. Participating in affinity groups and staff leadership gives you an opportunity to bring these skills to the table in a professional manner. For example, if you’re an accountant for UC but fantastic at graphic design, your skills will be an asset to groups needing promotional materials for special events!

5. Bring your career to the next level

“My participation in the CORO program was a real shift that got me thinking broadly, beyond my own career,” says Dr. Elizabeth Ozer, chair of the Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (SACSW). “After that, I was appointed to the UCSF Committee on the Status of Women, where I eventually became chair. I went on to become the UCSF faculty representative for SACSW and currently serve as SACSW Chair. Through my work with SACSW, I became deeply involved in diversity initiatives. I helped to develop and serve as Director of the UCSF Faculty Equity Advisor Program. We work to advance excellence in faculty searches, with a focus on ensuring that searches are inclusive, diverse and equitable.

6. Discover new skills and interests

Taking on volunteer roles lets you have an opportunity to try out new roles in a safe environment. For example, maybe you’re a budding photographer who’s always wanted to shoot events but are not sure if you have the confidence. By offering to photograph an event for your colleagues, you provide a needed service while also testing your own abilities.

7. Follow your passions — and find a greater sense of purpose

“I feel like my involvement is what’s kept me at UC — the engagement, connection and realization that I can make a difference within UCSF and systemwide,” says Elizabeth.

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