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Blog post #2 - Sonia
My Board year
Time flies. The halfway mark of our year as Board of the VSPVU has passed already. This is, I think, a good moment to reflect on the time that has passed, and also to make plans for the time to come. In this blog post I will try to give you an honest impression of what my Board year has been like until now. Pros and cons, ups and downs… Everything that is part of it for me.
I remember the start of the year as quite a roller-coaster. We were all very excited to start our year, to make the changes we wanted to make and to be the face of the association. We spent a lot much time together talking about our year and imagining how we would handle the Board tasks. Spending all this time together created a strong bond between us. For me, the Candidate Board period also was a stressful time. Even though a part of me knew it would be okay, I still doubted my abilities as a Board member and I was scared my work would not live up to expectations of others. I honestly did not feel well worked into my role yet at that time.
As the year progressed, my confidence luckily started rising. I learned how to my tasks as Secretary and as a Board member in general properly and started taking more initiative in activities and meetings. I learned to structure my weeks better as well. Instead of the mess I called my agenda in September, I started to make time again for the things that are important to me and learned to say ‘no’ to things that are not. Knowing how to say no is something important as a Board member I think. You have to be able to be the ‘Board bitch’ when it is necessary. Which it is from time to time…
Progressing further into the year comes with other challenges however. Even though all weeks are different for us and we have a lot of variety in the work we do, we have to stay motivated to do Board work every week. I now feel more and more, that if I decide not to do my Board work properly for a week, it will influence others in a negative way. I don’t mean to say that my work is crucial or I can’t be missed per se, but I do feel responsible for making other peoples work easier. This goes for the rest of my Board and also committee members. I think this is a good thing, because it makes me feel useful. The downside of that is that it adds extra pressure on me. I have to learn that my work does not need to be perfect, to release me of that pressure.
The thing that has given me most motivation to keep doing Board work throughout the year is that I think it really pays off. I often hear from (old) Board members that being in the Board can be an ungrateful, and I won’t deny that it can from time to time, but I don’t fully agree with it either. Seeing members being happy at events, having fun with their committee or them meeting new people is what makes it a grateful job. I hope members realise that the work we do, we do for them and I realise that it sounds cheesy, but this is what keeps me motivated.
Sonia Erbé Gómez