What’s in a Name
As a member of many groups that I consider prestigious, I considered the concept of adding titles to my name very important at one time. Early in my career, I joined a number of organizations. Thinking back, although my belief was that adding more titles was desirable, the real goal was to further my education, not merely to add letters after my name. I wanted to be in groups with other members who would inspire me to be better, learn more, and also help the group to be more productive in its' mission. The skills, concepts, and inspiration that I learned helped me to add value to my clients, as is discussed in this month's cover story by Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT.
As I spent more time with these groups, I began to realize that each one had so much more to offer and that I continued to expand my capabilities and learn more through these endeavors. Also, I found that the more I learned, the more I wanted to share and to also help the organizations that I worked with to expand. I lived by the modified phrase, "Ask not what your group can do for you, but what you can do for your group." Taking without replenishing was not in my DNA; giving back was. An added benefit of each of these endeavors was really the camaraderie and friendships that developed and the doors that opened up to other learning opportunities.
So, today, when many people approach me to ask which professional groups to join or get involved with, my response is usually twofold: First, ask yourself what you hope to achieve by joining; next, consider what you can offer the group through your own participation. The letters you can potentially add after your name may be nice, but hopefully, you will be as fortunate as I have been in meeting and working with people who have inspired and continue to inspire my work and education.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT