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Today I attended an educational conference for Toastmasters. As I sat there, I recollected why I joined the organizations I’ve joined. I started Toastmasters when a boss suggested it for my development. I stayed because it gave me the chance to practice my leadership skills.

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When I was in the final semester of my masters program, I took a project management course. I loved it! I didn’t realize there was an entire field that fit my personality so precisely. Knowing it would be impossible to jump into a project management job making my current salary, I decided to join the Project Management Institute. It was the right decision. I immediately started volunteering. I learned a lot and had an outlet for my talent. Eventually, it even provided the connections to get that project management job!

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I write this to encourage you to find organizations to involve yourself in, especially if you don’t get to work in the field you are passionate about. There are many organizations out there, from humanitarian, to artistic, to professional. These organizations can help grow your interest, develop more skills and perhaps help you find a new career. It’s a safe place to practice new skills, learn and grow.

Jana Axline is president and leadership coach at Axline Solutions. Through her leadership musings she hopes to inspire audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Axline Solutions.

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