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Topics: Change Management, Ethics, Sustainability
Profession and Volunteerism, a guilty feeling?!
Hello community!

Have you ever struggled in creating a balance between your profession and volunteerism activities that you are engaged in?

What has the project management core values to do with that?
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Conflict of interest may be a concern. I had my involvement with this forum reviewed by our legal department and was cleared of any COI issues so long as my input is of a generic nature and steers clear of any proprietary information.

I did discover however that some of my personal hobbies unexpectedly presented a potential conflict. When I create plans for technical subjects outside of work, it is close enough to my actual job that the legal team had to investigate further before ruling out a COI.

The core PM value there is ethics, but by disclosing my activities I was able to rule out any ethical concerns.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 10:40 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Keith for sharing your personal experience. This is how how we grow as professionals, by learning from each other.

Honesty is the key of your comment to avoid any guilty feeling and create the balance and keep the trust with all.
Tried a lot to find volunteer positions but still did not find any.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 10:41 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Ahmad did your try PMI's volunteers resource management system? (VRMS)
I always believe volunteering and giving back to the profession is a noble thing to do, and you and only you can find the right balance of how much to give back to the profession as a volunteer as it depends on so many personal factors.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 10:44 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank You Rami, straight to the point, this balance can be called as well life experience and maturity.
Hello Gretta,
good question... I've been in such situation :-)

To me there are two values for good volunteers:

1) Honesty "We make commitments and promises, implied or explicit, in good faith"
I have seen several times fellow volunteers taking more activities on their plate than they can perform and sometimes saying "well, it's volunteering, I have my job to take care". That's not honesty and against our values

2) Responsibility "We fulfill the commitments that we undertake – we do what we say we will do"
That's important to make sure we deliver what we promise, but also won't damage the professional and personal commitment we took before or during our volunteering terms.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 10:47 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Dear Fabio, thank you for make it so clear, when you are honest with your work and at the same time committed to your volunteering activity.
Well said!
I never had issues because I volunteer at different organizations for one simple reason - I learn. Whenever I need to use examples, case studies, etc. I never use actual client information.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 11:32 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Anton, I agree, we volunteer for keeping up the learning curve and for giving back from our experience, so it is always a win-win.
Volunteering is a good thing. Balancing can be a little bit challenging, though.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 11:33 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Abolfazi, hope you are coping well and overcoming the challenges.
At the beginning was hard for me to combine both, because I was trying to be involved in more things that I could chew. Finding a right balance was key.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 11:35 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Mayte for sharing your personal experience. I agree it will take time to create the balance.
The key is being honest all times.
Contemporary question. In my opinion, the feeling of guilt comes in when we are not sure of the conflict of interest that may lie in. I think before we accept volunteerism, we need to be absolutely sure of the conflict of interest and also the time that can be given to these activities. This will allow you to focus on both as important tasks that are in your scope. Thx
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Feb 20, 2021 11:48 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Dear Deepa, I agree that clearing any conflict of interest is essential for a successful volunteering experience.
Feb 15, 2021 12:42 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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Conflict of interest may be a concern. I had my involvement with this forum reviewed by our legal department and was cleared of any COI issues so long as my input is of a generic nature and steers clear of any proprietary information.

I did discover however that some of my personal hobbies unexpectedly presented a potential conflict. When I create plans for technical subjects outside of work, it is close enough to my actual job that the legal team had to investigate further before ruling out a COI.

The core PM value there is ethics, but by disclosing my activities I was able to rule out any ethical concerns.
Thank you Keith for sharing your personal experience. This is how how we grow as professionals, by learning from each other.

Honesty is the key of your comment to avoid any guilty feeling and create the balance and keep the trust with all.
Feb 15, 2021 12:55 PM
Replying to Ahmad Mushtaq Abdurahimzai
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Tried a lot to find volunteer positions but still did not find any.
Ahmad did your try PMI's volunteers resource management system? (VRMS)
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