Understanding the Active Citizen Framework – Part 3

Active Citizen Framework Infographic EN A3Step 3 in our continuing series on the JCI Active Citizen Framework focuses on Taking Action With Partners. The Active Citizen Framework is your step-by-step guide to the process that helps Jaycees create and execute projects that empower young adults and impact local communities. By presenting a consistent framework and providing you with the tools you need to follow a system with proven success, we want to see you create positive differences and use the Active Citizen Framework to change the world!

Last month, we covered Step 2 – Formulate Sustainable Solutions. If you need a refresher, check out that post here.

As you develop your needs analysis and sustainable solutions it’s important to consider potential partners within your community that share similar values to JCI and goals that align with your project. Whether public or private sector, using the JCI Active Framework will help you explain your project outcomes in ways that will encourage support and allow you to leverage additional resources.

The JCI Active Framework recommends that you, “Look at ways to increase impact by sharing resources, engaging all sectors of society and creating shared value for the community. When leveraging the strength of partners and the action of JCI members, you can achieve more than by working independently.”

We want to hear about your successes! Give us an update on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Right Way To Ask for A Raise

MoneyAlthough your boss may disagree, now is the perfect time to ask for a raise. With the tools and trainings provided by your local Jaycee chapter, and the resources available through JCI USA, you’ve been expanding your skill set and making positive contributions in your professional life – it’s time to cash in on all that hard work. Now you need a plan. What’s the best way to guarantee a positive discussion about your value to your organization and avoid an early and disappointing exit from your management’s office?

Here’s an interesting article by author and career planning professional Dawn Rosenberg McKay discussing the Do’s of asking for a raise. Some highlights to keep in mind include:

Find out how much others in your field are earning. Websites such as Salary.com will provide you with the latest information regarding what your job is worth through salary surveys and other collected information. Referencing the industry norm can be a powerful tool in convincing your employer that an adjustment is due.

  1. Evaluate the financial health of your employer. Scheduling a salary discussion with your boss the week after a disappointing earnings announcement may not be the best timing. Choose a time when the company is celebrating a win – you’re much more likely to be rewarded following an organization-wide success.
  2. Prepare your argument. This is critical to your overall chances of a positive response. Asking management for an increase with little information to reinforce your point allows them to tell you what you’re not doing, rather than focusing on the contributions you have made, and the reasons you are deserving.
  3. Decide what you will do if turned down. Let’s face it, not every request for a raise will be met with approval from management. You need to have an action plan for a negative response. Will you start looking for other employment or a transfer? Will you accept the decision and try again in six months? Take a minute to anticipate all possible outcomes so there are no surprises with whatever decision is made.
  4. Set an appointment with your boss and make your case. This seems intuitive, but many employees toil diligently with the hope that management will come to them and recognize their work with a nice raise. A wonderful idea, but more often than not, it just doesn’t happen. Use the techniques and tools learned through the Jaycees to politely and intelligently push the issue.

Do you have any good tips for asking for a raise? Share them with your fellow Jaycees on our Facebook and Twitter pages – we’d love to hear some great stories and ideas.

Beyond the First Step

PsychologyEarly American philanthropist and businessman William Clement Stone, once said, “All personal achievement starts in the mind of the individual. Your personal achievement starts in your mind. The first step is to know exactly what your problem, goal or desire is.” These words were true in Stone’s era of industrialization and growth of our country, and remain as valuable advice today. But once you have the clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish, what comes next? How do you transform your ideas into action?

As the premier organization for empowering young adults to make positive change within themselves and their communities, the Jaycees are here to help. With decades of experience in completing thousands of projects that benefit individuals and groups, your local chapter has the blueprint for success in bringing your ideas to life.

So you’ve got that great concept and you’re ready to get involved…how do your start? Here’s some quick ideas for a great launch to your initiative:

  • Leverage Your Leadership – your local chapter leadership is your first resource for evolving an idea into a doable plan with a manageable scope. With the experience of leading similar projects, they are experts in developing concepts into action. Whether you need assistance in defining your audience, putting together a team, creating specific action items, or promoting your idea to the community, most likely someone in your chapter leadership has achieved success in a related project.
  • Review Previous Projects – one of the benefits of working with a national organization is access to the multitude of projects that have been completed in past years. Not only is your local chapter an excellent resource to help you define and outline your goals, but the United States Junior Chamber lists past efforts on their website for you to check out and “borrow” ideas. Here’s the link.
  • Use Your Chapter Experts – at your next local chapter meeting learn about the resources in the room. You’re all there because you care about the community and self-improvement. Take advantage of that commonality by discovering what specialties and talents are represented in your chapter. Not only will you be able to put resources together for your project, you’ll probably learn some new information and techniques to help in other areas of your life.
  • Document Everything – just as you will use the history of others to improve your project, future Jaycees will want to benefit from your experiences. Your chapter has access to the Project Management Guide, among other resources, to help you layout and document every step of your successful project. You can find a copy with your local chapter leadership or on the USJC website library.

Whether a large or small project, something that’s been completed in years past or a brand new idea, the experience and talent within local chapters across the country can be your resource to continued success. Take that first step…then the second, third, and fourth. Make your chapter and community proud…then tell us about it. Share your experiences on our Facebook and Twitter sites so others can benefit from your action. We’re excited about what you can accomplish!

Women’s History Month

 WomenAs we roll into March, we are proud to celebrate Women’s History Month and recognize the significant achievements that women have made throughout history, and continue to do so today. As an organization, the Jaycees are proud of the strength of women’s membership in local chapters, and the leadership roles that women play at all levels of our group, including 2014 National President Fay Poissant.

But it hasn’t always been this way. Did you know that the Jaycees were a men-only organization until 1984? Previously, there were separate groups for men and women. We are extremely pleased that 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision in Roberts vs United States Jaycees, when it was held that refusal to admit women into the organization was both a violation of First Amendment rights, and unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. You can read more about the Supreme Court’s decision here. Shortly after the Court’s ruling, the Jaycees voted to open membership to all young individuals, ushering in a new era of progress and successes.

It doesn’t take much research to realize just how much the Jaycees have benefited from this change. From the first female National President, Sydney Ward, who served in 2001, the representation of women in Jaycee leadership has been distinguished, including past National Presidents Julie Metzger (2005), Lisa Parrish (2006), Denice O’Neil (2008), Joanie Cramer (2011), and Chrystal Ramsay-Dyess (2013). On a local level, the involvement and representation of women leaders has been just as significant.

As the premier leadership organization empowering young adults to be active, the efforts of women such as those listed above have helped to provide Jaycees across the country with the resources and expertise they need to make a difference within themselves and their communities. We’d love to hear from some of our women Jaycees…why did you join the organization? How have the networking, leadership development, projects, and trainings helped you grow as an individual? Share your thoughts through social media with other Jaycees on our Facebook and Twitter pages…we can all be proud of our combined contributions and look forward to making exciting new history – for all individuals.