I have quite often talked about JCI (Junior Chamber International) and the opportunities that it presented me with. It opened up a whole world of learning opportunities for me and helped me to develop many of the skills which I highlight on my CV Website at Paul Duxbury – Learning and Development Professional.
I have always been a keen advocate of people taking responsibility for their own learning opportunities especially if they are keen to progress in their careers. If you haven’t considered getting involved in something like JCI then let me tell you a little about it and my experience of being a member.
Junior Chamber International is one of the largest non-political and non-sectarian youth service organizations. It is an international organisation for men and women between the ages of 18 to 40 which has the aim and purpose of creating positive change in the world. They provide the opportunity to develop management and leadership skills through practical involvement in projects complimented by formal training sessions, conferences and other activities.
During my time as a member and in time a local, regional and national officer I was involved in projects which enabled me to develop and improve my knowledge and skills whilst at the same time contributing to improving the communities in which we worked. From being involved in, leading or organising training conferences, Manchester’s Lord Mayor’s Parade, The Outstanding Young People Programme, Prison Visiting, Schools Public Speaking competitions I was able to develop many skills as I took advantage of the world of learning opportunities which JCI offered.
I had the opportunity to hold various offices including Local Chamber President, Regional Group Chairman North West; National Awards Manager, National Public Speaking Project Manager, National Chamber Development Director and National Assigned Officer to Northern Ireland. Each of these roles afforded me the opportunity to learn and develop skills in public speaking, project management, team leadership and development, networking and negotiating and so many more.
JCI also offered me the opportunity to gain recognition taking part in National Debating Championships and National Public Speaking Championships and to train as a Trainer with JCI delivering training locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. I was also awarded the highest JCI Accolade a JCI Senatorship in recognition of the level of involvement and contribution to the organisation.
I credit JCI with enabling me to move into the Learning and Development profession at a management level. I well recall that when I applied for my first Training Management role I was competing with nearly 100 other applicants. Almost all of them had a formal Institute of Training and Development qualification and I was one of the few who didn’t. However, the experience and knowledge I had acquired through JCI coupled with my commitment to seeking out learning opportunities secured me the role.